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The Threshing Sledge

Two weeks ago our newsletter featured the oldest artefact held by the Mills Archive, the rotary quern from the iron age. This week’s gem is the largest item in our collections: a threshing sledge from Alan Stoyel’s collection. The history of the threshing sledge Threshing is the stage in the processing of grain which follows…

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Homestead Gristmill

Agnes C Meeker This is a gem of a find located at Homestead Heritage site just outside the town of Waco, Texas.The restored gristmill from the 1760s operates daily, grinding cornmeal and flour. Homestead is an agrarian and craft-based intentional community. Its literature stresses simplicity, sustainability, sufficiency, cooperation, service and quality craftmanship. The daily activities…

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An ancient milling revolution

Nathanael Hodge  Happy New Year to all readers of our newsletter! 2023 is the Mills Archive’s 21st birthday, and in honour of this we will be featuring a series of 21 gems from our collections in these newsletters in the coming months.Our first gem is a beehive quern dating back to the Iron Age, from…

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Women and needle-making

Susan Ing One of our regular volunteers, Susan Ing, has been sorting through the many books that were donated to our library from the collection of the late Alan Stoyel. In this newsletter she shares some insights in the role of women in needle-making from an article in the book Women in Industry and Technology from…

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Moroccan Mills 2 – Technology

Michael Harverson Michael Harverson (1937-2017) was one of the founding trustees of the Mills Archives. A particular interest of his was the mills of the Middle East, and in his collection we have several accounts of his travels, illustrated with photographs. This newsletter contains another extract from Michael Harverson’s travelogue of his trip to Morocco in 1985…

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The Newgate Prison Windmill

Stephen Buckland This is an abridged version of an unpublished typescript by Stephen Buckland (1935-2006) which is held in the Archive’s collections. You can read the full transcription here: https://catalogue.millsarchive.org/newgate-prison-mill-1752-unpublished. Newgate Prison The old Newgate Prison. From Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Old_Newgate.jpg The ancient prison of Newgate, near the present Old Bailey, was built originally in the 12th century…

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English paper mills and forged French currency

A version of this article originally appeared as two posts on the Mills Archive blog in 2019.Mills have often played surprising and unexpected roles in world history. One example is the story of the part several English paper mills played in forging currency with the intent of undermining the French revolution. Assignats Assignats were a…

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Feeding the World. Windmills and watermills: Preservation and restoration  

From Quern to Computer; a history of flour milling by Martin and Sue Watts covers a wide range of topics and  Chapter 15 is the final chapter, written in 2016, reflecting on a challenging future for traditional mills. Wimbledon Common Windmill was converted to six small cottages in the 1860s (Postcard from the Mills Archive Collection, DONP-10985) The corn milling industry…

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Moroccan Mills

Michael Harverson Michael Harverson (1937-2017) was one of the founding trustees of the Mills Archives. A particular interest of his was the mills of the Middle East, and in his collection we have several accounts of his travels, illustrated with photographs. In April-July 1985 he was given a sabbatical from his role as a teacher at Watford…

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The Staff of Holmans of Canterbury

A few weeks ago we featured the history of the firm Holman Brothers of Canterbury in our newsletter. In this newsletter we will look in more detail at the employees of the firm, including their experiences in the First and Second World Wars. The Staff of Holmans Thomas Richard Holman and his employees, 1870s (Mills…

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