86 - The Wheels of Orffyreus

Scientists and laymen alike have long sought to build a machine capable of perpetual motion. Several attempts are described here, especially focusing on the well-documented, and still controversial, efforts of Johann Bessler, better known as Orffyreus.

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Opening music from https://filmmusic.io. "Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Closing music by Soma.


Dircks, Henry. Perpetuum Mobile; or, A History of the Search for Self-Motive Power. London: E. & F.N. Spon, 1870.

Gould, Rupert T. Oddities: A Book of Facts. New Hyde Park, New York: University Books, 1965.

Hicks, Clifford B. “Why Won't They Work?” American Heritage Magazine 12:3 (April 1961).

Jenkins, Alejandro. “The Mechanical Career of Councillor Orffyreus, Confidence Man.” American Journal of Physics 81:421, January 2013.

Phin, John. The Seven Follies of Science: A Popular Account of the Most Famous Scientific Impossibilities. New York: Van Nostrand and Company, 1906.

Shaffer, Simon. “The Show That Never Ends: Perpetual Motion in the Early Eighteenth Century.” British Journal for the History of Science 28:2 (June 1995).

Verance, Percy. Perpetual Motion. 20th Century Enlightenment Specialty Company, 1916.

(104) Johann Bessler Perpetual Motion Machine Bessler Rad - YouTube

(104) Redheffer machine à mouvement perpétuel - YouTube

Archimedes' screw - Wikipedia

The Mysterious Stranger – Part 1 - TFOT (thefutureofthings.com)

Orffyreus and Leibniz - Part 2 - TFOT (thefutureofthings.com)