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Articles in IM86 - June 2013

Summary of the main articles in IM 86 which was published in June 2013

Reversible waterwheels for mine shaft hoisting in New Zealand by Keith Preston.
Most molinologists will be familiar with Agricola’s illustration of a reversing waterwheel in the 16th  century publication De Re Metalica. This important article describes the development of shaft winding and culminates by describing the use of reversing waterwheels in the gold fileds of New Zealand during the last years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th. Details of the various installations are given with their periods of operation. The costs of using waterpower are compared with steam power and speculation is made as to the source and route of the transfer of this technology to New Zealand. This well researched article contains contemporary photographs of some of the reversing waterwheel installations in New Zealand.

Windmill Curbs: A Brief Introduction by M.. J. A. Beacham
The earliest windmills were postmills where the whole body of the mill had to be turned into the wind for operation. To facilitate turning the cap some type of large bearing had to be provided between the tower and the cap. The part of this bearing attached to the mill tower is known as the curb. This article describes and illustrates the basic types of curb design used at various times and in various regions of Europe. These range from the dead curb where the cap slides on a flush surface on the tower through to live curbs where some form of roller or similar is placed between the cap and the tower. Collected data is used to form some conclusions as to the origin and distribution of the various designs.

Boat Mills in Switzerland and the Proposal for a Boat Winch using similar Technology by Daniel Vischer
This short article highlights the boat mills on the Higher Rhine and the Alpine Rhine in Switzerland including those at Eglisau and Bad Zurzach. Howervere the main focus of the article are the proposals in 1707 by Pierre de Dromec to the city of Basle and the city of Lucerne to use boat mill technology to provide a series of winches to haul vessels upriver on the Rhine and on the River Reuss. An alternative version is also described where the waterwheel powered winch was located on the vessel itself, using fixed ropes streamed in the current, to pull itself upstream.

The 13th Century Seals of Rusteberg by Harald von Knorring    
The Knorr family originated in Rusteberg in Eisfeld, Thuringia, in Germany in the 13th century. At this time seals were in common usage on documents of various types. Later members of the family moved to Curland in Latvia and eventually the meaning of the design on the family’s seals became lost. In the 19th century the design was thought to represent a cup with two square handles. However, recent research based on the examination of actual seals in museums has led to the theory that the design represents a mill rynd sat on top of a bedstone. The article examines how this misinterpretation could have occurred and presents evidence to support the new interpretation.

Variable Height Waterwheels in the Upper Valley of the River Loue, France by Bernard Sauldubois
Moulin pendants have a well known French design of waterwheel that can be raised vertically to suit a range of water levels in their supply. This article examines a design of waterwheel to be found on the River Loue in the Doubs Department of France that is raised by swinging it upwards in an arc. The operation of this type of waterwheel, and the last two remaining mills to use them, are described together with a brief history of their inventor, M. Pouget. The waterwheels are illustrated by old postcards and recent photographs taken by the author.

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