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The esteemed Crank o' the Day for 2017 Nov 24:

cranky Johann Bessler: Orffyreus 2002 Jul 26
     ... perpetual motion ...
"In 1712, Johann Bessler built a machine that he claimed was self-moving. By 1717, he had convinced thousands of people, from the ordinary to the eminent, that he had indeed discovered the secret of a self-sustaining mechanism. The machine underwent numerous tests and passed rigorous inspections. It was made to do heavy work for long periods, and in an official test it ran continuously for 54 days. The internal design of the machine was always closely guarded by its inventor. Plagued by paranoia and a nasty temper, and with no patent laws to protect him, Bessler never arranged payment terms for the wheel. A bitter man, he took his secret to the grave and drifted into obscurity."

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Last update 2017 Nov 24
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