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Perpetual Motion?

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"The internal structure of the machine is of a nature according to the laws of mechanical perpetual motion, so arranged that certain disposed weights, once in rotation, gain force from their own swinging, and must continue this movement as long as their structure does not lose its position and arrangement."
- Johann E. E. Bessler, 1717

Perpetual Motion?

Utter the words today, and you are likely to be labeled anything from a dreamer to a crackpot. The same was true in Bessler's day. But what did he mean exactly, by "perpetual motion?"

Everything in the universe is in motion. It is evident in the ceaseless flow of rivers, the incessant tides, the movements of the earth and heavenly bodies, the constant motion of atoms and their constituents. From mankind's perspective, these universal motions are perpetual.

If by "Perpetual Motion Machine" we mean a device that taps into a natural motion and does work indefinitely without human or animal assistance, the problem is not only solvable but has already been solved in a variety of ways:

Was Bessler's machine, like these, somehow attached to the very wheelwork of nature? The mathematician Jean Bernoulli wrote:
"...any motion which exists in nature can be used to support a perpetual motion. In these instances such machines cannot be regarded as purely artificial perpetual motion, but rather as a combined perpetual motion because their motion is assisted by nature. I am convinced that Bessler's Wheel is of this type."
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