Museo Etnologico Monza e Brianza - il nuovo sito del MEMB ├Ę in fase di aggiornamento


28 giugno 2016

water energy

The first water wheel, called “ Greek mill”, was settled horizontally in the middle of a water flow which lapped the vanes. The energy produced was very poor, so the wheel settled vertically took its place. The wheel, with its rotating movement due to the water flow, transmitted the movement to a shaft settled horizontally at the centre of it, and this movement, through the gears, was converted in a rotating motion of another shaft which made the millstone turning. In the mill for flour the millstone was made by two big disks of stone settled horizontally, the one lower fixed, the one higher revolving; between the two disks, called “palmenti”, through the hopper, the corn fell and was turned into flour. In the mill for oil the millstone turned vertically inside of a container in which the hopper threw the seeds to squeeze.
From the XI century the mill was diffused all over Europe, and we can consider it as the first “machine” invented by man, and for whom the man has studied a functioning of very low price, using water which is an element always present in nature. Its fundamental characteristic is that of being always re-usable. In the passing of centuries the system of the mill with an hydraulic wheel was used not only to grind the corn and produce oil, but also to make the spinning mill and the sawmill work, for the fulling ( a system to give thickness to the woven obtaining cloth and felt), for the production of paper, for the grinding of metals for weapons and farm tools, to regenerate air in the mines, to lift up materials, to set the power hammers in motion and for other thousand works.
There are two fundamental types of mill: the one placed in a mountain zone, with water which came from the top, and it’s called “ per di sopra”, and the other one placed in plain, with the water which flows on a flat surface, called “per di sotto”. The wheel was made of wood and iron with some vanes, which sometimes were replaced by small chests that, filling up of water, with their weight increased the rotating strength of the wheel.


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