While wheel remained on exhibition in the Garden shed
for three months, rumors continued to spread. Those who doubted the truth began
to wonder if Count Karl had lost his conscience to spend money for the sponsorship of a hoax.
Karl himself did not want to prevail the rumors and confused situation for an indefinite period.
Frank Edward* tells us:
“Count Karl pressed Orffyreus for an answer in the form of a demonstration which would end ever
going criticism once and for all; or, if it failed in that, one which would bring to an end the Count's lengthy and costly
sponsorship of the device. People were beginning to wonder if Count Karl had
lost his mind, and it was high time that he proved his own case as well as that of the inventor.”
Gärtner and his ‘gang’ continued their vicious campaign by producing new pamphlets. They accused that that Orffyreus machine would fail to move for the duration longer than two weeks. This criticism again irritated Orffyreus. To give a proper reply to his enemies, Orffyreus
also requested Count Karl, to support the test in which his machine would be working for more than two weeks.
After the wheel had been observed in operation for three months by many people,
of Hesse-Cassel and from elsewhere, of high rank and of low, to give an end to controversy Count Karl decided to appoint few
experts for the examination of his wonderful machine. In a field where so little
is known or nothing is known there can be no expert and who can qualify as an expert except the inventor himself? However,
Count Karl decided to call men who held repute in their own fields. Count Karl had many contacts in scientific circle.
Count Karl was smart enough to form a committee comprising of distinguished men to conduct the
investigations. Its members formed a broad front of talent and integrity. It included
some eminent men such as Professor Gravesend of Leyden; Doctor Dietrich of Bohsen; Friedrich Hoffman, described as a famous
physician and an authority on mechanics; Christian Wolff, Chancellor of the University of Halle and John Rowley, famed designer
of mathematical instruments. About 1705, he constructed a planetarium for his patron The Earl of Orrery after a design by
George Graham. They were made to indicate mechanically the movements of our nearest planets. Some were very complicated and
gave detailed movements of each planet. There were other members of less renown, but experts in exposing the tricks of a fraudulent
inventor, which Orffyreus never was. All members felt pride on being invited
as examiners and special guest of Count Karl.
After wheel remained
on exhibition in the castle for three months, and was visited by many learned men and common folks, Count Karl asked Orffyreus
to shift his heavy self-moving wheel to the large room situated in the middle castle of Weissenstein that was large enough
to accommodate the machine and had plenty of space around it to carry out the experiments.
It is reported that the room had
stone walls four feet thick and one small entry door, making it easy to seal and guard during the test. To counter charges
that Orffyreus’ huge wheel was driven by a man or an animal from inside, the test period was set for a fortnight in
duration. For this reason, Orffyreus had to dismantle the machine so that it could be moved from garden shed to the proposed
room in the castle, "where there were no contiguous walls”. Orffyreus was not satisfied with external look of his machine,
he desired to adorn it with beautiful colors and drawings, but he had no time.
On 31st of October 1717 Orffyreus
transferred the wheel to proposed room in the castle. On 12 November 1717 Count Karl, his ministers and various officials
came to look at the wheel. Orffyreus greeted them when they entered the large room; they found a huge wheel in the center
of the room covered with oilcloth. Their measurement showed that it was 12 feet in diameter and slightly more than 14
inch in thickness. They also observed that it turned on an iron shift about three quarters of an inch in diameter.
The material used by Orffyreus, according to their reports was, lightwood covered with oilcloth which inventor had used to
conceal the mechanism by tightly stretching it from hub to rim.
After Karl and his ministers observed it in motion for a while,Count
Karl ordered room to be sealed up and left wheel to run for a fortnight. The doors and
windows of the room were tightly sealed, in such a way that not even a bird could enter without leaving traces behind. Two
weeks later, on 26th November 1717 to the appointed place, Karl and his entire team arrived. They opened the seals,
which they verified were undisturbed. Then, the guards who attended the room where Orffyreus machine was located opened the door. Count Karl
took off his hat and entered into the room. Other members of the committee followed
him, as in a herd sheep would follow their leader. Orffyreus
entered last. Orffyreus machine was ready for the demonstration and examination by a body of distinguished persons.
This was a climax
of his career, a high time to prove his case before great men of science. To resolve this dilemma investigators decided that
after examination was over, they would seal off the room. They made a rapid search to locate any point of contact they thought
might move the wheel, but they were not successful. They also examined his wheel
with the tools they had devised themselves. First, one member started the wheel
by giving it a little push. Wheel began to revolve and augmented its speed to
twenty-six revolutions per minute. Another member noted the time with the help
of his watch. They also observed that once started, it required tremendous power
to stop the wheel. They closely examined the possibility of any connection from
the outside source of power but no fraud was detected.
Examiners made several experiments to satisfy them. They felt compelled to admit that perpetual motion was not only possible but was then there in front of
them .It was almost impossible for them to conceive the elaborate apparatus that would be necessary to produce the all effects
observed by them. Wheel made 26 revolutions in a minute but when a Archimedean screw for raising water" was attached to its
axle by means of a rope; in that case the speed dropped to 20 revolutions a minute.
were testing the machine, few members talked to Orffyreus raising questions about his plans and his machine. Orffyreus confidently answered them. They also tested his knowledge in mechanics. Whatever Orffyreus answered
was authentically original, that proved he was not a parrot, pope or a priest!! This
time, through his finished manners, he was able to impress the committee. Believing that he alone was expert in perpetual
motion, he expressed his thoughts frankly. His statements were so phrased that they left little ground for argument, his accents
were so confident that his talks sounded like the last word upon the matter, entire board couldn't help being impressed by
the air of his quite assurance. His finished manners produced a favorable impression
upon the board members to recommend his case.
After several experiments
had been conducted, during which the wheel had supplied power to perform small tasks, like raising weights, raising water
by attaching a Archimedean screw etc. they unanimously agreed that it was a genuine case of perpetual motion. Convinced of the self-motion of the wheel, then, the board of learned investigators again examined the
room, every possible place of egress or entrance. Windows and adjoining areas all were sealed perfectly. Then they left the
room and locked the door leaving the wheel spinning merrily at its usual rate.
To eliminate any remaining
doubt and to ensure that the lock on the door was untouched during their absence; they sealed it with wax bearing the imprint
of their several devices, which they had brought for that purpose.
an interval of 42 days, on 4 January 1718, examiners were again on the spot, they checked seals on door and found them proper.
Then, they removed the seals, entered into the room. They all were amazed to
see that wheel was still moving at its natural rate defying the accepted
opinions of the great men of science that such a thing like perpetual motion was impossible.
* *Bessler’s Wonderful Wheel (Article, 1956) by