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5th DT Drawing
Water wheel
The 5th drawing in Das Tri...


To avoid confusion I should point out that there are five drawings in Das Triumphirende including the one below. They are as follows; 1. Borlach’s cartoon of how he suggests Bessler’s wheel worked; 2. Wagner’s turnspit mechanism. 3. The Merseberg wheel described elsewhere in this site; 4. the water pumping wheel and fifthly, the one below.

2nd fig DT

Each half of the above drawing is accompanied by a list of its numbered components, which does not help much. I have reproduced the two drawings without their accompanying lists as it is not required for what follows. The first thing to note is the pictures appear exactly as shown above, with the right side of the left picture having been truncated slightly. The second thing is that the right picture seems to have an excess of the number eight. This over-labelling looks suspiciously like the same technique I have described for the two first wheel pictures. Could this be another indication of a certain total being sought? The numbers in the left picture add up to 28; those in the right, 62, to total 90. There are 15 numbers used and 90 divided by 15 is six.

This does not seem to be a significant number, however knowing that Bessler’s favourite number was 5, I realised that it divided 90 exactly 18 times – the ubiquitous pentagonal numbers again. Secondly the numbers used, 1 to 10, add up to a total of 55 – the other Bessler number. At first I could not understand why he had made the number totals in each separate drawing come to 28 and 62. It seemed to be a simple enough task to add another ten to the right side to make 72, the fifth of a circle in a pentagram. Then I realised that that same ten removed from the 28 on the left side would leave 18, the basic pentagram number again. I speculated that perhaps we are meant to move certain items totalling ten, across from the left drawing to the right?

In support of this conjecture the right side of the left drawing is cut off; apparently drawn into the binding during the binding process, but a closer examination reveals printed lines denoting the edge of the drawing, so it was deliberately cut off. This suggests to me that we may have been intended to either merge one drawing with the other one or superimpose one upon the other. If this was the intention then it is worth noting the lack of background in the right drawing as opposed to that of the left one. This may mean that the clear space around the wheel is for adding numberd items from the left side.

One might ask where is the ubiquitous pentagram? It’s included here too as you can see below. I have lightened the figure and completed the left drawing circle, and I have extended the lines of the pentagram across to the other drawing but I’m not convinced that this is all that is needed to decode the illustration. 


2nd fig  pent full ring1

Returning to the suggestion I made that perhaps some items are meant to be transferred from the left to the right wheel, notice the hatching on the left wheel is horizontal, whereas that on the right wheel is vertical; this suggests that the right wheel should be rotated 90 degrees in one direction or the other, before the items from the left wheel are added.

In addition to this, the fact that the wheel in the left picture is chopped off on the right side means that the wheel itself does not occupy the centre of the square outlined in blue, whereas the one to the right does occupy the central position. This may mean that any attempt to match up items brought over from the left side may require the allowance of this fact in positioning the transported items. In other words they may have to be placed to the left of the assumed position.

Lastly, the triangular pendulum in the right wheel is constructed with unequal angles. The upper right angle is 72 degrees, a pentagonal number. Its twin upper left angle is 78 degrees leaving the bottom angle at 30 degrees. For a pentagonal figure they should have read 72 deg., 72 deg. and 36 degrees. Maybe Bessler was pointing to the presence of a pentagram or maybe the angle should form the centre of a new pentagram?

There are other features in this illustration which appear to serve a purpose but for which I am unable to find an explanation at this time, so I merely point to them in the hope that someone else might see further than I have.

The upper left corner of the left side drawing has had the corner of the roof added to accomodate the pulley, labelled 5, and to align with the extension of one of the chords of the pentagram. This must be to draw attention to the pentagram. The tall rectangle containingthe number 5 pulley, rope and chest, on the left side of the left drawing appears to have been added as an after thought, because without it the two squares which encompass both sides of the whole illustration, outlined in blue, are of equal sized. The left square, equal in size to the right one, incorporates the cut-off section of the wheel so that was clearly a design feature. Bessler could have included the number 5 pulley and the down-rope and chest going through the window but inside the blue square - but he didn’t.

There are more peculiarities attached to this drawing than any other, except the water-pumping wheel which I shall post details elsewhere on this site. But space here is limited but hopefully this will engage someone’s mind who has a deeper understanding of this field of research.

Copyright © 2011 John Collins.


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