· THE WHEEL AT GERA ( 1712 )
Collection of Clues about Bessler Wheel
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There are two modes of historical composition, the artistic and the scientific. In representing story of Orffyreus and his perpetual motion machines, Ramananda has followed a mixed pattern. Perpetual motion, in a subject so cheerful as that to which his book “The Secret Doctrine of Perpetual Motion Revealed” is devoted, the romantic and the scientific are altogether present. In artistic composition, man and his imagination is at the focus. It means that man is the originator of events; therefore historian selects some prominent individual, pictures him under a fanciful form, and makes him the hero of a romance. So does Ramananda. In his work Orffyreus is portrayed as a hero of perpetual motion. However, his artistic portrayal does not necessarily invalidate the essential facts. The artistic style in many cases may give origin to compositions, which, however much they may interest or delight us, are but sometimes unscientific. On the other hand, the scientific mode of composition insists on facts and often lacks human values and beauty. It emphasize   that human affairs present an unbroken chain, in which each fact is antecedent the offspring of some preceding fact, and the parent of some subsequent fact. The story of Orffyreus as portrayed by Ramananda suggests that men do not control events, but that events control men. In spite of his hard work Orffyreus fails in the end. If Leibniz had not died, things for Orffyreus would have been different.   These unfortunate events sternly impress us with a conviction of the irresistible dominion of law, and the insignificance of human exertions.

Before we enter into the dialogues, let us recapitulate previous part of the story.


Count Karl had good interest in science and he often enjoyed scientific discussions with scientist. In previous pages we have read that in 1721 Joseph Emmanuel Fischer or Baron Fischer (1693- 1742), an architect in court of Austria and Willem Jacob van Gravesande (1688 - 1742), physicist and friend of Newton examined Orffyreus machine. They were fully convinced that Orffyreus was a genuine inventor.


When Count Karl learnt about Gravesande’s book and especially about his Magic lantern in it, he decided to call him from Leiden to demonstrate him his physico-mathematical experiments.  Soon Gravesande arrived and demonstrated his experiments. Count Karl also used this opportunity to learn physicist’s views on Orffyreus perpetual motion.  So they fell into a lengthy discussion on perpetual motion – whether Orffyreus’ wheel really was a true piece of perpetual motion. The Landgrave asserted that it was, but Gravesande could not believe it.  He already had seven-year experience of exposing the tricks of fraudulent inventors.  At this instance, he also expected that he would be able to expose the trick so he eagerly desired to examine Orffyreus machine.  Count Karl ordered Orffyreus to demonstrate his machine to learned Gravesande, but without telling him who Gravesande was. Orffyreus obeyed the order and demonstrated his machine in the presence of the Landgrave. 


 From here, Ramananda takes up the story and recast it in a dialogue form in his book. The following excerpts taken from the chapter “Dialogues at the Castle of Weissenstein” are interesting to read..

Dialogues Begin Here 


How did you stumble on such a treasure?’ asked Count Karl.


“I have many different kinds of machine all running on different principles.  They can be moved by weights, balls, springs, internal gears, internal water, oil, alcohol and wind1. Sir I had a strangely invigorating dream prior to inventing my machine.’  Orffyreus replied.


Would you explain it? asked Gravesande.

A vague feeling of ‘wanting something’ developed strongly in me. I had a vague desire. Day and night, I was restless for that, I knew not what. I asked God for help. Then I was looking different visions of nature. One night I had an invigorating dream that set me on my perpetual motion journey I acknowledge God’s help in helping me to understand and consider things that I might not. It was all God’s grace.’ Orffyreus answered.


‘Still, I am amazed how you could invent it. Surely, you are a genius! ’ Count Karl exclaimed.

‘As far as I can see there is nothing particular in me to distinguish me or set me apart from my fellow beings, I can only describe my self as an ordinary human being, a cleric in the service of God.  I cannot think of anything in me on which I can lay my fingers and say that, that probably was what procured for me this reward or grace. Then why did God was kind enough to accept me  or more correctly select me for this invention? I really don’t know.’

Orffyreus spoke in a submissive manner.


“Tell us precisely about the various mechanical parts your huge wheel contains?” Gravesande enquired.

The wheel is supported between two broken columns; cut out for bearings.  My wheel is an assembly of many parts all in motion for the sake of motion. It moves as rain drops drip or snowflakes fall. In my machine a hammer blows on an ordinary anvil; the Driver drives; the Runner runs; Seer sees; Buyer buys; the Shotgun Shoots and the Bow twangs.’ Orffyreus replied.

 ‘Sorry, I don’t understand what you say; how is it possible?’  Gravesande mumbled.


'It is easily possible, you will see it for yourself.’ Replied Orffyreus.

‘I am not convinced of this arrangement at all. Perhaps I should understand your wheel better from the drawing, if you could draw, which shall also make it easier to discuss.’  Gravesande desired.

Is it really a wheel?  For it does not have a normal rim. Rim that you see is just to hide the mechanism. If I uncover it you would then ask whether this is really a wheel.   My wheel revolves, but without other wheels inside or outside, and without weights, wind or springs.  You see sir, when my wheel seen sideways or full-face it is as bright as a peacock’s tail.  It turns to the right and the left; it spins around in either direction, laden or empty.2’ Orffyreus explained to professor.


‘Would you explain me the working and internal structure of the machine? Gravesande again insisted.

Are ye also yet without understanding? sir, friend of Newton the great! That shall be done, sir but only after I am paid my money, which his Excellency, Karl, has promised me to pay.  But sir, for your greater satisfactions, I want you to move the machine and also let me demonstrate you a few experiments which I have planned to convince you about the ability of the machine.  I am sure it will surprise you.’  Orffyreus replied.

Orffyreus continued: ‘You can start the machine by giving a jerk in whatever fashion you want, clockwise or anticlockwise.  Once you start the machine it would go forever until its machinery lasts.  The force of your hand with which you start the machine will multiply forever inside, and then you can extract power from the machine to do all useful work for indefinite period of time.  It will never exhaust in its power. It is so well designed that it is not necessary to stop it to carry out repairs or servicing.3” Orffyreus said proudly.


‘Something from nothing ! That is indeed a great achievement. Though it is hard to believe but no doubt  Orffyreus has achieved it! Bravo! Count Karl exclaimed.

‘What do you mean?  Do you mean to disapprove popular opinion of all the leaders in natural philosophy?  That is whatever is gained in motion is not lost equally.’  Gravesande interrogated. I cannot believe because Sir Newton also holds the opinion that seekers after perpetual motion are trying to get something from nothing. What you have said is contrary to the laws of nature.’ Gravesande argued. 

‘I neither disapprove nor I have courage to go against the popular doctrine, but my machine, which creates enough force to do all useful work for an indefinite period without feeding on any force, is direct proof.  It contradicts popular opinion of man of natural philosophy that vis viva is always conserved.’ Orffyreus maintained.  ‘In my opinion sir, Nature operates on the same principle and display same mechanism in celestial movements. I consider gravity to be a creative force’ Orffyreus added further.

‘Does your machine draw on gravity? asked Gravesande.

‘It draws? I would not prefer to say that; rather I would say, sir, my machine moves under influence of out-flowing river of swirling force that we call gravity. Same force moves the heavens, in the similar manner. Undoubtedly, the falling weights are the only source of power4’ Orffyreus answered.


Orffyreus said further: ‘I do not know whether so far any scientist has sincerely experimented with gravity and ever made rigorous efforts to invent perpetual motion as I did.  What have they done?  I consider their weird speculations on gravity are far from truth. Borelli understood the role of gravitation in planetary motion but not perpetual motion, Robert Hooks ideas on gravity are also far ahead of Newton, I am sorry to say that their theoretical speculations on gravity has no practical relevance.

‘I do not agree with that, how do you know that?’ Gravesande objected.


‘This I was told by Leibniz when he took interest in my machine. I wanted to learn calculus from him and he desired to learn perpetual motion from me. He told me that Borelli and Hook had already discovered law of universal gravitation. Unfortunately, Leibniz died even before taking part in examination of my pendulum at Kassel. If he were alive today, things would have been different to scientific world and me. ’  Orffyreus replied with a deep sigh.


‘I am sorry for that. Of course, Borelli and Hook were not far from truth, but their ideas were mere conjectures.  What was needed was a rigorous proof that the planetary motions obey the forces of attraction and that the existence of gravitation really explains the observed regularities of these motion.  Only Issac Newton did this by propounding law of gravitation.  I give full credit to him for his discovery.’  Gravesande gave the explanation.

But my machine clearly demonstrates that planetary motion is definitely perpetual motion, there is no point in rejecting perpetual motion, I regret learned man do it without understanding true nature of forces in Nature, when these natural forces are reinforced by majestic art of perpetual motion, they serve indeed as inexhaustible source of energy. Once this art is learned, there is no mystery in it ”  Orffyreus asserted.

‘Orffyreus, let me know, at least, what is the real source of motive power in your machine. I cannot believe gravity as the source of motive power. Does it move by power of magnets?’  Gravesande enquired in a clever manner.

No, I wonder why you don’t believe my words. It moves by gravity only! The same force, which keeps the planets always moving  on in their orbits with great power  even in presence of friction..’  Orffyreus exclaimed.

‘That is false, I cannot believe.’  Gravesande rejected what Orffyreus said.


‘Do you want to claim that you know celestial laws better than what sir Issac Newton understands?’  Gravesande retorted.


No sir, I do not mean that. I am nothing in front of him nor I wish myself to be  compared with anyone . However, I will exercise my right of freedom to express my opinions without being dogmatic and without fearing what big men have said before.’  Orffyreus said.

‘But movements of planets are due to inertia and force of gravity. They have ideal conditions of movement too like absence of friction in their paths, which are easiest one. When a thing is set to move, if there is no friction, thing will go on moving forever without a stop. Same is the case with planetary motion.’  Gravesande explained.


“How significant is the problem of friction in your machine? How do you eliminate it? Fischer asked.


As raindrops drip or snowflakes fall, they sweep and cleanse the air of dust particles that would be a detriment to the operation of my pendulum.  My pendulum for reliable, long-lasting service should be operated in a clean nearly dust-free environment.’  Orffyreus replied.

‘Mr. Orffyreus, you again speak in parables.’ Gravesande made a complaint.


“You are talking in circles, try to be specific about motion of various parts in your machine.  Fischer also wanted a clarification.

My machine is capable of moving itself endlessly, friction does not stop it, moreover it can bear load in the form of the work it does. I am sure my machine is analogues to design of planetary motion. This is why I call it to be a true piece of perpetual motion because it imitates the mechanism, which keeps planets moving forever in their specific paths even in presence of the friction. Once you understand the design of my machine, sir, you will stop to advocate that it is only the inertia and the gravity that moves the planets. Without incorporating perpetual motion in scheme of celestial mechanics, it is hard for me to conceive regular movements of heavenly bodies. ’  Orffyreus explained.


‘In cosmos, I believe a multitude of forces wrestle with each other and they act on planets too.  Rays of sun exerts pressure and strike against the planets, they cause tail of broom star to appear behind it.  Seasons and storms work against the motion of earth yet world moves with its unending regularity.  All proves to me that friction exists; yet, they move forever.  Without Perpetual motion, they will fail to maintain their motion in the course of time.  Design of my machine is analogues to world system. I have put eight heavy weights in my machine, which represents eight planets of our world. The large axle of my machine represents the sun. Heavy weights in my machine encircle around the axle to form an elliptical path, in the similar manner, as planets encircle around the sun. Whilst moving around axle, they recede and come closer to the center.  They balance against each other and impart motion to the wheel.’  Orffyreus explained further.

 ‘I have also investigated that my machine obeys the Kepler’s laws of motion therefore it represents perfect picture of the world.’  Orffyreus added..


‘Excellent Orffyreus!’  Count Karl exclaimed.


“Tell us something how does your machine creates such an instant force”? Gravesande enquired.


My machine is exceedingly force greedy or selfish or you may say "thrifty" if you prefer in that it greedily draws force to itself.  It works in layered parts but it fights force-loss-friction at all places possible, so as not to lose any of the precious force which in greedy fashion it sips out of the force -rich raging river of gravity.  My machine moves under influence of out flowing river of swirling force that we call gravity.” Orffyreus replied.

“ Is there any hope you will ever uncover your machine to let the world know your secrets?” asked Gravesande who was then embarrassed by Orffyreus explanations.


The covering mantle wheel around my invention helps to visually protect it from the curious-greedy people of this world who would claim my invention as their invention without giving me the one hundred thousand Thalers payment that I have asked for my invention and have so patiently been waiting for.” Orffyreus replied.

“Orffyreus, your explanation is too difficult to understand.  May be, you speak in your personal language because you are not prepared to speak us your mechanism in a direct manner. We shall be more pleased with your explanation such that it could be grasped even by children.” Said  Gravesande with a hope that Orffyreus may be prompted to a simpler explanation.

“His excellency, Count Karl who has a perfect understanding of mathematics, assured me that the machine is so simple that a carpenter's boy could understand and make it after having seen the inside of this wheel.” Fischer supported Orffyreus.

Learned professor and great men! I will have no problem in explaining my invention to children in my ‘Fortress of God’ as my invention is simple enough to be understood by them. For your satisfaction, I will try to explain you, as you desire in a manner as if I am not addressing to the learned professors assembled in this graceful hall of castle of Weissenstein, at the invitation of his majesty Count Karl, but to the little children in park who are curious to understand my invention. Anyway, its going to be a historical moment! Here I do it for you sir.” Orffyreus told.

The levers loaded with heavy weights as viewed from the side, may be compared to side views of many children playing with very heavy clubs among tall broken columns.  The strongest of the children cannot lift the lightest of the clubs.  Still, each child can swing (or you might call it "step" as it uses a club as a "leg") from the top of one broken column to the top of the next broken column by positioning his heavy club on the ground between the two close columns and holding on to the handle end to swing over to the top of the next column. Then he rotates the handle end of his club to maneuver it between his current column and his next intended column so that he can again "step" or swing a small angle over to the top of the next intended broken column.  If the clubs are even heavier by being double-ended, then instead of rolling them to the next position, they may be alternatively transported between the columns by switching ends.  A double club may be moved in seesaw fashion by leaning it against the current broken column that the child is on and rolling it over the top of the column (assuming that there is enough room for the child to stay on top of the column).  The double club is pivoted with a circular motion with one end going up while the other end goes down.5’ Orffyreus gave a simple explanation that even child would grasp.

What material, parts of your machine made of?’ Fischer asked.   

Each thing belongs to either the animal or vegetable or matter kingdom.  My pendulum invention is exclusively made of matter as you can plainly see by examining the physical parts which I have described before you in my little book.  Animals and plants are made of matter but they have something extra (spirit that is passed down to them).  In the analogies that I make in my  little book, there are living as well as material comparisons that can be made to parts of it. It almost has a life of its own, as fine things working within it are important to it working.


‘People are not things and so do not fall within the three kingdoms of things but I even give my invention some human-like partial analogies in this little book.  You should be able to see how impressed I am with my invention and you should be impressed with it as well.  I think this is Godly zeal instead of pride as the something-extra that it has comes not to us from the carnal me but to us from God.  I would never have constructed my invention without the explicit help from God.  Above and below I allude to some symbolic comparisons that are in regard to even higher kingdoms than that of mortal man.’ Orffyreus again gave a long explanation.6                                                              

The physical evidence for my invention is placed before you sir as I have also stated the same  in my book Truimpant Orffreum.’ Orffyreus replied.

‘How many wheels you have designed so far?’  Count Karl asked.

This is fifth one, sir.’  Orffyreus replied.

‘ What about those four?’  Count Karl asked.

One, which I had designed first, is still moving in my village and its movement is being used to draw water and irrigate the fields. Other wheels, I have dismantled them all because it has been  a problem for me to keep people away from the wheels and take risk of letting them to know the secret.’  Orffyreus replied.

‘Excellency, I would suggest, instead indulging in discussion further, it is better if we could complete rest of the examinations. I have to report to Sir Newton also’  Gravesande suggested.


‘What else we need to examine?  We have checked all inlets and outlets in the room.  Other members have grounded their ears on the floor to hear the noise. We have seen wheel raising weights and water with Archimedean screw.  Orffyreus demonstrations are impressive and prove the ability of the wheel to move forever without a fraud.  Do you still have some doubts?’  Count Karl questioned.


Gravesande took out a magnetic needle from his pocket and flashed it in front of the committee members. 


‘Let me try to ascertain if wheel is driven by permanent magnets.’  Gravesande expressed his intention.

No sir, I have already told you that my wheel is driven by gravity though I admit that permanent magnet too is inexhaustible source of power and capable of creating a perpetual motion if supported by a right design.’  Orffyreus tried to explain.


‘But how can a magnet create a continuous motion?  It is against the principle again.’  Gravesande remarked.


‘Yes, I equally doubt it.’ Baron Fischer added. 


‘When a magnet attracts a piece of iron with its power, the movement is analogues to a piston that is moved by force of steam.  But in later there are valves that directs steam to push piston in a reverse direction also- hence cause continuous motion backward and forward but how is it possible with a magnet which can only give rise to one type of force – attraction only? Am I correct professor Gravesanded?’  Count Karl enquired.


Yes, indeed your excellency!  Even if one uses some technique to cut off or intercept attraction or repulsion of a permanent magnet, such technique too would involve in all cases just that gain or loss of vis viva which is demanded by principle.  Moreover, it is impossible to intercept a gravity or magnetic force to create a perpetual motion.’  Gravesande maintained.

For your kind information, reverend sirs, I would like to remind you all here  that Peter Peregneius was able to invent a perpetual motion machine, which used power of magnets. By using magnets, I can also design a machine, which would go forever. However, I have a practical difficulty in getting powerful magnets therefore, I have not tried it.  Moreover, I do not need to do so as I have already designed gravity perpetual motion machine with great power and  far superior to a magnetic perpetual motion machine.’  Orffyreus told.

Gravesande took magnetic needle in his hand and approached the wheel to examine it.

Oh!  he still thinks me to be a charlatan like the rest.’  Orffyreus mumbled and expressed his disappointment.

‘Let him examine and satisfy himself that there are no magnets in your wheel.  He is a stubborn examiner.’  Count Karl said.


Gravesande moved around the wheel like a peahen who in her delight and excitement moves around a peacock. He noticed no deflection in magnetic needle.  After sometime, he hid himself behind the wheel for sometime. In the mind of Orffyreus, it raised the suspicion that professor was intentionally tampering his wheel to steal the secret. Chandra Mohan Pradhan mentions that with some sharp tool that Gravesande  had brought with himself, professor artfully created a hole in the canvass and dropped some sniff in to the wheel with hope that if some man was inside he would come out sneezing. But nothing happened.  Unmindful of what Gravesande was doing behind the machine Orffyreus was busy with his demonstration but when he found Gravesande for a longer time standing there behind the wheel, he could not stop himself and rushed near the spot where Gravesande was standing.  Orffyreus rushed straight up to Gravesande as if he would collide. Orffyreus got furious when he detected Gravesande peeping through the hole to watch the internal machinery of the machine.


Orffyreus put his hand inside his pocket; it scarred Count Karl and other members who thought as if with some fixed intention of stabbing with his pocketknife, Orffyreus was going to kill the professor.  Nevertheless, what Orffyreus pulled from his pocket was not a knife, but a full scape document, which he thrust under the indignant nose of Gravesande 

‘Hang me sir if you find my words wrong. There are no magnets in my machine. But I would not allow you to tamper with my machine. It is strange and an open insult to me as you still do not believe me and do not entertain my views.’  Orffyreus cried irrefutably. 

‘I will not allow anyone to look into the machine until my contract is fulfilled. I shall request you to protect my right as an inventor and not to insult me. Orffyreus spoke in high pitch.

‘I am not looking into your machine; I am only trying to listen noise of mechanism making tumbling sound so that I can ascertain how many weights are tumbling there in your machine.’  Gravesande made a lie and giggled.

‘I am sorry you took in that way.’  Gravesande further tried to clarify his mistake.

‘I know you will be sorry for that when you find the truth.’  Orffyreus said.


And for that I have a hollow straw pipe here. It would enable you to hear better the tumbling noise, you can put its one end on the props  near the axle and other to your ear.’  Orffyreus suggested after putting some control over his anger..


Gravesande took the straw pipe and tried to listen the sound but could not make out any thing except weights tumbling and hitting against some thing.  All other members also did the same what Gravesande had done.  One by one, they took the pipe and tried to listen the sound.  Every member thought himself to be a great detective as if they were there to uncover a murder story!


‘Would you care to explain your invention?’  Gravesande inquired weakly, fearing that in asking him to reveal his secret he was asking for the moon.

My secret is excellent in the beginning, excellent in the middle and excellent in the end!!’ exclaimed Orffyreus.

‘Mind, you are talking in parables but could you give some scientific description to enlighten me and rest of academic world?  Graesande demanded.


Orffyreus shrugged his broad and strong shoulders and said:


Sir, I have already explained you that my machine is just simple, nothing more than a replica of our world system. I have been offered large sums of money to give away my secret, but I do not intend to do so yet. I keep it as secret as you would keep a box of diamonds. Does a king keep his jewels on the highway for public display?’ 

‘No, he hides them in the treasure chambers in the vaults of his palace.’  Orffyreus himself replied.


‘I agree with you, your secret is great indeed!’  Count Karl accepted.


‘But his Excellency, Karl has told me that you are demanding 100000 Thalers for the invention. A huge amount!’ Gravesande flashed his teeth in a strange smile. 

When one is genuinely sincere one has nothing to be ashamed of.’ Orffyreus replied.

Now members wanted to stop the wheel. Orffyreus warned that power of wheel was such that it would throw a man if a single man tried to stop it. Therefore many joined to stop the wheel. When motion of the wheel ceased, calm fell on the faces of members. 


Gravesande broke the silence. He asked:


‘So last time I ask you again, Can you explain the broad basis of your feats, the theoretical side alone, without explaining your secrets?’ 


Orffyreus mused over his query for a while.

Yes, I am willing to do that for you.’ he answered softly.

For your satisfaction, let me read from by book: 

“The inward structure of the wheel is of a nature according to the laws of perpetual motion, so arranged that certain disposed weights, once in rotation, gain force from the structure, which does not lose its position and arrangement. Unlike other automata, such as clocks, springs or other hanging weights which require winding up or whose duration depends on the chain which attaches to them, on the contrary these weights are the essential parts and constitute perpetual motion itself; as from them is received the universal movement which they must exercise so long as they remain out of the centre of gravity; and when they come to be placed together, they are so arranged that they can never obtain equilibrium, or the ‘punctum quietus’ which they unceasingly seek in their wondrous speedy flight, and one or another of them must apply its weight vertically to the axis, which in its turn will also move.7


Now, sir, I regret to say that I cannot give you any further explanation of my methods.’  Orffyreus told.


‘You beat us with your description! I must admit that your sincerity is unquestionable and your determination and sacrifice for the sake of discovering the secret have been great.’  Count Karl praised.


 ‘Before we could finally decide to recommend Orffyreus for the reward, it would be better to consult sir Isaac Newton for his expert opinion in this matter.  Mr. Orffyreus, yet I need to ascertain how long your wheel can move.  We may leave the machine in the room for few days under lock and can return on a later date to see if wheel stops.’  Gravesande proposed.

As long as stars and planets move and material of the machine lasts, my machine will move forever, there is no doubt about it.’  Orffyreus said confidently.

‘I do not think any necessity of delaying the matter further because I am convinced that invention of the Orffyreus is genuine.’  Count Karl expressed his opinion; it pleased Orffyreus.


 ‘But, I think 100000 thalers is a huge amount and I should take every care before I write my reports to Royal Society recommending them to buy the invention.’ Gravesande told.


‘It is better if we unanimously take some decision for writing our final reports.’  Gravesande suggested and looked in the face of Count Karl  for his opinion.


‘Let me tell you that about two years ago, wheel was already kept in a sealed room for more than a period of six weeks. Distinguished persons whom I had invited, came here and examined the machine for two days. All of them were convinced that Orffyreus machine is genuine.’ Karl replied


When Orffyreus found Gravesande wondering about the sum he had demanded, he clarified: 

It is not out of greed. I want to just fulfill my scientific ambitions by raising a school for the scholars and a laboratory for me.  I need money for that.’ Orffyreus got worried what was going to happen next.  He collected his confidence.


Sir, do you approve my perpetual motion then?’  Orffyreus asked biting his nails.

‘It is not for me to approve or disapprove perpetual motion.  Personally, I accept your machine as a genuine case of perpetual motion. Yet some authority must be consulted.’  Gravesande spoke like a diplomat.

I know very well what they would say about my invention.’  Orffyreus said disappointedly.


‘Do not have any doubts, we shall treat your invention with respect and whatever worth it is.’  Count Karl assured.


Sir you know, so far, all champions of natural philosophy have ridiculed this kingly mechanical art, the perpetual motion.  I have no hope that Sir Newton, an expert in mechanics and knowledge of gravity, will attend to my invention with a favorable response. My respect for the Newton stops me to criticize him but I am sure he would not favorably respond because I know, I am sure, my machine poses a big threat to his laws of motion.  Moreover, like the rest of authorities he would try to reject it, no matter how good you describe my invention. Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Huygens have already rejected possibility of such a machine. My machine is in front of you; I have demonstrated many experiments to you also. When you are sure of the truth, as you all have witnessed, I see no reason why still you need to  depend on the authorities for their expert advice? In the field, where nothing is known, tell me sir, who can be an expert except the inventor himself.’  Orffyreus expressed his viewpoint. It rendered  all the members dumb..


‘You are right Orffyreus; da Vinci himself had said that experiment is true mistress. Science knows no authority except that of experiment and Mr Orffyreus, with your wonderful experiments you are indeed an experimental scientist par excellence.’  Count Karl appreciated.

Orffyreus spoke to members: ‘Here I would also like to remind you essential message of Francis Bacon who said-Men had been depending for too long on the authority of the great minds of past and that they should rely more on their own resources in obtaining knowledge.  Let me give an example to prove my point here. When  Aristotle established, objects would fall with speeds, which were proportional to their weights- that a 10 pound ball for example would fall ten times as fast as a one pound ball.  Only after some nineteen hundred years, we know how idea was dismissed by Galileo who carried a simple experiment by dropping objects of different weights from the top of leaning tower of Pisa.  It is not understandable why they deny all the experiences and observations in the world, and would even refuse to look at them in order not to have admit them, and they would say that the laws remains just as authorities have written, not as nature would have it.  So now sir, tell me what you think Newton himself would do. I do beg you not to depend on Newton, he may have no opinion on the subject as he has never attempted to construct a machine, and if he has, he would not probably be attended to the enquiry as he may be or may pretend to be busy with other works more important than this one.  I am quite content with whatever you all think and in what manner you evaluate my machine in the light of the contract.’  Orffyreus continued to express his fears..


‘Orffyreus, I have one question, I have been waiting to ask you, hoping that perhaps you would volunteer a proper answer.’ Count Karl asked.

‘You may ask any thing, my protector.’  Orffyreus replied.

‘How have you come to make such a significant discovery?’

‘May be it is through some chance factor that has helped him to solve the big riddle of perpetual motion. I think’ Gravesande interrupted.


‘Dear professor, it would be wrong to undermine  marvelous achievement of Orffyreus by attributing it to just a chance factor. I am sure Orffyreus is undoubtedly a great discoverer, he has  invariably been a seeker after knowledge and truth in a chosen field of his own, and he has been inspired in his labors by the hope of something finding new.’  Count Karl suggested.


Orffyreus will you please tell us; why did not you choose to write your work in a scientific manner?  Parables has no place in world of learning, they belong to religion!  asked Count Karl.


For the evil of greed has made this little book parable necessary.  The greedy bodiless beings of the deep-dark bottomless pit have rarely ceased such activity as gnashing their teeth upon me, spitting upon me, and striving to supplant me by them since I demonstrated to the world that I could provide "perpetual motion".  But God has helped me.  Yet, what have I done to my mortal enemies to be so harshly treated?  Yea, what was my trespass?”8 Orffyreus answered.


‘May I make a suggestion to you, Orffyreus?’ Count Karl told. 

Certainly sir, Orffyreus replied.  ‘I will be pretty well obliged to you for that.’


‘Your discovery obviously reflects a new idea and has a high practical value.  Nevertheless, dear, Orffyreus, if you wish to establish yourself as scientist you must understand that an unexplained observation is of no particular significance to science.  An idea or observation without a theoretical framework behind it is equally devoid of importance.  Hence, if you wish that your discovery should possess a real significance in scientific world, which it really deserves, you must have both experimental as well as theoretical basis.’  Count Karl suggested.

Thanks for your kind suggestion, your excellency.’  Orffyreus expressed his gratitude.

“May I know, what is your further ambition and plan after getting your money” asked Count Karl.

“Orffyreus replied: 


I don’t for a royal realm aspire,

For release or for paradise,

To serve those bent with grief I desire,

And calm their sorrow and help them rise.


Let me remind you, Excellency, King James Bible also reads the same, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  This is also my declaration of faith.     My mission in life is that of helping to inspire the people with a new philosophy of life based upon my invention. Natural philosophy must be simple; easily understood by every one. My invention and principle on which it operates is quite simple. My machine not only helps the poor to do his daily tasks like grinding corn, raising water, or driving a mill or some other machinery but also stimulates one to think about what is the real design and nature of universe which itself is like replica of my machine; it is in state of perpetual motion.


‘If you could precisely tell me what are the basic laws on which your wondrous invention works, tell us if there is at all any law you can describe?’  Gravesande asked. 


My innermost invention though good, the parts being good are perfectly obedient to God in their own realms as God is perfectly obedient to his own laws. From the smallest snowflake to the largest planet, from the greatest circling herd to the least round "wheel," from the most glorious peacock tail to the most playful pup, from the oldest column to the newest chain, from the slowest crab to the fastest wind, and from the sharpest anvil blow to the quietest of questions, "... all things denote there is perpetual motion. This is universal law of God.  My pendulum is included in all things.”9 


My pendulum operates on perpetual motion law, a basic and great law of nature. It’s understanding drives one slowly towards knowledge of other laws of nature. One can better understand force, motion and universe if one has learnt design of my pendulum and its mechanism.”

‘I am stressing the thought because it should run like a golden chord, as a binding force through out the natural philosophy. Law of perpetual motion, which causes planets to move, and whole universe is if related to human beings to one another or entire world of living beings and non living things, one would know that it is the law that governs everything in the universe.’


“My greatest prayer is that you catch the vision as I see it and in due time, that you may inspire your scholars and others with same vision. I demand 100000 Thalers to raise my school 'The Fortress of God' that will teach all the useful crafts and natural philosophy to people of all nationalities. I pray God for the success of mission.” Orffyreus spoke with heavy voice.



1 See Collin’s Book: Perpetual Motion : An Ancient Mystery Solved ? Page 142.
2 Ibid. Page 188
3 See p. 205 of Collins’ book.
4 See page. 194
5 See the article “Some Thoughts on a Simple Explanation of Bessler’s Wheel: Bessler’s Wheel Uncovered with an Interpretation of Bessler’s Little book  - A Delayed Gift to the World.”By  Alden E. Park
6 Alden E. Park’s article
Truimphant Orffyreum….
8 Elden E. Park’s article 9 Elden E. Park’s article


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