Articles in IM87 - December 2013

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Summary of the main articles in IM 87 which was published in December 2013

The Windmills in the Holmogory District of Russia: Monuments of age-old Dutch-Russian Cultural Contacts, by Piet Schiereck, Alexander Davydov, Paul Groen.
The first contacts between Dutch merchants and the Russian settlements, such as Holmogory, around the White Sea in the 16th century are described together with the founding of the town of Archangelsk. Although post windmills were known in North Russia, Dutch immigrants introduced the design of the smock mill prior to the beginning of the 17th century. The type of smock mill built in Northern Russia is examined in detail and comparisons made with contemporary Dutch practice. The surviving examples of these smock mills are shown now to be only the mills at Rodvina Gora and the mill from Bor, which is now in a museum. The state of these two remaining mills is described, including an unusual sack hoist mechanism, and arguments for their restoration made. Technical drawings have been made for the restoration of the mill from Bor to working order and the dimension used to calculate the dynamic parameters of the mill.

The History of the World’s First Wind-driven Hemp Stamping Mill, by Leo den Engelse, Margreet Hoek, Flip Verduin and Pieter Schotsman.
The relationship between the development of the eight sided smock mill and the emergence of industrial windmills in Alkmaar has been described previously (IM 80). Here that relationship is shown to have produced the first wind powered hemp mill in 1591. Unfortunately, the peace of 1609 reduced the demand for ropes and sails and so the first hemp mill closed.  The reasons why it did not resume when demand returned and numerous hemp mills were constructed elsewhere is explored. The central role of the Alkmaar millwright, Jan Claesen, and his collaboration with the inventors of various industrial processes to produce a variety of industrial windmills is described and his contribution to the Dutch wind driven industrial revolution of the early 17th century evaluated. When the first hemp mill was sold and removed from Alkmaar its trail is followed to Amsterdam where it was converted to a fulling mill, being immortalised in sketch by Rembrandt.

Mill Performance on Andros in the 1930s and 1940s, by George Speis
This article is based on the analysis of documents dating from the occupation of the Greek Island of Andros during the Second World War when the Italian authorities were monitoring the production and processing of food throughout the country. The figures show a considerable discrepancy from the widely held figure for the flour production of waterpowered mills in Greece. Other documents available from this time, such as the “Workshop Book” and the “Mills Record Book” for a water and diesel powered flour mill and machine workshop on the island, together with oral testimony, raise questions about the evolution of technology in Greece.

The Bombardment and Rebuilding of the Mills of Antalya, Turkey, by Hüseyin Çimrin
Most readers will have heard of the Gallipolli Campaign during the First World War but will not be aware that hostilities continued after Gallipoli with a blockade of the coast of Turkey by French warships. At Antalya on the southern coast of Turkey the cliffs surrounding the city were ideal locations for watermills to exploit the large head available as streams fell into the sea. Unfortunately their location made them easy targets for the French warships who shelled these coastal mills in 1916. After the war the mill at Antalya harbour was rebuilt by the Turkish authorities in spite of considerable opposition from those privately owned mills located further from the coast that had survived the war intact. Some of these mills survive today although all production ceased in the 1960s. Recently one of these mills has been renovated to illustrate Antalya’s milling heritage.

'Oeconomical' Grinding in England - A West-Country Trial, by Owen Ward
In the latter half of the 18th century, César Bucquet was appointed to provide flour in the Hôpital Général in Paris to feed those unfortunate to be inmates there (i.e. beggars, vagrants, lunatics and the 'incorrigible'). He introduced a system of 'oeconomical' milling to increase the yield of flour produced. This consisted of setting the millstones with a large gap and re-grinding some of the resultant meal where necessary. This method came to the attention of the Bath and West Society in 1788, who held their own tests on this method of milling, and figures are provided which show the basis for their conclusions.

There is also the usual short items of mill interest from around the world plus book reviews.