Summary of articles in International Molinology No 105 which were published in December 2022
Bulgarian Mid-Term Tour: 23 September to 1 October and 9 October to 17 October 2022.
The first 14 pages of the journal are dedicated to a report on the first of these tours, written by the Editor. The party visited a number of watermills, mainly around four settlements; Egrek, Shumnatitsa, Voneshta Voda and Potok. These included small grain mills, some still in use during the wet season, but also two sawmills, and at Kalofer and Zlatograd they viewed grain/fulling mill complexes. Other highlights included a visit to the very early Neolithic house site at Zlatograd (complete with in-situ saddle querns), and a walnut oil mill at Kazanlack. One whole day was spent viewing the mill exhibits of the ETAR Open-air Museum at Gabrovo, the working location of our host Rostsa Bineva. Here are working grain mills, water-powered lathes, a fulling mill, sawmill, walnut-oil mill, fulling tubs and a unique braid making mill powered by 9 horizontal wheels.
'Ebbs and flows of a Cape Cod tide mill: investment, innovation and community' by Timothy J. Richards.
This article charts the movement from windmills to tide mills in New England, and the rise and fall of one such mill, from c.1790 to 1860. The mill was built under shared ownership, but after 1820 growth of the community required that the mill be upgraded with an early type of turbine (a 'reaction' wheel). The mill was abandoned earlier than most tide mills due to loss of the harbour and decline of the local fishing fleet.
'Xuchimangas mills: analysis of a Jesuit hydraulic system in old colonial Mexico' by Tarsicio Pastrana Salcedo.
This mill complex was built by Jesuits to serve an educational establishment in Tepotzotlán, Mexico, 45 kilometres north of Mexico City. The author has made a detailed study of the remains, including the associated hydraulic engineering for the water supply system which served the seven mills. There then follows a hypothesis for the architectural evolution of one of these mills.
'Is the development of the windmill in Western Europe independent from that of the Eastern (Sistan) windmill?' by Tarcis van Berge Henegouwen.
The author charts the rise and expansion of the Islamic Caliphates which promoted new learning and technology, including reports on the horizontal windmills of Sistan. The attempts by Islamic armies to gain a foothold in Italy prompted the hiring of Norman mercenaries who eventually took over Southern Italy and Sicily. This new kingdom was diverse in outlook, and King Roger II invited Al-Idrisi to his court. Here he wrote his great book, in 1164, which could have influenced contemporaneous Norman mill building around the English Channel.
Also included in this edition of International Molinology are an obituary to Tim Booth and a book review, by Graham Hackney, on ‘Windmills of Central Europe and beyond’ by Bill Bignell..