Posted on

E M Gardner Collection

Photographs and illustrations

Miss Gardner’s hundreds of photographs of watermills and windmills are contained within Series EMGC-04. The print photographs of E. M. Gardner comprise watermills of all of the counties of England and Wales. Miss Gardner’s collection of hundreds of photographic negatives are incorporated within Series EMGC-05. The cataloguing of these items is a constant work in progress.

The Series EMGC-06 and EMGC-07 are still yet to be catalogued on AtoM with the sixth Series comprising 13 watercolours, 8 ink drawings, 2 pencil drawings, 2 engravings and 1 woodcut of windmills and watermills. The seventh and penultimate Series consists of letters sent to Miss Gardner by Arthur C. Smith and Monica Dance along with a facsimile of the grant of the estates of John Lambert dated 2nd April 1663 which describes the two water powered corn mills of the manor of Ayrton. 

EMGC-A is an additional Series consisting of 85 lantern slides which include cross sectional diagrams, hand drawn and water colour illustrations and photographic images of watermills and mill machinery. Once again, there is much material of great value including a painting of a watermill by the 17th century Dutch painter J Van Ruisdael and a number of photographs taken close up of water wheels, pit wheels, wallowers, spur wheels, flour dresses and sack scales. 

Ruined Mill in Lathkill Dale, Derbyshire
Ruined mill in Lathkill Dale, Derbyshire

There is no shadow of a doubt that E. M. Gardner was a remarkable woman whose determination, drive and dedication to preserving and recording the history of the mills of the British Isles was truly formidable. The milling world owes an enormous debt of gratitude to her pioneering work. The spirit of Miss Gardner’s determination to never surrender lives on and reverberates through her Collection: a fine memorial to a truly inspirational individual.