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Old Jun 10, 2009, 9:49 AM   #1
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This is the most interesting wheel Ive ever seen. This is an actual flour mill. The Jordan river current turns the stone wheel. On the top surface of the wheel are little bumps located a distance apart. As the stone turns each bump hits the triangular piece of wood which in turn opens and closes the gate to let the grain flow down into the hole in the center of the stone wheel. As the wheel rotates it grinds the flour until it passes out the edge. Then its bagged and sold directly to the customer. Only time in my life I really felt like I was in another time long long ago. There were two wheels working, each manned by a druze and his wife. In the second picture you can see more clearly in the bottom right how the thing operates. The stick, the flowing grain, and the hole in the wheel.
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Last edited by Bynx; Jun 10, 2009 at 9:53 AM.
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Old Jun 10, 2009, 12:19 PM   #2
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Very interesting.
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 4:37 PM   #3
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Im pretty surprised that the wheel here doesnt draw more attention. But I guess this is the way the rest of you buy your bread. Not me. I get mine from the supermarket.
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 6:00 PM   #4
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Bynx,

These are some very neat photos!

I looked at these yesterday and was absorbed for quite a while. They sort of make me feel like I'm entering some storybook.

I think I just got lost again for about 10-minutes...very nice!

Mike
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 6:50 PM   #5
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Very nice photos and very interesting. Thank you for posting these pictures.
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 10:05 PM   #6
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We often see the ruins of some old mill. Sometimes even see the mill wheel lying nearby, usually broken. Ive often wondered what it was like when it was operating. Well this is a picture of one in full operation. It still amazes me that it hasnt changed in hundreds of years.
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Old Jun 14, 2009, 5:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
...It still amazes me that it hasnt changed in hundreds of years....
Tiny mills (called 'click mills') using almost exactly this technology, with a vertical axis water wheel beneath the grindstones, are sprinkled as ruins all over the Scottish Highlands and Islands. I know of a single restored working one in Orkney which occasional operates for the tourists.

http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index/places/propertyresults/propertydetail.htm?PropID=PL_069&PropName=Click%20 Mill,%20Dounby

The 'click' derives from the once per revolution wooden mechanism that shakes the grain feed hopper, as described by Bynx.

One of our favourite places, at Cnip, Lewis, almost the top-left hand corner of Britain, has a cascade of three or four of them running down a steep rocky gorge, fed by a loch, in which stands the remains of a broch (prehistoric castle shaped like a cooling tower).

The images below show the outflows of two of them, and one of the millstones. It's difficult to see how they got enough flow from what's now a small mountain stream to turn such stones with no gearing, but I gather they'd dam the lake, and let out a big flow now & again, presumably manning all the mills at the same time.

My delay in responding this time, Bynx, is due to my failed internet research aiming to find out the age of the oldest known one. They were in heavy use in the 18th century. They are also called 'Norse mills' so possibly the earliest ones are a mere thousand years or so old, which could be contemporary with the broch, or maybe much later. I speculate that the technology may have diffused from the Middle East to Scandinavia via Mediterranean and Norse pirates, traders and settlers.

We have a contact who will know, Curator of Norse Artefacts at the Royal Museum in Edinburgh. I hesitate to pester him about it at present, as we already did, recently about my son, who wants to study archaeology/anthropology.
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Last edited by Alan T; Jun 14, 2009 at 2:59 PM. Reason: Found another image, minor corrections
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