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Maschinen Tractate

" Further demonstrations regarding the possibility and impossibility of perpetual motion

NB. May 1, 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. "

- Johann Bessler, cover page of Maschinen Tractate


Bessler created a book of illustrations that describes his search for perpetual motion. He referred to this work as his "great treatise on mechanics", now known as "Maschinen Tractate", or "MT" for short. The work explores many concepts and it depicts mechanical, thermal, wind, and fluid systems.

After selling his wheel, Bessler intended to either publish his book with the secret mechanism revealed in every detail and/or use it as a teaching device (his hand-written notations read like lessons) in his planned 'Fortress of Wisdom' in which he wished to teach basic skills to apprentices in a strongly religious atmosphere.

Bessler's wheel was obviously never sold and his "great treatise on mechanics" appears tantalizingly incomplete.


Bill has graciously allowed me to post MT from orffyre.com here on the wiki. Thanks so much Bill.

Hopefully the wiki will provide a new venue for constructive discussion and collaboration that may one day help finally decipher Bessler's enigmatic treatise.


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External Links

Bill McMurtry's MT

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