It took Orffyreus almost 10 years to invent perpetual motion machine. Orffyreus made numerous prior models and he went through
many failed devices before he was successful. He is said to have experimented
with no fewer than 300 different machines until he at last succeeded to invent a perpetual motion machine.
In his search for perpetual motion, Orffyreus conceived
a large number of probable perpetual motion designs and produced them in the form of drawings. We really can’t say out
of these how many models he might have actually tried. He referred to this
work as his 'Great Treatise on Mechanics', or Maschinen Tractate..
His drawings show all kinds of perpetual motion machines - mechanical, thermal,
wind and fluid systems. Orffyreus explores many useful concepts and mechanism by which perpetual motion can be achieved. However,
exuberance of over balancing wheels consisting of assembly of levers show that he was more inclined to designs of perpetual
motion run by gravity. Moreover, he drops vital clues to invent gravity driven perpetual motion machine. As no single illustration
is complete in itself, only by taking various illustrations together and combining them, one can reach the truth. Orffyreus
planned that after selling his wheel; he would publish his book with drawings annotated extensively to reveal the secret mechanism
in every detail. But unfortunately the wheel was never sold and his Maschinen Tractate remains embarrassingly unfinished.
The first page of Maschinen Tractate reads:
Further Demonstrations Regarding The Possibility And
Of Perpetual Motion.
NB. 1st May, 1733. Due
to the arrest, I burned and buried all papers that prove the possibility. However, I have left all demonstrations and experiments,
since it would be difficult for anybody to see or learn anything about a perpetual motion from them or to decide whether there
was any truth in them because no illustration by itself contains a description of the motion; however, taking various illustrations
together and combining them with a discerning mind, it will indeed be possible to look for a movement and, finally to find
one in them.
J. Collins has recently published 'Maschinen Tractate'. The web site http://www.orffyre.com has also published all 143 illustrations
accurately including complete translations of Bessler's accompanying hand written notes.
For drawings see page:
In the archives of Kassel library ( Universitaets Bibliothek Kassel )all the documents and a series of 141 woodcut
engravings prepared by Bessler are safely preserved. In the manuscript room a glass-enclosed bookcase consists of 1719 volume
of Orffyreus book with a long Latin title:
(BESSLER, Johann Ernst Elias, pseud. Orffyreus).
Triumphans Perpetuum Mobile Orffyreanum ... - Das Triumphirende Perpetuum Mobile Orffyreanum an alle Potentaten, hohe Häupter,
Regenten und Stände der Welt. In gebürender Submission zu etwanniger Erhandlung vorgestellet, und als ein Antrag entworffen,
von dessen Inventore. Title in red and black, parallel text in Latin and German. With 3 folding woodcut plates, and 2 full-page
woodcuts. 2 unn. leaves, 168 pp., 2 unn. leaves. 4to. Contemp. half vellum. Kassel, n. pr., 1719. CHF 4500.-- (EUR 2925.--)
First edition of this work on the famous perpetuum
mobile by J. E. E. Bessler (1680-1745), who changed his name in the cabbalistic manner of Albam into Orffyreus or Orffyre.
At the end of the present work, there are several
rhymed verses in Latin or German in praise of Bessler's perpetuum mobile. - Slightly browned throughout as usual, otherwise
a well-preserved copy of this outstanding work.
Museum also consists of a huge and ancient bound volume of papers, easily five inches in thickness and maybe twelve
by eighteen inches in flat measure. It holds hundreds of hand-written pages - separate documents of diverse size, almost all
of them in German, a few in French. Many are letters, some are inventories, and others appeared to be legal documents. The
dates ranges from 1712 to 1746 and a good many are signed by Bessler himself, but in the curious affectation of an anagram
he used. 141 wood engravings have a small format annotated extensively, perhaps by Bessler himself.
Anyone interested in ordering Maschinen Tractate from the Kassel Library
should write to Sylvia v. Hilchen at the Kassel liberary in Germany.
Her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org kassel.de
and the web site http://www.uni-kassel.de/bib/
The site provides form to entertain queries from visitors. On this web site you can also find list of libraries
around Europe that have books by Bessler.
Send them a written request on the form or via by Post Office snail mail, of what you want and what
you are going to do with the documents. They want to know if the intent is personal research or publishing or sharing with
groups. They will send you back an order form in English or German that should be sent back. When the order is filled they
will write again to tell you the price and you should send the check right away to meet the date deadline. Documents can be purchased as paper photocopies and positive or negative
film etc. Form shows the charges in euro dollar and other payment details.