Sunday, 11 August 2019

Climate Change Expert’s Predictions - CO2 or Sun Spots?

So many experts who either know or predict  outcomes! There are a number of dichotomies we all experience through life, where we need to make a decision, but one side is usually regarded as wrong and the opposite view is the respected one - the paradigm.  But how often do we discover that the one we were taught was correct - turned out to be wrong?

I am experiencing a curious feeling of déjà vu about the continuing argument concerning global warming. I’m amazed at the overpowering, apparent, consensus of opinion.  During a brief foray into google to look for global warming alternative views, I discovered a wealth of information backed up by respected science and climate experts too numerous to mention who all stress that the official demands to reduce CO2 will have absolutely no impact on the amount of CO2 in the upper atmosphere and will cost $2.4 trillion annually over the next 30 years.  The presence and increase of CO2 in the upper atmosphere, it is argued, is apparently not due to human activity but rather, a natural consequence of the sun’s increasing output, and they support this argument through the fossil record and ice core sampling, among a host of other methods all of which agree.

 Professor Lindzen, the foremost atmospheric physicist of his generation, wrote:-

“The relative stability of the earth’s climate throughout geological history, notably since life evolved, is truly remarkable. It is an extraordinary natural buffering system. While CO2 has fluctuated between about 280ppm where it was in 1940 and 5,000ppm during the Cambrian period 550 million years ago, the earth’s average temperature has been maintained by natural feed-back mechanisms within a range of about 10C. These feed-back mechanisms are extremely complex and even today are by no means fully understood." 

"Many highly respected atmospheric scientists support Professor Lindzen’s views; scientists such as Fred Singer (who designed the first meteorological satellite), the late Bob Carter (the famous Australian geologist), Willie Soon ( an expert on the sun’s magnetic fluctuations), Roger Pielke (an expert on extreme weather events and sea level change) , the two Svensmarks (who have demonstrated the link between sunspot activity, cosmic rays, cloud formation and temperature, Judith Curry, John Christy, Professor Happer, Peter Ridd ( the expert on coral ecology in the great Barrier Reef) to name just a few." Wikipedia

Professor Lindzen concluded one lecture with the following words:-

“What we will be leaving our grandchildren is not a planet damaged by industrial progress, but a record of unfathomable silliness as well as a landscape degraded by rusting wind farms and decaying solar panel arrays. False claims about 97% agreement will not spare us, but the willingness of scientists to keep mum is likely to much reduce trust in and support for science.” 

Descréjà  vu


The impact of global warming seems to be self-evident.  More extremes of weather; heat waves, floods, more and stronger hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.  No one can dispute the weather seems to be changing.  But is it really due to a build up of CO2 in the upper atmosphere?  The answer seems to be that probably it is, but that may be due to the normal fluctuations in the sun's output. There are strong arguments for this alternative view. 

So why are there so many experts with differing views?  Surely one side or the other must be right and the other wrong!  Reminds me of the Bessler wheel problem, too many experts telling us we are wrong, but there are some who believe in him.

We are all aware of the errors made in scientific predictions from before the time of Orville and Wright onward - How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong".

1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.

3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”

4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”

6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”

7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.

8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

9. In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”

10. Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”

11. Barry Commoner predicted that decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate.

12. Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.

13. Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out. (Note: According to the most recent CDC report, life expectancy in the US is 78.8 years).

14. Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'”

15. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated the humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.

16. Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

17. In 1975, Paul Ehrlich predicted that “since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.”

18. Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

I am sure that when Bessler’s wheel is finished and a working model demonstrated and the full description published, there will a rush to duplicate it, improve it and find the best way of benefiting from it.

I think it will prove to be more than a seven day wonder and it won’t slip back into obscurity.  Just to produce a machine that works continuously purely from the effect of gravity, requires such a paradigm shift that it may well open up a new view of science, explaining how it works and discussions about how it was missed for so long.  If, as I believe, it will generate electricity in useful amounts, it will ultimately change the way we provide electricity.   Given the fears about global warming, pollution and the rise and rise of those protest groups, like Extinction Rebellion, I think the wheel will be an extremely hot topic of conversation.

I'm sure that intense pressure to reduce global warming has much to do with reducing the pollution caused by fossil burning technologies through out the planet.  It is related to the perception that  planetary sources of energy are limited.  This Eco drive is designed to save the remaining sources of oil, by replacing electricity generation with all the alternative methods so far known. The way to get progress is to find a safe, clean, cheap alternative to current methods and I believe that Bessler’s time has come.  It’s almost as if his technology came too early, but now the time is right and perhaps his wheel will save the planet or rather humanity’s existence.

All the old ways of producing energy, and the new ones are obsolete.  They are not ultimately green they cannot generate 24/7 365 days a year, but Bessler’s could.


Sunday, 4 August 2019

A Miscellany of Metaphors in AP XLVI

There is an intriguing passage in Johann Bessler’s book, Apologia Poetica, Chapter LXVI,( page 295,  in my version of the English translation, which follows on from the original German, also referred to as AP).  It is in the form of free verse and is composed of a list of phrases, mainly metaphorical, which Bessler seems to hint might supply clues to the way his wheel worked.

I'm reluctant to put my own interpretations on the meaning of the phrases, but I think it worthwhile to risk it to get some feedback.  I make no claim for accuracy, these are only my current suggestions and my thoughts hop from one idea to another and if anyone can get closer to the intended meaning please feel free to add your thoughts. The passage is introduced by the  following words:-

Those who are keen to ask questions should ask them of this little book. My work will not be revealed prematurely. Should anyone wish to speculate about the truth, let him just ponder on the rich pageantry of words which I now cause to shower down upon him! 

The above introduction seems to imply that the book AP, contains some answers.  He also says his work won't be revealed prematurely, which also implies that it will be eventually.

Let a Gärtner be no breaker of fences, even if a Wagner leaves ruts in the road.

Gärtner can mean gardener so he is saying don't let the gardener break any fences - Wagner means wagon, and he warns that wagoners damage the roads by leaving ruts in the roads, both phrases relate to the two men's attempts to damage Bessler's reputation.

For greed is an evil plant.                                                    
Greed/money is the root of all evil

An anvil receives many blows. 
A driver drives. 
A runner runs.
The seer sees.
The buyer buys.
The rain drips down.
Snow falls. 
The shotgun shoots.
The bow twangs.

The above eight phrases describe the various forces available.  An anvil receives forceful impacts; a driver steers and whips a horse onward; a runner runs freely; the eye sees, it is a passive force; the buyer pays for his goods with items or cash of equal value; rain drips down slowly; snow falls lightly; the shot gun shoots explosively, and the bow twangs elastically..

A great fat herd of fat, lazy, plump horses wanders aimlessly.
This could apply to a point in rotation where the weights are neither pushing nor pulling, just hanging.
The flail would rather be with the thresher than with the scholar. 
The flail/whip/cane moves upwards faster than it moves downwards.

Children play with heavy clubs among the broken columns.
I think this could describe the actions of weighted levers, similar to items C and D on the Toys page.

Acrobats and shadow-boxers are as fleet and nimble as the wind.
Fast moving mechanisms.
The cunning cat slinks silently along and snatches nice juicy mice.
The dog creeps out of his kennel just as far as his chain will stretch. 
He knows how to please by playing with his little toys and nick-knacks.
He wags his tail, creeps through the hoop and is rewarded with pats on his paws by the stiff fops who watch him.
I think these are metaphors for the various actions of the mechanisms. hye will only be understood once the real mechanisms can be watched in action.

A wheel appears on the scene - is it really a wheel, for it does not have the normal type of rim. It revolves, but without other wheels inside or outside, and without weights, wind, or springs.
Seen sideways or full-face it is as resplendent as a peacock's tail. It turns to the right and to the left; it spins around in any possible direction, whether laden or empty.
 A poetic description of the wheel.

All things belong to one of the three kingdoms (animal, vegetable, matter) and - you have the physical evidence in front of you. Without such things as sulphur, salt and mercury all things will soon come to a standstill - the qualities of the elements are necessary to keep things going. Saturn, Mars and Jupiter are ready to join in any battle. Even the things we eat do not lose their
elemental influence - for it spreads itself through every limb and sinew of our bodies.
I think this could be an attempt to explain the actions and origins of the force he called 'heaviness', but we call 'gravity'.

A crab crawls from side to side. It is sound, for it is designed thus.
This describes the actions of the storks bill

Poltergeists often wander freely through locked doors.
This describes how gravity can have an effect on all matter, resting or falling.

But softly! - speak softly of all the marvels, lest the enemy grows wise! He will drench me with his spittle so that I will lose my temper and, in a sudden fit, cast aside the mantle that conceals my wheel! But he shall be thwarted in his desires! His snapping will not bring me to that point! Let that be brought home to him, for rather, I shall now magnanimously set down in my book the following specific questions which have in recent days been sent to me in the hand of One who is of high rank. 
A warning to himself not to give too much away - I wish!

My granddaughter Amy is in a rehab clinic trying to recover from a series of diseases which suddenly afflicted her about eighteen months ago.  

They are CRPS, (chronic regional pain syndrome), FND (functional neurological disorder) and EDS. (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) .

Please share the following link and/or donate if you wish to aid my granddaughter's treatment.


Thursday, 1 August 2019

The Triumphant Orffyrean Perpetual Motion Finally Explained! by Ken Behrendt

Sometimes I struggle to find a topic to write about and have had to resort to reposting “The Legend of Bessler’s Wheel”!  I don’t like to repeat stuff because it becomes boring but at least I can put something up which might catch the attention of someone who is/was unaware of Bessler.

There seems to be a lot of interest in Ken Behrendt’s book about Bessler, but I haven’t read it so I can’t comment from personal knowledge, but I welcome the fact that there is a book out there attempting to bring fresh information about the inventor.  Although I haven’t actually read the book, I was able to flip through various pages thanks to google books and I studied a number of Behrendt’s drawings relating to Bessler’s portrait, 

He has done an amazing job of extracting information from both portraits;  I use the word ‘amazing’ because the information he has found is so utterly at odds with the information which I have found elsewhere in Bessler’s publications that I cannot reconcile the two  hypotheses.  Unless there are two completely different concepts, unrelated to each other, one of them is wrong - or both are.

Strong words, and I mean no disrespect to Ken, and until I publish my own theory I cannot support my conclusions.  I’m pleased that Ken published his book and I encourage people to read it, I intend to buy a copy if only to check to see if my initial opinion is supported by the evidence he has found.  It provides a good subject for discussion and it introduces some new ideas about Bessler’s wheel which have been lacking lately.  Until my own work is published Ken’s is the only new piece of information out there.  I’m not sure how long it is since I published my books but it has been many years.


Sunday, 28 July 2019

Perhaps It’s the Journey, Not the Destination?

They say you should enjoy the journey, maybe more than the destination, but in my opinion the journey would look a lot more interesting from the destination! There are moments of utter exultation when you think you've cracked it, only to be followed by weeks of plodding trial and error. Trial and error can't be avoided sometimes, even when you have a firm design in mind, in fact when you think about it our entire research and experimentation is one long series of trials and errors!

I have received many offers of help over many years, to try to find the solution to Bessler’s wheel, and a recent comment gave me cause to reflect upon my constant refusal to accept such offers, no matter how well-intentioned.   Why do I not wish to be “helped”?

A long time ago, before even the BW forum came into existence, a small group of us joined together to try to brainstorm a solution.  We were situated in different countries so could only converse by email, but it was fun and exciting but ultimately we hit a wall.  Too many different ideas and opinions clashing.  We went our separate ways although some are still in touch.

“Help” is a misleading word, conjuring up images of success, but usually it comes with ramifications.  Initially the offer is free, but no one in my opinion could accept such help without, for instance, acknowledging such help, if the “help” resulted in a successful design.  Such acknowledgement is the thin end of a wedge leading to confusion over who did what and who deserves credit, and in the end there is potential for continual dispute.  Best avoided.

On occasion I have received, uninvited, designs and plans for a PM device, fortunately the concepts are unworkable and can be easily dismissed, but what if they had been valid?  I used the word “fortunately” deliberately because I would prefer to avoid any confusion in case of a resulting working device.  My response to such offers has to be carefully written, in the words of the sign which used to hang behind the bar in English pubs, “don’t ask for credit, a refusal often offends”.  I usually recommend that they try to build a rough model themselves or find someone who can do it for them.

But in the end, I work alone, preferring to build my devices, altering them as I see fit, and covering a lot of ground on the way and owing nothing to anyone.  I suspect, although I don’t know it for certain, that most of us are the same.  Some seek fame and fortune, some merely acknowledgement and I know of some who just would wish to publish their success anonymously, but most work alone, even if they often visit the BW forum or even my little world of this blog.

I only work on building wheels, although I have try to get to grips with simulations and animations,  but I took no pleasure from such endeavors.  To design a sim requires a finished design whereas building to a design allows minor or even major alterations which can become obvious in an instance during the build.  In my own experience for instance, a mechanism might require a slight alteration in its angle of response which you can immediately understand once you see it in action and the required alteration can be made in a few minutes.

One thing I've noticed over the years, some people post pictures of their ongoing builds and I have to admit they are often beautiful creations, unlike my own which appear to be cobbled together out of old oft-used parts from a previous iteration; and that's precisely what they are.  But why spend so much times and effort to build something of such artistry before you know if it will work?  Of course if I should succeed in building a working Bessler wheel, I shall have to build a new one of greater attractiveness, and hide the prototype out of sight, or should I boldly display it in all its rough and ready informality?  

The build continues, albeit at a snails pace!

My granddaughter Amy is in a rehab clinic trying to recover from a series of diseases which suddenly afflicted her about eighteen months ago.  

They are CRPS, (chronic regional pain syndrome), FND (functional neurological disorder) and EDS. (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) .

Please share the following link and/or donate if you wish to aid my granddaughter's treatment.


Sunday, 21 July 2019

Johann Bessler's Wheel and the Orffyreus Code

The Legend of Bessler's wheel.

On 6th June, 1712, in Germany, Johann Bessler (also known by his pseudonym, Orffyreus) announced that after many years of failure, he had succeeded in designing and building a perpetual motion machine.  For more than fourteen years he exhibited his machine and allowed people to thoroughly examine it.  Following advice from the famous scientist, Gottfried Leibniz, he devised a number of demonstrations and tests designed to prove the validity of his machine without giving away the secret of its design.

After more than thirty years he died in poverty.  He had asked for a huge sum of money for the secret, £20,000 which was an amount only affordable by kings and princes, and although many were interested, none were prepared to agree to the terms of the deal. Bessler required that he be given the money and the buyer take the machine without verifying that it worked.  Those who sought to purchase the wheel, for that was the form the machine took, insisted that they see the secret mechanism before they parted with the money. Bessler feared that once the design was known the buyers could simply walk away knowing how to build his machine and he would get nothing for his trouble.

This problem was anticipated by Bessler and he took extraordinary measures to ensure that his secret was safe, but he encoded all the information needed to reconstruct the machine in a small number of books that he published. It is well-known that he was prepared to die without selling the secret and that he believed that post humus acknowledgement was preferable to being robbed of his secret while he yet lived.

I became curious about the legend of Bessler’s Wheel, while still in my teens, and have spent most of my life researching the life of Johann Bessler (I’m now 74).  I obtained copies of all his books and had them translated into English and self-published them, in the hope that either myself or someone else might solve the secret and present it to the world in this time of pollution, global warming and increasingly limited energy resources.

It has recently become clear that Bessler had knowledge of the history of codes and adopted several completely different ones to disguise information within his publications.  I have made considerable advances in deciphering one of his codes.  Due to unfortunate family circumstances I am currently struggling to find the time to complete the build I have undertaken but I shall return to it as soon as possible and I sincerely believe that 2019 will see the reconstruction of Bessler’s wheel.

Johann Bessler published three books, and digital copies of these with English translations may be obtained from the links to the right of this blog.  In addition there is a copy of his unpublished document containing some 141 drawings - and my own account of Bessler’s life is also available from the links.  It is called "Perpetual Motion; An Ancient Mystery Solved?"  Bessler published three books; "Grundlicher Bericht", "Apologia Poetica" and "Das Triumphirende..."

I have also published Bessler's collection of 141 drawings and I have called it Maschinen Tractate, but it was originally found in the form of a number drawings of perpetual motion designs. Many of these have handwritten notes attached and I have published the best English translation of them that I was able to get. Bessler never published these drawings but clearly intended to do so at some point.

For some ideas about Bessler’s code why not visit one of my web sites at
One last thing.  Perpetual Motion machines have been utterly proscribed and Johann Bessler’s claims ridiculed - however, it seems that more than a handful of scientists have now come to the conclusion that it might theoretically be possible to design a mechanical system which is continuously out-of-balance and therefore will turn continuously using the repeated fall of weights for energy.  Gravity but not directly.  These open-minded people remain tight lipped for now, awaiting proof of their hypothesis. 

And on another matter: 

My granddaughter Amy is in a rehab clinic trying to recover from a series of diseases which suddenly afflicted her about eighteen months ago.  They are CRPS, FND and EDS.  Sorry for the alphabet abbreviations but you can google them if you are curious.

Please share the following link and/or donate if you wish to aid my granddaughter's treatment.


Thursday, 18 July 2019

50 years of Research into the Life of Johann Bessler.

Over the last few years I have acquired a fairly thick skin and I try to ignore the unflattering comments that are occasionally aimed in my direction.  Some recent suggestions about my character are disrespectful and I feel that I should try to set the record straight.

I've spent all my spare time over the last 50 years or so researching the legend of Bessler's wheel.  As a result of my research I self-published a biography of Bessler, Perpetual Motion, An Ancient Mystery Solved?

I also published four books authored by Bessler complete with translations into English, they are, Gruendlicher Bericht,  Apologia Poetica,  Das Triumphirende and Maschinen Tractate.  I don't know any German so I had to have the translations done for me.

I obtained a large amount of information over many years from English and German libraries consisting newspaper reports, letters and other documents. Still no German language skills, so more translation needed.

My first website went up in 1998 and I had to teach myself about computers and the internet and book publishing, I was an aircraft engineer back then and there wasn’t much call for computer literacy, nor internet savvy or self-publishing back in the 1990s.  

I've published several websites disclosing my findings on Bessler's codes etc, my ideas about how Bessler's wheel worked, kiiking, the remain of his windmill etc.

My intention then was to put as much information about the legend of Bessler’s wheel, out there as I possibly could.  Nothing’s changed and all I wanted then, as now, is for someone to succeed, me if possible, but anyone would do. I have already said that if I was to succeed, I don't wan't to patent it, I would just publish the whole thing freely so that no one could patent it.

I made a commitment to publish on a certain date which seemed achievable, but I failed to make it.  I’ve apologised and I gave my reasons.   I won’t be making any more commitments to do something on a certain date.  I don’t think I’ve broken any promises other than one I just mentioned.  This project has cost a lot of money and in no way has it financed holidays to Spain etc, and I utterly refute all the unpleasant comments and suggestions posted here lately.


Sunday, 14 July 2019

Johann Bessler the Showman.

When Johann Bessler discovered the secret of free, clean and simple energy generation, he didn’t concern himself with the ‘expert’s opinion that what he was claiming was impossible.  He knew instinctively if he could work out the correct arrangement of weights his wheel would spin.  He understood that the energy which made his wheels turn came from the weights, and they were made to fall and create an out of balance wheel by the action of gravity on them.  There was nothing magical about it, it was the natural heaviness of all things which had mass.  The heavier a weight was the more potential energy it had. 

When he found the right arrangement, the wheel began to rotate.  He had to stop it by force, which means that if he released it, it would begin to spin again, therefore it must have been permanently out of balance. Obviously to conserve the machine he fitted a brake so that it would not wear out its parts when not required to move.

It is not logical to suggest that he stopped it in a certain position so that it would begin to spin as soon as the brake was released.  There was no such position available, otherwise the wheel could not even begin to spin continuously and without permanent imbalance there would portions of each rotation which would present as slowing down and then speeding back up.  More than one witness remarked on the extremely steady and even rotation of the wheel.

We know that the wheel could be slowed down under load.  Early witnesses to the first wheel at Gera, were allowed to adjust the speed by means of a bolt which could be screwed in or out as desired, to apply a braking pressure.  We also know that the largest wheel, at Kassel, turned at 26 rpm, whenturning freely, but slowed to 20 rpm when lifting the box of bricks.  Again this is logical and not a negative factor, all machines tend to slow when under load.

I note that there are a few negative opinions expressed here about the potential of Bessler’s wheel.   No one can possibly know at this stage what potential there may be in this device, nor what other uses it may be adapted to.  We judge the potential power of Bessler’s wheel by the tests demonstrated over 300 years ago, but we cannot make accurate assumptions based on so little information.  Wolff suggested that the four times pulleys visible at the Merseburg test were needed to lift the box of stones, but we don’t know if that was necessary for the lift, or merely to slow it down for the witnesses.
That is just one example of the dangers of trying to assess the wheel’s potential from limited evidence.  That wheel turned at almost twice the speed of the Kassel wheel, although it was the same size but only just under a foot thick...why?  Did Bessler deliberately design it to turn slower?

The Merseburg wheel had an axle of just under six inches (5.6inches) and it turned at around 40 rpm although some reports indicated a speed of 50 rpm, perhaps when unloaded. A 5.6 inch axle has a circumference of 17.58 inches, so for a rope wrapped around the wheel it would travel 17.58 inches for each turn of the wheel.  40 turns would lift a weight more than 58 feet in one minute,  to the top of the Schloss Merseburg.

When Wolff visited Merseburg he commented on the pulley system and included it in his report,  suggesting that this might indicate that the wheel was not very powerful.  But there are a couple of  things to bear in mind about this report.

Firstly Wolff was on the brink of accepting an offer of a very senior position with the Czar of Russia, Peter the Great, and we know that the Czar was planning to buy Bessler’s wheel, and Wolff stated that he could improve the performance of the wheel if he were allowed to have access to it in his new position. So take his apparent dismissal of the wheel's power with a large pinch of salt.

Secondly, Bessler was the consummate showman and having noted Wolff’s comments about the pulleys he designed a wheel which moved more slowly but with the same amount of power.  I think Bessler added the pulleys at Merseburg, to slow down the lift because a one minute lift created its own problems.

For a start Bessler needed his brother down in the castle yard to load the chest of  bricks to the rope and shout when he was ready. Someone had to tell Bessler when to stop the wheel when the box reached the pulley, outside the window. Then he needed to reverse the lift back down to his brother and stop the wheel before it completely unravelled from the axle.  A second demonstration immediately could be arranged and repeated as often as wished, but how much better if he slowed the lift down fourfold. More time for each lift, more time for the witnesses to study the wheel in action, and fewer demonstrations necessary to show its lifting power without any loss in performance.

Also with  all the witnesses crowded into the machine room, watching Bessler, and peering out the windows to see the load going up and down, it must have been difficult to satisfy everyone present. No wonder he decided to make the wheel at Kassel turn more slowly. He did state that he could make wheels with different speeds and lifting capabilities and of various sizes.

One more thing; we note that the chest held about 70 lbs of stones.  Have you ever lifted 70lbs? The average hold luggage on an aircraft is about 50lbs, so 70lbs is probably more than sufficient to make the point.


Why Did Johann Bessler Leave Clues to How his Wheel Worked?

I have spent a large chunk of my life researching the life of Johann Bessler and trying to find as much written information about him, as p...