Asa Jackson Perpetual Motion Machine - 11/06/00

Thanks to Jim Hodges for sharing this interesting information and images.

Subject: Jackson PMM
Date: Sat, 4 Nov 2000 19:44:18 -0600
From: Jim Hodges"
To: Jerry Decker

Hello Jerry.

I went to Cumberland Gap this weekend to camp. The most exciting thing about this trip was not the camping though, it was the trip home. On the way home to Mississippi we came through the town of Norris, Tennessee which is just north of Knoxville just off of I -75 there we came across the Appalachian Museum, a really neat place to take the family.

There were buildings full of wagons and old timey tools and such. But the most intriguing thing to me was a perpetual motion machine that had been given to the museum.

It was supposedly built by a man by the name of Asa Jackson. It was a big wooden wheel approximately six feet in diameter.

I shot some video of it. The story attached to it was something like this.

This man worked on this thing back in the 1800's for years. Apparently he spent so much time with this contraption that his farm and family suffered from lack of attention. ( I can relate to that) It was said that he got it perfected finally and let it run for a month.

When the civil war came he took it into a cave and stayed with it. If he had to leave it alone he would take some of it apart so no one could steal his secret.

I don't know what happened to the man himself. But apparently his descendants ended up with the device and just threw it in the back of the barn. When this museum owner saw it hanging in the barn he asked what it was and the descendant told him the story of his ancestor Asa Jackson.....

Well the museum owner talked him into letting him put it in his museum. I looked at it for quite a while it is a Large Wooden wheel with teeth around the perimeter like a large gear to provide output to a butter churm as I recall that is what they had sitting in there with it.

The interior had all kinds of sliding wooden slats and weighs and springs .......many many many parts...... the whole machin was in a big plexiglas box so you couldnt actually touch it. I wanted to reach and turn it so bad!

Just so i could see the movement of the interior pieces. It was not completely assembled. There were dozens of pieces of wood slats with holes in different locations about a foot or so long in the floor around it.

Apparently they just grabbed this thing and all of the pieces they could find and put it in this large case. It had screws holding it all together. It was obvious by looking at the thing that someone had indeed spent a great deal of time devising this thing.

There were as I said many many parts inside the wheel. Anyway I was starting to look stupid staring at this thing that everyone else seemed totally uninterested in, so i moved on down the line. As i say I shot some shaky video of it maybe i can capture a frame of it and put it in a small jpg if anyone is interested in seeing it.

Otherwise if you want to see it yourself go to the museum! Maybe you can talk the guy into letting you touch it!.........I am so interested in trying to get the unbalanced wheel to work for me that this was right up my alley. .... this place is open about every day of the year .......

Jim Hodges

If someone who lives near there can get some sharp stills of the device from several angles, it would really help in trying to figure out how it works. Perhaps the museum might let the case be removed for more detailed analysis. If you find anything else out about this intriguing machine, please email and share it, thanks!.

The most famous of the self running and power producing wheels is that of Orffyreus, real name Bessler as detailed on the following sites;

John Collins book and Orffyreus website

Another Bessler/Orffyreus site

Article on Bessler

Ad for the Museum found by Jim Hodges

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