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Feeding the World: Animal and water power

From Quern to Computer; a history of flour milling by Martin and Sue Watts covers a wide range of topics and this series of emails will summarise each one separately.   The application of animal and water power: From the Mediterranean to Britain The earliest milling tools were worked by human effort, using specially selected stones or…

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The Mill of Wealth

Mills have often featured in myth and legend. One ancient Norse poem, the Grottasongr or Lay of Grotti tells of a magical handmill, Grotti (literally ‘grinder’). So large that only the giants could turn it, the mill when ground could produce anything you wanted – wealth, peace, happiness. The mill belonged to a king of Denmark named Frothi (‘the…

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Our Milling Engineers and the Milling Revolution

Many articles from The Miller or Milling demonstrate the importance to the milling trade of conventions and exhibitions. Both these Victorian publications are held at the Mills Archive, along with the American Northwestern Miller. All three journals have some significant gaps, so we would welcome any offers of material as we continue to build the…

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Mills make the world go round saw mills

Mills are most well-known for grinding corn into flour. Over the centuries mills powered by wind, water and other power sources have been used for many other types of industry. These series of newsletters will highlight a different use each month. You can find the full set here at https://new.millsarchive.org/2020/06/25/mills-make-the-world-go-round/.  Water powered saw mill Saw mills, both wind…

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Feeding the World: The first milling stones

From Quern to Computer; a history of flour milling by Martin and Sue Watts covers a wide range of topics and this series of emails will summarise each one separately.  The first milling stonesCereal grains form the staple food of many societies but such grains cannot easily be digested by humans until their hard outer cellulose shells…

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British and Irish Flour Mills. James Comerford’s Roller Mills, County Wicklow, Ireland

As with my previous articles, I have chosen accounts from The Miller or Milling describing successful mills from the early days of roller flour milling.  Both these Victorian publications are held at the Mills Archive, along with the American Northwestern Miller. All three journals have some significant gaps, so we would welcome any offers of…

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Archiving at home

This week is Volunteers’ Week, and to mark it we’d like to say a HUGE thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, who have stuck by us despite the pandemic. We have sorely missed their friendly faces in the office, not to mention all the help they offer in working through our collections and enriching our…

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Mills make the world go round – Incense mills

Incense is made from tree resin, roots, flowers or seeds and produces a sweet smell when burnt. It has been used widely throughout the world in religious ceremonies. In China incense was manufactured in watermills – often three or more on a hillside. Small wooden waterwheels powered millstones or hammers to crush the wood. A…

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Feeding the World: Cereals and cultivation (2)

From Quern to Computer; a history of flour milling by Martin and Sue Watts covers a wide range of topics and this series of emails will summarise each one separately.  The early medieval period, c.AD500 to the present day By the end of the Roman period hulled wheats such as spelt and emmer were generally giving…

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