Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I loved how the force of the water feeding the turbines feeding the machines above made the building rumble. I loved thinking about two horses worth of power could reduce 10 hours worth of carding work to 10 minutes. Thank you, Mr. Smeaton.

There were three mills at Sturbridge: a sawmill, a carding mill and a grist mill. All had different ways of using the stream that flowed beneath - this one used the speed of the water through a channel to turn a turbine, which in turn powered a series of gears. (Wooden Gears with Leather Belts!) The gristmill had a breast wheel (a large wheel on the side of the mill that harnessed gravity to turn a series of gears within). The sawmill used a somewhat similar setup to that of the carding mill, but I couldn't get close enough to see it working, unfortunately.

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