If there was ever a book that would turn me into an old man this is it. I have spent thousands of hours combing through this book and its descriptions.
Like most of Bessler's stuff this book talks mostly about the two-way wheel with some snippets of the one-way wheel.
After looking at the drawings for a while patterns began to emerge. All most too many patterns. There is the tens series where each decade drawing (10,20,30...) seems to have been laid out ahead of time. When you get into the teen numbered drawings they seem to be repeated when you add ten or twenty and so on. Then pairs and groups of drawings started making more sense as being connected together or a differential comparisions of the two wheels that reverse and flip-flop who's first. Other groups of two or three drawings seem to be focused on one particular wheel. The wobbly weight ladder group, the signature pendulum weight group, etc., etc. There is another small set of drawings that have Bessler's other signature mark the combined NB as mentioned in the Measuring page. The beginning of the leading paragraph in this book and drawings eighty-one, and ninety-six. There is also what looks like hand written marks that could be additional NB's in drawings seventy-three, seventy-four, and one hundred and three. In the final category of drawings he seemed to just be having fun with unrealistic or fanciful Rube Goldberg devices.
The following is my attempt to interpret what Bessler was trying to say for each drawing.
On the first page of the actual book Bessler declares the solution to his wheels are within these pages. No figure by itself contains the motion but by combining certain figures, a movement can be found.
87. through 89. All have handles. Eighty-eight is the only one with a balanced load and is the only one whose handle is moved back and forth instead of up and down.
90.The ninth decade. This drawing also has uniquely better craftsmanship compared to drawings on either side. Gearing ratios, long arm, short arm size ratio. And just how does the water get from the pumps on the ends get to the wheel to flow out the bottom?
91.Even though totally impossible this drawing is interesting. The suspension bracket from the ceiling so it could slide up and down the sharp hook shape that was seen in numbers fifty-six at the end of the bellows, sixty-one between the wheels, ninety-two, one hundred eighteen, one hundred twenty-two, and one hundred thirty-seven.
92.through 95 hold little interest at this point.
96.Has the NB and the signature weighted arm. The two wheels at the left are the top and bottom weights yielding output energy.
97.This drawing again shows what part of the rotation the one-way wheel lifts its weight and where it drops out of the effective range again.
98.Signature pendulums and the energy flow path through the one-way wheel.
99.The flow of energy in the two-way wheel.
100.This is the most artistic rendition from here to the end of the book and the tenth century mark. I also get the feeling that from here to the end of the book is what Bessler referred to as showing more than telling in the end. This drawing is the two way wheel and is showing that the short arm turns perpendicular to the main axle.
101.The one-way wheel small wheel same axis of the axle
102.One-way wheel because of where the water enters and exits the wheels. The interesting thing is that the spokes of the wheels rotate clockwise one hundred and thirty-five degrees as you go from top right to bottom left. The wheel actually bobs backward in the fifth wheel. The arms that interconnect the seven wheels are separate short arms so they do not interfere with positioning of the spokes. Also note the lever arms at the top to the two single pumps. Their difference is size suggests that the one pump has more positive influence than the other side.
103.This is the two-way wheel because of the water in and out. There are three sets of four wheels with each side rotating in the opposite direction. The first two wheels are the most important with the left one moving upward and attached with a rather conspicuous looking hook. The slightly lower right wheel is attached with a totally different type of arm and it is moving downward. This second wheel is half way to the bottom of its travel yet the shaft to the pump above it is still fully in contact with the ceiling. The double pumps at either side are another clue that tie this drawing to the two way wheel.
To get a clearer picture of this drawing take part of the right hand wheel and mirror it horizontally and place it on the left wheel as above. Another thing is the hand drawn sketch to the right with square axles. It looks to be in Bessler's own hand. This hand sketch would most likely have been a permanent addition to the final edition of this book.
104.This is the last officially numbered page most everything else is hand numbered. The rest of the pages have a black rectangle to carve out the page numbers for the final printing. There appears to also be a couple of drawings Bessler wanted to also include that he sketched in on the backs of other pages that are not even in the hand numbered sequence. This drawing might be trying to show additional detail of the linkage of the two way wheel that could not be shown in number one hundred three.
105.There have been a few roller arms like number fifty-six and always wondered if they were related to the squeeze.
106.This is the first of three quietly important drawings. This is the one-way wheel and C is the angle where the weight is lifted whether the wheel is creeping forward or running full tilt. Notice that the water line or balance line is a little above the axle.
107. This is the stationary two-way wheel with a balance level just below the axle
108.This is the running two-way wheel. Its center of gravity is nearly at the top.
110.Square axles and a narrow board block in the middle and possibly a slider from forty in the center.
111.Hidden axles but apparently time passes with a wide block in the middle. The weights in the cones on the right side appear to be broken into two pieces. The weights on the left side look like cone shaped buckets being carried up.
112.Cones inside the chain can open, as well as, the outside ones in the previous two drawings because the block in the middle is gone. This happens when the square axles are diamond shaped and it contradicts what was seen in drawing fifty. At the bottom of this figure there is also a curious ball weight on the end of the cone at D.
113.Upside down is another reversal of dubious thirteen. I believe the drawing is right side up and just the letters are inverted. Since the rising short arms on the real wheel fold up sideways he is just showing that the arms do NOT hang down or fold backward to the rotation of the wheel.
114.See number one hundred eight.
115.See one hundred seven.
117.Believe it or not I found this drawing fascinating after bypassing it hundreds of times. The device to the right has three tubes running up and one down. If this is the two-way wheel this may be involved with the cryptic center of the measuring stick in the DT twin. Even if three stampers are raised as steps. One of them still has to be at the bottom.
The left side of the drawing is one tube or stamper up and one tube down. The two G balls are maybe acting as one and the H balls are acting independently. This looks to be representing the one way-wheel.
118.The eight weights of the two-way wheel are represented by the eight sharply angled tubes as described in number ninety-one. The tubes are balanced on each side and the top two tubes combine into one. They all work together to contribute to the flow of downward or forward motion of the big arrow.
119.The two way wheel has two springs per weight/arm/stamper.
120.The one way wheel has one spring per whatever.
121.The two way wheel just because it is more complicated.
122.The one-way wheel for its simplicity. The pumper arms at the top and the part that hangs down to E looks a lot like a balance scale common to the period.
123.The one-way wheel because similarity to the weight in Secunda. This shows that when the weight moves it swings nearly one hundred eighty degrees.
124.This shows the paths of the two individual weights on the two-way wheel. The ladder figure and the ratchet figures are attached.
125. and 127 all seem to be one particular wheel.
128. and 129.seem to be the other wheel. Notice the blocks at the upper left and lower right of the figure to the far right.
130.to 132. are anybody's guess.
133. One of the more fascinating drawings. This is the one way wheel. The bottom inset shows that the long arms extend from one rim to the other where the weighted short arms will be connected to the ends. The weights around the full circle wheel is a conundrum in itself. If the weights are cross connected the weighted arms as shown don't line up as being truly across from each other as it appears in the drawing. Below is the wheel numbered as they would have to be as shown in red. It is rather odd that Bessler chose thirty-four instead of thirty-six intervals so I will suggest the possibility that the weights may occupy a particular position twice. That could fix the discrepancy of the opposing arms being connected two different numbered weights and it would fit with drawing one hundred two quite nicely.
134. This is the two-way wheel. The bottom inset shows that the long arms are mounted on the center wooden axle shaft with an extra corner hinged framework. Very ratchet like teeth adorn the weights on the outer rim. The full wheel on the drawing depicts that the arms at the three and nine o'clock positions lift the weights at the six and twelve o'clock positions.
134A.This is the first of two hand made sketches that Bessler would have likely made permanent drawings in the final version to this book. A curious thing worth studying it seems to have originated from the lamp black that rubbed off of the facing page of drawing one hundred thirty-five. It features a long arm from rim to rim with pendulum weights that are rotating while suspended on sticks extending from the bottom of the long arm. Not sure what it really means but the long arms line up with arms on the next drawing.
135. Back to the theme of the sliding weights and here the stampers slide through the wooden shaft.
135A.The second hand made sketch. The text at the top gives a hint of this drawings importance. The characteristics demonstrated here are quite fascinating when you analyze it. The three pairs of weights that are geared together have the unique property of requiring very little effort to change the weights positions. As one weight is lifted the other equally falls giving them a balance of forces. Even if the individual weights were several tons each the force required to move them would be entirely attributed to the friction in the bearings at the pivot points.
The corner hinged rectangle frame that is mounted through the center vertical post is in many ways similar to drawing one hundred thirty-four and is another unique physics demonstration. The two sides of the rectangle can also be raised and lowered regardless of the position of the two sets of geared arms in spite of the apparent overbalance on the right. The effective total weight is actually equally distributed. On the other hand, if the foot stand at the bottom is not wide enough the whole stand would fall over to the right with the weights in their current positions.
136.This figure has the signature pendulum weights. Most people see that the weights to the top and right are further from the center but the center posts are also moved and appear to be driven by springs near the axle of the wheel.
137. This drawing has been used by many people to support theories but I disagree with most of their conclusions. Primarily what I see are sets of perpendicular lines as seen in the drawing below.
138. through 141.The famed “Toy Page” and again all about the two-way wheel. The figures on the right are the set up for the rest of the page. Both figures A and B have equally spaced sets of balls up and down their sticks. In figure A all of the balls are on the left side because of the opening and closing of the mechanism. B is simply a timing record with the balls on one side representing the top of the wheel and the other side the bottom. Figures C and D are attached to figure B at certain places in the timing marks. C is attached at the top or bottom and D is attached midway between the top and bottom. C and D would necessarily be perpendicular to each other. Both C and D are also attached to the lazy tongs on the left and this provides information about the leverage or directional movement as attachment points.
The angles at the top of B are likely of great importance.
The hand sketched figure at the bottom is a toy top. I have seen and played with similar ones as a kid. Bessler added the toy top to demonstrate that a heavy weight can be lifted of its own accord. In this particular circumstance it is the centrifugal forces and the shapes at each end that push the weight upward rather than a mechanical arrangement of separate weights on the wheel.
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