A-Z glossary

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An A-shaped frame used for supporting a bearing.

See A-Bracket.

The failure to take grain to that mill to which it is bound by THIRLAGE (Scot.).

Against The Sun
Anti-clockwise (traditional term) See also WITH THE SUN.

The process by which flour is allowed to stand for some time after grinding until its original creamy colour has turned white. Was carried out by chemical bleaching at one time, but generally no longer so.

In paper manufacture, a revolving paddle used in STUFF CHESTS or VATS to mix and keep the STUFF stirred. Also used in northern British corn milling as a synonym for DAMSEL.

Air Brakes
Longitudinal shutters sometimes incorporated into the outer end of the leading edge of PATENT SAILS.They are opened by the shutter mechanism so as to break up air flow in heavy gusts, thus reducing the speed of rotation of the sails. Also known as skyscrapers.

Air Poles
Diagonal control rods connecting the SHUTTER BARS to the STRIKING GEAR of HOOPER'S ROLLER REEFING SAILS.

Machine-made paper which is passed over skeleton drums and dried by air, usually hot, circulated through them.

Air-Knife Coating
The so-called air knife acts on the principle of a doctor blade and uses a thin, flat jet of air to remove the excess coating from a wet sheet which has just passed through the coating zone.

Alarm Bell
A warning bell triggered by lack of grain in the HOPPER; also a bell which gives warning for anything else, e.g. from a small flood wheel. Also known as a warbler.

ALUMINIUM SULPHATE for sizing. Correctly it is a general name of a group of double sulphates, all of which crystallise in the same form such as potash alum.

Aluminium Sulphate
Used in the sizing of paper. It is added to ANIMAL SIZE or GELATINE to stabilise the consistency, to act as a preservative by arresting the formation of destructive bacteria and to help render the GELATINE impervious to ink.

American Windmill

Anchor Chain
A chain used in conjunction with a winch mounted on the tail pole of a windmill to turn and secure the mill; made fast to CHAINPOSTS set around the base.

Anchor Platform
Platform at the lower end of the tailpole to fix the end of the spoke chain.

Anchor Posts
Another term for CHAIN POSTS.

A dish containing 6lbs Dutch weight meal which was used to measure the miller's & mill servants' share of the meal (Scot.).

Angle Of Weather
Twist or pitch in a sail, resembling that of a propeller, to catch the wind & give driving power. Usually 5 degrees at the tip and about 25 degrees at the HEEL, measured from the plane of rotation.

Animal Gelatine
Produced by boiling the waste pieces of hides, hooves, bones etc. in copper-lined steam-jacketed heaters. The GELATINE helps to prevent ink and water penetration into the paper. Also known as ANIMAL SIZE.

Animal Size
See Animal Gelatine.

Annular Sail
Circular sail assembly with several radial vanes.

A mill run by a co-operative.

Anticlockwise Sails
SAILS of a WINDMILL that run anticlockwise when viewed from the front of the mill.

A size of drawing paper introduced by the younger Whatman in 1773. It was the largest size sheet of paper made by hand in the west and was standardised at 53 x 30 in.

Appold Turbine
A early type of centrifugal pump driven by marsh mills.

(1) A flat plate at the end of the trough delivering water to a waterwheel. (2) Arc or breast of stone or wood fitted behind a breast or pitchback waterwheel to contain the water in the buckets. (3) The brick or wooden boarded floor to a watercourse, upstream or downstream from a sluice or waterwheel to prevent the water from scouring under the foundations. (4) The area around the bedstone, into which the mill eye is set. (5) A sheet of oiled cloth, leather or rubber which bridges the gap between the breast box and the moving wire on a FOURDRINIER paper machine so that the PULP is delivered evenly onto the wire.

Archimedean Screw
A device for raising water for drainage purposes, consisting of a long sloping coarse-pitched screw, made of wood or metal, rotating in a close fitting trough. See also AUGER. The Japanese have a small archimedean screw which is used "in reverse" for producing power on a farm.

Ark (Miller's Ark)
A bin for the storage of grain or meal. See MEAL BIN and MEAL ARK.

Arm Wheel
A wheel having radial arms set on a hub, mortised into a wooden shaft or cast with it.

Armfield Arch
Cast-iron SPRATTLE ARCH much used by J.J.Armfield Co., Ringwood, Hampshire, but in use long before.

See Whip.

Arms (waterwheel)
The 'spokes' of a WATERWHEEL.

Arms (windmill)

Artificial Stone

A hollow tower designed to deliver a jet of water under pressure to a horizontal waterwheel. Used in Spain and the Middle East.

Squared stones used in building.

A device for cleaning grain before grinding, utilising a FAN (2) to produce a current of air to remove dust and impurities.


Abrasion, The wearing away by friction or by rubbing substances together.

(1) In mills, a horizontal screw helix or Archimedean screw, revolving in a trough or tube and employed for the horizontal movement of grain or meal. It was improved by Oliver Evans an American millwright in the C18th. (2) A carpenter's tool for boring holes; used by millwrights.

A dish containing 6 lbs Dutch weight meal used to measure the miller's and mill servants' share of the meal. (Scot.).

Automatic Sweep
See Patent Sail.

Auxiliary Drive
The driving mechanism (shafts, belts or gears) to auxiliary equipment in a mill, or associated with an auxiliary engine.

Auxiliary Power
Any other power source used to augment the wind or water.

The paddles of a waterwheel. See FLOATS . Sometimes the sails or shaft of a windmill (Scot.).

The spike or beard on a grain of barley (Scot.).

The shaft carrying the WATERWHEEL and the PIT WHEEL. (also a general term for a spindle or shaft set horizontally).

Axle Tree
See Windshaft.