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J. Perelman
"Entertaining physics". Book 1.
Chapter 4. Rotation. "Perpetual motion machines"


Preserved a lively correspondence, which led in 1715 - 1722, Peter the great about buying in Germany eternal engine, invented a kind of Dr. Orffyreus. Inventor, famous all over Germany his “self-propelled wheel, has agreed to sell to the king this machine only for a huge sum. Scientist librarian Schumacher sent Peter to the West for the collection of rarities, had told the king about the claims of Orffyreus, with whom he was negotiating the purchase of:

“The last speech of the inventor was: on one side lay 100000 Efimov [Efimik (Joachimsthaler) - about ruble.], and on the other I will put the car”.

On the same machine inventor, according to the librarian, said she “is true, and none of the judges to blaspheme may, except from sleeve, and all the light is full of evil people who believe quite impossible.”

In January 1725 Peter was going to Germany to personally inspect “perpetual motion”, about which so much was said, but death prevented the king to fulfil his intention.

Who was this mysterious doctor Orffyreus n that represented his “fancy car”? I managed to find information and how about the other.

Real name Orffyreus was Bessler. He was born in Germany in 1680, studied theology, medicine, painting and finally took the invention of the “eternal” engine. Of the many thousands of inventors Orffyreus is the most famous and perhaps the most successful. Until the end of his days (he died in 1745) he lived in pleasure on the returns received, showing his car.

On the attached picture taken from old books, depicted machine Orffyreus, it was in 1714

Self-propelled wheel of Orffyreus, almost purchased by Peter I. (From an old picture.)

You see a large wheel, which it seems not only revolved itself, but also raised when a heavy load to a considerable height.

The fame of the miraculous invention that the scientist doctor was first shown at fairs, quickly spread throughout Germany, and Orffyreus soon acquired a powerful patrons. He became interested in Polish king, then the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. The latter gave the inventor a castle and strongly felt the machine.

So, in 1717, November 12, the engine that was in a private room that was brought into action; then the room was locked, sealed and left under the watchful guard of two grenadiers. Fourteen days no one dared to even approach the room where revolved mysterious wheel. Only on November 26, the seals were removed; the Landgrave and his retinue entered the room. And what? The wheel was still spinning with unflagging speed,”... the Car was stopped, carefully inspected, and then again brought to bear. For forty days the room was again sealed; for forty days he lay in wait at the door of the grenadiers. And when 4 January 1718 the seals were removed, the panel found the wheel is in motion!

The Landgrave and these would not be satisfied: made was the third experience - sealed engine was on for two months. And yet, at the expiration of the period found it moving!

The inventor received from admiring Landgraf official certificate that his “perpetual motion” makes 50 revolutions per minute, capable of lifting 16 kg at a height of 1.5 meters, and can also be powered blacksmith bellows and grinding machine. With this identity Orffyreus and traveled through Europe. He probably got a decent income, if agreed to give up his car to Peter I is not less than 100,000 rubles.

The news of this amazing invention of doctor of Orffyreus quickly spread throughout Europe, extending far beyond Germany. She came and to Peter, highly engaging susceptible to any “clever ones” of the king.

Peter drew attention to the Orffyreus wheel in 1715, during his stay abroad, and at the same time instructed A. I. Osterman, well-known diplomat, to get acquainted with this invention more closely; the latter soon sent a detailed report about the engine, although the machine itself, he could not see. Peter was going to invite the Orffyreus, as an outstanding inventor, for his service and was instructed to ask about it the opinion of the Christian wolf, the famous philosopher of the time (University teachers).

Famous inventor everywhere received flattering offers. Mighty showered his high graces; poets composed odes and hymns in honor of his wonderful wheels. But there were detractors, suspect here skillful deception. There were brave men who were openly accused of Orffyreus in trickery; offered a prize of 1000 marks, the one who would reveal the deception. In one of the pamphlets written with accusatory purpose, we find the figure reproduced here.

Exposing the secret of Orffyreus wheel. (From an old picture.)

The mystery of “perpetual motion”, according to the whistleblower, lies simply in the fact that artfully hidden man pulls the rope is wound, unbeknownst to the observer, on the part of the axle, hidden in the rack.

Subtle trickery was revealed by accident only because scholar doctor quarreled with his wife and servant, devoted to its mystery. This will not happen, we probably still would have remained in perplexity regarding the “perpetual motion”, which has done so much noise. It turns out that “perpetual motion” was really set in motion the hidden people, quietly delavski the thin lace. These people were the brother of the inventor and his maid.

Exposed inventor did not give up; he insisted until his death that his wife and servants brought to him no malice. But its credibility has been undermined. No wonder he told the messenger Peter Schumacher, human sleevei and that “all the light is full of evil people who believe quite impossible.”

During the reign of Peter the great was famous in Germany and other “perpetual motion” - the kind Gertner. Schumacher wrote about this machine is the following: “Mr. Gertner Perpetuum mobile, which I in Dresden have seen, consists of canvas, sand covered, and the grinding stone made machine that back and forth itself from itself moves, but, according to Mr. of inventory (inventor), it is very great to become”. Without a doubt, this engine has not reached its goal and at best was an intricate mechanism with cleverly hidden, not “eternal” living engine. Quite right was Schumacher when he wrote to Peter, that the French and English scientists “in what honour all these perpetui mobiles and I say that it is against principal mathematical”.

Entertaining physics J. Perelman


System Orphus


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