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Bessler used the Leipzeg ell in his measurements
1 ell = 22.3 inches
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First wheel - Gera


Diameter = 4.6 feet
Thickness = about 4 inches
Speed = over 50 RPM unloaded
Rotation = uni-directional, required restraint when not in use
Axle = unknown
Sound = unknown
Power = unknown

* size in ell units: reported diameter = 2.5 ell = 4.6 feet; reported  thickness = 4 Leipzeg inches = 3.7 inches *

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Second wheel - Draschwitz

Diameter = 9.3 feet
Thickness = 6 inches
Speed = over 50 RPM unloaded
Rotation = uni-directional, required restraint when not in use
Axle = 6 inches diameter
(probable diameter = 1/4 ell = 5.6 inches)
Sound = loud noise
Power = unknown

* size in ell units: reported diameter = 5 ell = 9.3 feet; probable thickness = 1/4 ell = 5.6 inches *

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Third wheel - Merseburg

Diameter = 12 feet
Thickness = 11.15 inches
Speed = 40 RPM or more
Rotation = dual-directional, required gentle push start in either direction
Axle = 6 inches diameter
(probable diameter = 1/4 ell = 5.6 inches)
Sound = banging noise at descending side of wheel
Power = estimates range from 20 Watts to 100 Watts

* size in ell units: reported diameter = 6 ells = 12 feet; reported thickness = 1/2 ell = 11.15 inches *

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Fourth wheel - Kassel (Weissenstein Castle)

Diameter = 12 feet
Thickness = 18 inches
Speed = 26 RPM unloaded - 20 RPM under water screw load
Rotation = dual-directional, required gentle push start in either direction
Axle = 8 inches diameter
(probable diameter = 1/3 ell = 7.4 inches)
Sound = about 8 bangs per revolution at descending side of wheel
Power = estimates range from 25 Watts to 125 Watts

* size in ell units: reported diameter = 6 ells = 12 feet; probable thickness = 3/4 ell = 16.7 inches *

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Copyright 2002-2007 W.G.McMurtry all rights reserved
 
evolution of Bessler's wheel - Gera to Kassel
- click to enlarge -

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Bessler's apparent use of the Leipzig ell suggests he probably built his wheels to whole ell units and simple fractions thereof. The above diagram shows feet and inches derived from Leipzig ell conversions as listed in the data above.

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