Articles in IM93 - December 2016

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Summary of articles in International Molinology No 93 which was published in December 2016

The Watermills of the Ounein Valley of Morocco by Michael Harverson

This article is a contemporary report from Michael Harverson, this time from 1985, when he visited the Ounein, some 80km south of Marrakesh. 22 watermills were still working here then, augmented by a small number of diesel mills. All were under threat from imported flour but even then some new mills were being built. All of the mills had horizontal wheels with characteristic blades held at 40 degrees to the horizontal. Some mills had no hoppers, being fed by hand, and often were run by the women. The report made recommendations for improving the efficiency of the mills, and was submitted to the Rural Development Department in order to raise UNICEF funds.

Stuttgart and its Molinological History by Achim Bonenschäfer

The little settlement of Berg just outside Stuttgart, on a canalised section of the River Neckar, was the site of the industrial complex of the Dukes of Württemberg. Here, from the 15th century onwards were corn mills, fulling mills, tanning mills and sawmiils, followed in the 17th and 18th centuries by paper mills, gypsum mills, and for a short time a silk spinning mill. The Duke had his forges there and even a mint for his coinage. Larger mechanised corn mills appeared in the 1830s. By the late 19th century water power was used for pumping water but by 1929 the canal had completely run dry.

Grain milling in the Region of Gabrovo, Bulgaria from the late 19th Century to the 1970s by Rositsa Bineva and Penka Koleva

This paper is the result of research by the curators of the Etar Ethnographic Open Air Museum in Gabrovo. The focus of their research being the upper course of the River Yantra where, in the 1970s, were still a number of working corn mills. Horizontal wheel and vertical overshot wheel watermills both occured in the Central Balkans. The researchers recount stories of “mill shares” and mill inheritance, however a large part of the paper is devoted to the millstones, their sourcing and maintenance. The paper includes some fascinating photos from the 70s era showing stones being lifted and dressed.

Sketches from the history of milling in Chelmno Land (in the north of Poland) by Maciej Prarat

This paper focuses on the preserved watermills and windmills found today in this little-researched area of Poland, as compared to the numbers and locations when they were most numerous in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Only 16 watermills remain, the oldest being the 13th century mill at Torun, and two preserved post mills. ‘Sketches from history’ refers to a number of interesting plans and elevations drawn up for the purpose of planning permits and fortunately preserved in the National Archives.

Deaths and Injuries resulting from Millstone Related Accidents in the Unites States, 1855-1912, Part 1 by Charles D. Hockensmith

The author has made a study of all available American digitized newspaper accounts of the period 1855-1912 to uncover these reports of millstone related accidents. This first part deals with 12 states, and the article will conclude in IM94 with some summary comments about the accidents and their causes. Most of the accounts deal with ‘bursting millstones’ which caused horrific injuries and deaths, but there are also accounts of flour explosions supposedly caused by millstones. This paper certainly raises a number of questions.

Short papers and communications

Short papers and communications include an update on the work to restore Upminster Windmill in the London Borough of Havering (by Dennis Coombs), Windmills and Railroads: A Successful Partnership (an abridged version of MIT competion entry by Samuel Porcello, Windmill Museums in Australia and a letter of response by Derek Ogden regarding a previous article on Colonial Williamsburg Windmill.  Also an update on the program for the mid-term UK tour in 2017 from Tony Bonson.
Two book reviews by Heinz Schuler include Archéologie des moulins hydrauliques, à traction animale et à vent des origines à l’époque médiévale et moderne en Europe et dans le monde méditerranéen edited by Luc Jaccottey & Giles Rollier, and TURNING STONE TO BREAD: A Diachronic Study of Millstone Making in Southern Spain by Timothy J. Anderson.