Very few particulars of his personal life have come down to us. “If Orffyreus had lived a century later he would
have been pursued by prying journalists, and we would have a detailed history of the rest of his life.” Says Inquisitor, Warfalcon of Ultima
The dream of perpetual motion undoubtedly can be a reality but unfortunately,
putative law of the conservation of energy, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, has put mankind into
dark. In other words, law erroneously states that you cannot get more energy out of a machine than you put into it. So it is irritating to those who believe in perpetual motion. We
have to admit that many inventors in past built perpetual motion machine that have defied all attempts at explanation. Story of Orffyreus is indeed unique. Orffyreus was born in Germany in the year 1681
when Germany split into many quasi states and was recovering from losses that were caused by epidemic plague and Thirty years
war. His original name was Johann Ernst Elias Bessler. He belonged to Zittau, Saxony in Germany. Zittau is now a city in present day Germany very close to the
border with Poland and also close to the Czech Republic.
· His Family
In his book, Collins provides additional information. His father was Andreas Bessler and was what
was termed a day-labourer, which according to Collins means that he was available for work and hired by the day. His mother
was Maria (nee Mauck). They were married in 1680 (on the 6th Sunday after Epiphany). Maria had a sister, Regina.
Bessler’s grandfather was George Bessler, also a day-labourer and his wife was Maria (nee Schutz). After she died in
1693 he remarried, 14th June,1694 a Miss Rosina Schwartzbachs. George died in February 1701. Andreas and Maria had Bessler
christened on Tuesday 6th May 1681. Between 1683 and 1693 had five more sons three of whom died in infancy. The parents went
to live with Bessler and remained with him until their deaths. His mother, Maria died in July or August 1727.
Collins tells us that Bessler’s brother, Gottfried was christened on 26th May 1688. Bessler married Anne Rosin Mauersberg
and they had one daughter. Some time after she died in 1726, Bessler remarried and, Collins believes, had two more daughters
who married a preacher and a blacksmit. Church took the responsibility of educating him. It seems that his father sowed early seeds of mechanical interest
in Orffyreus. At childhood, Orffyreus learnt his first lesson of building wheel from his father. His father made a small toy
wheel for him to play with. ..."(On p. 23 of Collins' book). Orffyreus, son of a
skilled mason also learnt architecture from his father as he made drawings of a great many ancient buildings, including baths,
basilicas, amphitheatres, and temples, particularly studying the construction of architectural elements, such as vaults and
cupolas. The object of his architectural researches, however, was not to learn to reproduce architecture, but to enrich the
architecture of his own time and to perfect his engineering skills. He learnt basic mathematical and mechanical principles.
When he was young, he wanted these mathematical principles of beauty to be those seen by all observers.
Orffyreus was a mechanical prodigy.
Orffyreus was one of a extraordinary kind. His creative ability was soon apparent. Without any formal training in science,
largely unfamiliar with the details of the works of scientist, Orffyreus took up interest in practical mechanics as an amateur,
but with great enthusiasm. Alden E. Park also mentions that young Orffyreus was an exceptional student of such things as science,
mathematics, languages, and mechanics. Among his many skills, he knew how to build clocks, watches, mills, and organs.
He also understood smelting and casting. “Like Leonardo, he seems to have been a man of many talents, and studied theology,
medicine and painting as well as mechanics. And in his early thirties he announced that he had discovered the secret
of perpetual motion.” says Inquisitor, Warfalcon of Ultima.
Orffyreus eventually became
so skilled and dexterous that he was able to master new and unfamiliar techniques in a very short time. This attention to
techniques, which had developed from an intelligent curiosity, became a habit. He had fascination for novel inventions. Orffyreus
felt that he had to master new technique before he had even considered whether it was of any use to him, so that over the
years his technical knowledge became most impressive. His love for first hand discovery of the secrets of life and nature,
his penetrating vision to read spiritual principles behind scientific laws man's physical, biological and others - were unique.
Orffyreus was a unique virtuoso. He traveled extensively and learned many trades. In the time
of the Orffyreus, science and art were not separated: you could be an inventor and designer, an experimenter and a poet, a
dreamer and an entrepreneur all at once. He became skilled in various crafts and was fascinated by secret doctrines.
He had a desire to be a member of esoteric circles and learn occult. He earned his livelihood by designing and applying
medical cures. Perpetual motion was the main cause of his perpetual mobility and Orffyreus became so restless that he
was incapable of staying in one place for any length of time, and was always looking for a change of scenery and for new impressions.
During his lifetime, he had traveled the length and breadth of Europe. The haste with which he did everything was abnormal.
He always felt that he was going to discover something great. Deep below this turbulence, it is not hard to imagine
that ‘seeds of perpetual motion’ definitely existed in his soul in a potential form, which would flower
at a suitable time. He was a pious man. His longing to have vision of God motivated him to meet rabbis*, priests, and those knowledgeable in religion and occult
doctrines. Moreover, these people may have blessed him to achieve perpetual motion. It is possible that someone
among them raised interest into him to invent a machine, which would move forever without inputs of energy .i.e. a perpetual
motion machine that would be a blessing to mankind.
Young Orffyreus was Jack-of-all-trades but later he became
master of perpetual motion at the age of 31. He lived an adventurous life and wandered as a glasscutter, clock maker, wood
turner, gem carver, copper engraver, organ builder, and soldier, which took him to many European countries. Then, at
the age of 20, Orffyreus felt he had to return to Germany. He settled near his native town and started working on machines.
Now by dedicating his life to perpetual motion, he decided to direct his remarkable energy into perpetual motion which he
though would be great technology that was both liberating and civilizing but was beyond the understanding of even famous names
in science. The nature of the subject he finally chose to undertake and solve to perfection displays his genius. He concentrated
on perpetual motion with all his resolve. He tried a large number of designs but none of them worked. However, every failure
guided him to improve something and add it into the next design. He tried hard yet success eluded him. It distressed
him and caused big frustration in his mind.
His financial position
was in shambles. He needed money to continue his experiments so he had no option but to leave his work on perpetual motion
for a while. He decided to enter the service of a relative, an organ-builder, and technician. Orffyreus became interested
in use of machines to eliminate hand labor, for example sawing timber, for working the bellows of the furnaces, for pumping
the water out of mines and running all other types of machinery. He felt quite at home in any factory.
Orffyreus was the type of man who was asked
to investigate the trouble in machineries. Factory man would often invite him to repair the trouble. As an apprentice,
he visited smaller German towns, venturing as far as Prague. He learned a lot about the nature of forces and knew how to direct them to achieve
desired ends. He acquired extensive practical skills in designing and operating levers and transmission
structures. He spent much time in the investigation of hoisting machines, engines for raising water, water wheels, water mills,
water screws, Ctesibios's pump, water organs, odometers, and he passed from peace engines to war ones, catapults or scorpiones,
ballistae, stringing and tuning of catapults, siege engines, tortoises for filling ditches, Hegetor' s ram and tortoise.
His success in resolving the mechanical problems gave Orffyreus an incentive to concentrate further on the general problems
of machines - their economies and efficiencies but Orffyreus went further, far ahead until he invented perpetual motion.
*Perpetual Motion: An Ancient Mystery Solved? J.Collins
* Spiritual leader of a Jewish congregation; qualified to
expound and apply the halakhah and other Jewish law. His biographer Collins mentions that Orffyreus was an
intermediary between the Jesuit priest and the elderly Rabbi in Prague. (pages: 25-26, 185, 190 ) Collins wrote on his p.25,
‘As was his custom, Orffyreus extracted as much knowledge as he could from the old man, learning something of Hebrew,
and ancient Hieroglyphics, “the language of nature and the writings of angels”.