A-Z glossary

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"S" shaped plates used in conjunction with tie rods to strengthen a building. Other shapes are also used.

A hessian bag to contain grain or milled products.

Sack (of Flour)
280 pounds = Twenty stone = 2.5 cwt. = British standard SACK of flour.

Sack Balance
See Beam Scales.

Sack Boy
See Sack Jack.

Sack Brand
Used for marking the miller's sacks, usually with pitch, using a stencil or an implement similar to a branding iron.

Sack Chain
The chain used for hoisting sacks.

Sack Flaps
See Sack Traps.

Sack Floor
A special storage area for meal or grain in a mill, In a watermill, often on the attic floor.

Sack Hoist
A chain or rope mechanism for hoisting sacks at or within a mill. In a CORN MILL, usually for taking GRAIN up to the BIN FLOOR.

Sack Jack
A bar suspended on a cord, with hooks for holding the mouth of a sack open.

Sack Jigger
See Sack Jogger.

Sack Jogger
A lever device used to knock a suspended sack on the floor to shake down the contents while it is being filled. See also POSSER.

Sack Posser
See Posser.

Sack Rope
See Sack Chain.

Sack Scales
See Beam Scales.

Sack Slide
Wooden slide down which full sacks may be lowered to a cart etc. (In Essex commonly found on left side of ladder or steps of a POST MILL.) Spiral metal slides are found in late C19 industrial mills.

Sack Traps
Sets of hinged twin trap doors in the floor, set vertically above each other, with the SACK HOIST chain passing up between them. The trap doors lift as sacks of GRAIN press up from below and fall shut by gravity when the sack has passed through. Also known as a HATCH.

Sack Trolley
A two-wheeled trolley with one or two handles, sometimes curved, and having an iron foot to lift and hold a sack while it is being moved"

See Stone Saddle.

Saddle Quern
See Quern.

Saddle Trees
A pair of wooden guides on the roof of a post mill for ropes to suspend a cradle for access to paint and repair.

Saddle Wedge
See Stone Wedge.

Safety Flanges
A coupling with flanges that extend over the bolts to keep them out of harm's way.

Sail Back
Northern term for timber support for sails into which the SAIL BARS are morticed and which is strapped and bolted directly to the arms of an IRON CROSS (instead of a POLL END) at the outer end of the windshaft. Now often superseded by a combination of STOCK & WHIP BACKS. See SAIL BACK.

Sail Bars
The transverse members of a sail frame mortised through WHIPS or SAIL BACKS to "carry cloth sails or shutters".

Sail Bay
See Bay.

Sail Box
See Poll End.

Sail Clamps
See Clamps.

Sail Cloth

Sail Cloth Settings
See Common Sails.

Sail Crome
A long handled crook, used to pull down a SAIL for REEFING etc.

Sail Frame
(1) The wooden framework of a COMMON SAIL which supports the SAIL CLOTH. (2) The SAIL framework which supports the SHUTTERS.

Sail Lever
See Levers.

Sail Positions
(1) St Andrews Cross - normal rest position. (2) St George's Cross - brief rest position, also known as MILLER'S GLORY or MILLER'S PRIDE. (3) Mourning - lower sail set slightly to right; viewed from in front of the mill (Dutch term). (4) Celebration - lower sail set slightly to left; when viewed from in front of the mill (Dutch term).

Sail Rods
See Shutter Bars.

Sail Ropes
See Pointing Lines.

Sail Shutter
See Shutter.

Sail(ing) In
To close the shutters. See SAIL OUT.

Sail(ing) Out
To open the shutters. See SAIL IN.

The revolving arms of a WINDMILL which are secured to the forward end of the WINDSHAFT, and are turned by wind to provide the power to drive the machinery. See COMMON, SPRING and PATENT SAILS, ROLLER REEFING, HORIZONTAL MILL and JIB SAILS. Known as SWEEPS in Kent & Sussex.

See Stock.

Saint Andrew’s Cross
See Sail Positions.

A room or area in a paper mill where paper was sorted into its various qualities and quantities

Scandinavian term for the HORIZONTAL MILL.

Samson Head
An iron casting strengthening the bearing instead of wood-to-wood contact. Usually (but not always) they are later than the mill. Often used at the main bearing for the CROWN TREE at the head of the POST, carrying the body of the post mill.

Samson Post
A stout vertical wooden post supporting a floor beam remote from the wall framing.

Sapling Mill
A PLUMPING MILL(2) (pestle and mortar) in which a sapling (small tree) is bent over and attached to the pestle, acting as a spring, to assist the operator in lifting it. This eased the manual operation of the pestle.

Sash Mill
Mill for making window and door frames in which panes of glass are set.

Saw Blades
The cutting blades operated by the CRANKSHAFT and CONNECTING RODS in a SAWMILL for cutting baulk timber.

Saw Frames
The reciprocating wooden frame in a SAWMILL which carries the saw blades.

Saw Mill
A wind or water mill which is used to drive saws and perhaps other woodworking machinery.

Sawing Floor
The floor in a SAWMILL where the sawing operation is carried out.

Scale Beam
See Beam Scales.

See Mill Scales.

See Beam Scales.

To sift. Sift off the coarsest portion of the grind. Remove foreign matter from the grain before grinding.

(1) A machine with a rotating reel for removing dirt and small seeds from wheat. (2) The sieve after the first break rollers in a ROLLER MILL.

A measured size of timber, dimensions of the cross section, a narrow piece of timber (less than a beam in cross section, i.e. less than 5 x 5 inches derived from slabbing a whole tree trunk and used for rafters, joists etc.).

Scarfed Joint
Overlapping joint in a long timber.

A broad wooden shovel (old Sussex Term) Also known as a BARN SCOOP.

Scoop Wheel
A DRIVEN, usually narrow, waterwheel with FLOATS set at an angle to the radius, used to lift or "scoop" water to a higher level for land drainage purposes. Also called a DASH WHEEL.

Scoop Wheel Shaft
In a DRAINAGE MILL, the shaft which carries the scoop wheel.

Scotch Wedge
See Stone Wedge.

Removal of grease and oil from cloth. See FULLING.

Scratch Dial
A sundial scratched on wood or stone.

Scratch Rolls
Finely-fluted rollers which remove bran fragments from floury middlings. Usually identified in mill diagrams as X & Y.


Scree Dust
Dust from milling oat kernels, slightly coarser than OAT DUST.

See Debris Grille.

A machine similar to a dresser with only one grade of wire gauze, which brushes dust from grain prior to grinding. Used in place of or after a SEPARATOR

Screw Conveyor
See Creeper.

Screw Down Brake
See Brake Screw.

Screw Jack
(1) Used for heavy lifting operations. Early versions had two threaded wooden screws set between stout wooden blocks; the screws were turned by a lever inserted into holes in the screw. (2) A screw mechanism for lifting a stone nut out of gear.

Screw Pins
See Hackle Screws.

Screw Worm
See Archimedean Screw.

A preliminary carding or combing process employed in the preparation of fibres prior to spinning.

Scribbling Mill
A TEXTILE MILL in which wool or cotton fibres are initially and coarsely combed to straighten them. One of the several processes to prepare the fibre for spinning.

A curved steel marker used in fitting new cogs.

See Jog Scry.

See Flake-Buster.

See Jog Scry.

A wooden shovel used by millers (Suffolk term). Wooden shovel used to lift and transfer the wrought charge from mill to bogie.

Scutching Mill
A TEXTILE MILL in which the "retted" stems of the linseed plant are beaten to release the fibrous material, flax.

Scuttle Canister
A POLL END with extended rear walls to present an extended surface to take the pressure of the STOCKS.

Second Reef
See Common Sails.

Secondary Furrows

also known as HOUSEHOLDS. Second best grade of flour (Number 2) STANDARD WHEATEN, WHOLEMEAL FLOUR.

Seed Mill
A mill in which seed corn is cleaned and from which foreign seed is removed.

Self Cleaning Bins
See Funnel Bins.

Self Winding Mill
A windmill with a FANTAIL.

Self-Acting Sail
See Patent Sail.

Self-Regulating Sail
See Patent Sail.

Hard particles of wheat from the MIDDLINGS, after DRESSING, or the granulated wheat particles of partly-reduced grain in ROLLER MILLING. It has the texture of coarse sand and is used to manufacture macaroni and spaghetti and domestically in puddings.

A machine used in place of, or in conjunction with, a screener to remove dust impurities from grain.

A strong twilled fabric, once of silk, now usually of worsted; used especially for its rough wear (silk serge used for tailor's linings).

Service Waiter
Operator who transported material from one process building to another.

Servo Principle
The BRAKE of a windmill is commonly designed to utilise the servo principle, whereby the greater force which the brake is required to exert, the tighter the brake band grips the BRAKE WHEEL.

Set Screws
(1) See BRIDGING SCREWS. (2) A screw used to hold the poll wedges.

Term for SHUTTERS, used in Lincolnshire and to the north. See VANES and SHUTTERS.

Shadow Watermarks
See Three-Dimensional Watermarks.

Shadow Zone
A thicker area in a sheet of paper formed either side of the supporting ribs of a hand MOULD because the ribs have drawn the water out of the PULP through the single-layered cover, so attracting more fibres towards them.

A hand-operated device for water lifting ( like a balanced fishing rod ).

(1) A rotating bar of wood or metal for transferring power. See LAYSHAFT, UPRIGHT SHAFT and WINDSHAFT. (2) The large wooden or iron beam to which the hammer head of a TILT HAMMER is fixed. See TILT HAMMER.

(1) Term applied to a sideways movement of a hand MOULD or the wire of a paper-machine to interlock the fibres while they are still suspended in the PULP. (2) A split or crack along the grain in piece of timber.

See Jog Scry.

Shaker Arm
Arm attached to the shoe which contacts the damsel.

A light cloth for coat-linings and women's dresses. (Chalons in France.)

Shank Of Cog
The tail portion of a COG which is mortised into the wheel and projects beyond it.

Sharp To Sharp
An American term. See FRONT TO FRONT.

A superior grade of offal sometimes used for coarse household bread but usually used for animal foods. See COARSE MIDDLINGS, SUPERS, THIRDS, TOPPINGS.

Shawngunk Conglomerate Grit
Millstones produced by the Esopus Millstone Co. of Kingston, New York.

See Eel Shear.

Shear Trees
See Sheers.

See Sheers.

A grooved wheel for a rope to run in. Used for guiding and supporting.

A synonym for TRUCK WHEELS.

(1) In POST MILLS, the principal framing members of the floor of the buck running fore & aft on either side of the post. (2) In SMOCK or TOWER MILLS, the principal longitudinal timbers of the cap frame.

Shelled Oats
Oat grains which have had their tough outer husks removed by SHELLING STONES.

The first process in grinding oats in which the HUSKS are removed.

Shelling Stones
Millstones, often thin 'worn out' grinding stones, having little dressing, are tentered to be set apart a little less than the length of an oat grain. When kiln-dried oats are milled, the husks are split off leaving the KERNELS or GROATS intact.

The vertical flange at the circumference of the waterwheel at the sides of the buckets or floats.

See Shelling.

See Shelling Stones.

Thin plates of metal or slabs of wood which are added or removed from a bearing to make it fit the journal properly when setting it up or adjusting it to compensate for wear. Shims may also be used for making fine adjustments to the position of a bearing or other component.

Shock Loss
The loss of impetus in moving water on coming into contact with the BUCKET of a waterwheel.

A grade of recycled wool.

An inclined tapering wooden trough fed with grain from the HOPPER, vibrated by the DAMSEL or QUANT to cause grain to enter evenly into the eye of the stone. See also GATE (1).

Short Patent
A flour containing only a small percentage of fine flour

Designation for the most undesirable grade of flour.

Shot Curb
(1) Independent ring of rollers between the CURB and the CAP CIRCLE of a SMOCK or TOWER MILL. see CURB, SHOT SHOULDER YOKE. (2) Two bars projecting downwards from near the end of a TAIL POLE against which the miller sets his shoulders when WINDING the mill.

A step in a sail stock, locating against the CANISTER to centre it. Same as JOG.

Shoulder Yoke
Collar (of a Tail Pole)

Show Your Metal
Phrase used by millers to check how experienced a STONE DRESSER was. Stone & metal particles entered the stone dressers wrists & hands while DRESSING a STONE causing skin discoloration.

Show Your Mettle
See Show Your Metal.

Show Your Steel
See Show Your Metal.

A wooden shovel used for putting corn into a winnowing machine (Old Sussex term.)

(1) The annular rim of a waterwheel, which closes the ends of the BUCKETS, and to which they are fastened. (2) A flange or rim enclosing the ends of teeth, as in a shrouded pinion.

Oat HUSKS or HULLS. Unshelled oats.

A control gate. See PENSTOCK. See SLUICE.

(1) The pivoted or hinged vanes in spring or patent sails. See also VANES & SHADES. (2) A boarded removable or hinged cover which covers the opening in a wall of a mill, to admit light and/or ventilation. Sometimes used instead of windows.

Shutter Bars
A longitudinal wooden rod operating a group of shutters on a sail.

Shutter Trees
The SHEERS of a post mill (Suffolk).

Shuttered Sails
Spring or patent sails, set by closing linked canvas or wooden SHUTTERS held in the SAIL FRAME.

See Sluice.

Shuttle Trees
(Suffolk) See SHEERS.

Sickle Dress
A MILLSTONE dress having FURROWS of varying curvature.

Side Girts
The timbers running the full length of the side of a post mill, resting upon the crown tree & supporting the framing of the body of the mill. Also known as GIRTS.

A mesh of cloth or metal for separating particles of different sizes, the finer particles pass through.

The act of using a SIEVE to separate rubbish from grain, or separating MEAL as in Dressing. See DRESSING.

See Brush Sifter.

RHYND as used in some Horizontal mills (Scot - Shetland term.)

Silent Feed
A mechanism consisting of a flat circular horizontal plate attached above the RHYND and within the EYE of the RUNNER STONE. Above the plate is a vertical telescopic tube, concentric with the EYE, down which grain is fed to the stones. The telescopic tube is raised sufficiently above the plate to allow the required amount of grain to fall into the stones, the flow being maintained by the rotation of the circular plate. A CROOK STRING attached to a lifting lever allows the miller to adjust the height of the tube to regulate the grain flow from his operating position.

Silk Machine
Flour dresser in which the meal is tumbled through a very long silk-covered spider drum, or is beaten through a tubular silk sleeve. See BOLTER.

Silk Mill
A TEXTILE MILL in which silk is prepared and woven into cloth and like products or part of that process.

Silk Reel
(1) see SILK MACHINE. (2) see REEL.

The cylinder of silk cloth through which flour is passed in the grading process using a SILK MACHINE. See BOLTER.

(1) Top of wall of weir or dam. (2) Horizontal timber plates on top of base walls of a smock mill to carry cant posts & framing. (3) FORWARD, (REAR) In a POST MILL, the heavy timbers at bottom of post mill body passing over the front (rear) of the SHEERS to support the CORNER POSTS (2). (4) CAP. Two timbers used to support the roof members of some caps.

Single-Leaf Spring
See Springs.

For example a CAST-IRON WHEEL, cast in one piece, as opposed to being in two parts bolted together.

Single-Pressure Sails
See Single-Sided Sails.

Single-Shuttered Sail
A sail having shutters on the trailing or driving side of the WHIP or SAILBACK only.

Single-Sided Sails
A sail having shutters or canvas on the trailing or driving side of the WHIP or SAILBACK only.

Single-Step Gear
Where only one set of gears are between power source and millstones.

Originally a solution of glue or GELATINE but later any substance that reduces the rate at which paper treated with it absorbs water.

Size House
A room or building in a paper mill where the sizing operation was carried out.

(1) The treatment of paper with chemicals to reduce its absorbency. (2) The control of grain size (and therefore of surface area) of finished powder by sieving.

A construction of iron rods & stays carrying the pivot for a triangle in a patent sail linkage well forward of the STOCK. Same purpose as Standard or Stump iron. (Suffolk).

Skeleton Mill
A mill constructed without any weather-boards cladding on the framework, usually a SMOCK MILL.

Skeleton Sails (Fan)
Sails or fans which are added for decorative purposes where the framework is kept to a minimum to reduce wind resistance.

A lean-to. (C17 Hants).

Skew Bevel Gear
Gear for taking the drive off a bevel wheel at a tangent.

Skew Gear
A driven SPUR GEAR WHEEL which has its TEETH set at an angle in order to properly mesh with the COGS of a driving gear. Example, sometimes found in a POST MILL in which a SHAFT is positioned behind a BRAKE WHEEL and below the WINDSHAFT, the angle of the skew gear teeth being such as to mesh with the brake wheel teeth. Used for low-power auxiliary drives.

Skid Plates
In tower mills with dead curbs, greased wooden blocks or iron plates fitted to the curb or the cap circle to enable the cap to turn.

Failure of edge runners to turn during the milling process.

See Staffing.

(1) A downwards projecting shield protecting against entry of wind and rain. Also known as a PETTICOAT. (2) (of cap) A SKIRT protecting the curb below a CAP in a SMOCK or TOWER MILL. (3) (of postmill) A SKIRT keeping the weather out of the top of the round-house, usually a downward extension of the weatherboarding. (4) (of millstone) The outer third of the grinding surface of a millstone. (5) The outer edge of a millstone. Also known as the HEM.

Skirting Board
The low wooden curb around the bedstone at floor level.

Skry (Also Scry)
Large flat sieve in corning machine, actuated by a horizontally rotating crank (Lake District).

A Suffolk term for AIRBRAKES. Also known as CATCHPOLE'S SKY SCRAPERS.

See Air Brakes.

Slack Belt
A driving belt fitted loosely between two pulleys, allowing the driving wheel to turn freely; a lever causes the belt to be tightened when the drive is required (e.g. for a sack hoist).

(1) a hollow casting between the bore of a wheel and its shaft. (2) A cloth tube used as a flexible chute for meal.

The opening through which the PULP is poured onto the wire of a FOURDRINIER machine.

Smoothing out a sample of flour for comparison with a standard (as to colour, etc.).

See Spattle.

Sliding Hatch
Curved iron gate operated by rack-&-pinion, that moves against a fixed curve plate with inclined slots. Allows the utilisation of the maximum head available. Invented by John Rennie 1783.

Sliding Plates
See Skid Plates.

(1) A short iron link connecting the spider to the triangle in a patent sail linkage (Kent). (2) Chains or ropes for hitching a load to a lifting tackle. See SLING ROPE, SLING CHAIN, ROPE SLING, CHAIN-SLING.

Sling Chain
See Sling.

Sling Rope
See Sling.

Slip Cogs
Removable cogs, allowing a pinion to be taken out of gear, secured by iron pins.

Slip Jack and Cord
A cord tightening device used on a SACK JACK (similar arrangement used for holding tent poles).

Slip Kiln
A kiln at a FLINT MILL in which the ground slurry is dried into handleable lumps for transport to the pottery.

See Shoe.

Slitting Mill
A water-powered mill used for cutting thin metal into narrow strips.

The ooze at the bottom of a pond or waterway.

Slubbing Billy
A water-powered spinning engine, developed from the SPINNING JENNY.

Slug Iron
A protective iron ring which keeps the RUNNERS of a flint GRINDING PAN from contact with the STAFFING to prevent damage.

A gate to control the flow of water, by raising or lowering it. See PENSTOCK.

Sluice Door
A door used in drainage mills in conjunction with the scoop wheel or Archimedean Screw, which opens automatically when under a head of water allowing its discharge into the drainage ditch.

Sluice Frame
The housing for a sluice gate.

See Launder.

Smelting Mill
A MILL where the air for the furnace used for smelting metal was provided by bellows or pumping cylinders driven by water power.

Smemmum, Smithum
The FINEST GRADE OF FLOUR (historic term; current use religious "Spirit of God").

Smock Mill
Mill with fixed body & movable cap, the tower of which is constructed of timber, covered with weather-boarding or thatch. named after the resemblance to a countryman's white linen smock.

Smooth Rolls
Used in pairs in the later stages of corning.

A fungal growth (Ustilago carbo) common in wheat. Its spores are dark brown in colour and can affect the colour of the flour. Diseased grains are usually removed in a smutter. See also ERGOT.

Smut Machine
See Smutter.

A vertical machine used for removing smuts from grain by throwing them in such a way that diseased grains are broken open; these, being lighter are removed by an airstream together with the fungal dust.

Snap Rope
A rope by which, by pulling on it, the miller can control a BRAKE or SACK HOIST.

Snatch Block
A pulley block with a slot in the side to allow it to be removed from a rope without passing the rope all the way through. Does not grip the rope.

Snotch Block
See Many Height.

Snuff Mill
A mill in which there is machinery for grinding tobacco leaves and other ingredients into fine powder, thus making snuff.

Soda Process
The alkaline treatment of wood for the production of chemical wood PULP by digesting the fibres under pressure with a solution of caustic soda.

The underside of a framing member.

Manorial law governing ownership, building & usage of mills.

Soke Rights
Medieval right of land owner to demand tenants to have their corn ground at his mill. Finally ended in 1871.

Sole (Boards)
A timber, sheet-iron or steel lining to a waterwheel or a board forming the inner face of an individual BUCKET.

Sole (Plate)
See Sole (Boards).

Sole Tree
A horizontal pivoting beam carrying the bottom bearing of the vertical spindle in a horizontal mill.

See Sole (Boards).

See Pigs.

A sliding gate or shutter controlling the flow of grain or meal in CHUTES, HOPPER or SHOE.

See Miller's Spatula.

(1) The multi-armed coupling on the front end of the STRIKING ROD and is part of the STRIKING GEAR which connects the SHUTTERS of all the SAILS together. (2) The iron arms of a wooden waterwheel. (3) The iron centre of a wooden-rimmed brake wheel.

Spider Mill
(1.) Mill fitted with JIB SAILS(1). (2) Diminutive hollow post mill, used for drainage work in Holland.

Spill The Wind
A term meaning to partly open the shutters of a sail which was being driven.

A CILL over which excess water spills.

The vertical SHAFT which may carry the STONE NUT which passes up through the MILLSTONES to engage with the RHYND which carries the RUNNER STONE.

Spindle Beams
Beams above & below the upright shaft in a post mill.

Spinell (Spindle)
Shaft which rotates the upper millstone (Scot.).

Drwing out and twisting the combed fibres of wool, cotton etc., to make a thread.

Spinning Jenny
Early SPINNING machine having more than one spindle enabling a person to spin a number of yarns simultaneously (invented and patented by Hargreaves).

Spinning Mill
A TEXTILE MILL in which fibrous materials, e.g. cotton, wool, flax etc., are prepared and spun into threads.

Spinning Mule
A machine with multiple spindles, which draws and spins threads.

Splined Shaft
Shaft with multiple riles for a wheel to slide along.

See Furrowing Strips.

Split Cotters
'U' shaped pins, folded back at the ends when in use. (common in older mills before screw threads were invented)

Split Sheers
In a windmill cap framing where it is not possible to have a sheers passing from the front to back, several shorter timbers are used, secured by lateral beams.

Split Wheel
A WHEEL which is divided into two or more pieces, which can be assembled round a SHAFT & bolted together. Very convenient for adding a wheel without having to first dismantle the shaft.

See Air Brakes.

Spoke Chain
The chain used to hold the CAPSTAN WHEEL in one position. It goes from a spoke to the anchor platform.


See Quarter Bars.

The collar of a GOVERNOR (Suffolk).

Wooden, metal, plastic or cloth pipe feeding GRAIN or MEAL.

Spout Floor
See Meal Floor.

Spout Man
The person who looked after the SPOUTS and SACKS of MEAL etc.

Sprattle Arch
Cast iron arch which is placed over the end of the WHEEL SHAFT in some British water mills to carry the footstep bearing of the UPRIGHT SHAFT (much used later by Armfield's of Ringwood).

Sprattle Beam
Fixed horizontal beam carrying the SPRATTLE BOX, or bearing of the upright shaft in smock or tower mills. Also known as CENTRE BEAM.

Sprattle Box
The top bearing of a vertical shaft - usually in windmills.

Spring Back
A timber brace between the tip of a stock and the back of a whip (Kent).

Spring Patent Sails
A sail incorporating the principles of both the SPRING SAIL and PATENT SAIL. Springs being incorporated between the head of the striking rod and the REIN IRONS to the TRIANGLES.

Spring Sails
SAILS constructed with SHUTTERS which turn after the fashion of the slats in a venetian blind, linked to a spring, the tension of which can be set manually so that the shutters will open & close according to wind strength, in order to control the power produced. An early form of shuttered sail introduced in 1772. (devised by Andrew Miekle).

Spring-Loaded Shutters
Shutters of SPRING SAILS.

Used in SPRING SAILS and come in a number of forms. (1) COILED. In the form of a helix. (2) ELLIPTIC. Two curved spring members, normally LAMINATED, hinged together at their ends after the fashion used in horse drawn vehicles. Used to control amount the shutters of spring shutter sail can open. Situated near heel of the sail. (3) HALF ELLIPTIC. Comprising one curved spring member, normally laminated. (4) QUARTER ELLIPTIC. Comprising half of a HALF ELLIPTIC spring, normally laminated. (5) SINGLE LEAF. An unlaminated ELLIPTIC spring. (6) LAMINATED. An ELLIPTIC-type spring built up from two or more thin spring components in order to give greater strength and flexibility.

Sprocket Wheel
A toothed wheel designed to carry a chain. Each tooth engages with a link.

A series of small triangles of wood nailed to a sill or soleplate to tilt the bottom weather-boards clear of the brickwork.

A small bucket with a long handle, used for bailing water out of a wheel pit (old Sussex Term).

Spur Gear Drive
See Two-Step Gearing.

Spur Gear Windmill
Post mill with spur gear & two pairs of stones normally located in the head.

Spur Wheel

Spur Wheel Gear
GEAR WHEELS in which the teeth project radially from the rim.

Spur-Cogs Gear
See Spur Wheel Gear.

Fan stage members. (it has also been used for quarter-bars) see QUARTERBARS. (old Lincolnshire name).


Staff Proof (Prover)
See Proof Staff.

(1) The process for marking the grinding face of a MILLSTONE using the PAINT STAFF. See also FACING. (2) The outer edge or containment of a GRINDING PAN. May be made of wood, iron or steel plates, stone or masonry.

(1) see REEFING STAGE. (2) see FAN STAGE. (3) The central attic floor in a watermill running between the bin openings (Essex).

An old term for a MILL POND or DAM. (Stagnum = Latin for pond).

Stamp Mill
A MILL in which material is placed in a mortar and is reduced by being pounded by a heavy weight secured to the lower end of a vertical STAMP. see PESTLE MILL.

The early form of devise with hammers falling into a mortar used for pulping the materials for making paper.

Stamping Mill
A mill in which water was used to operate STAMPS.

(1) Vertical iron-shod bulks of timbers, later all iron, used as pestles to break up materials such as ore or oil seed. (2) Vertical baulks of timber, used to drive & release pressing wedges in oil mills & similar industrial installations.

Stamps Barrel
Horizontal shaft with cams to raise STAMPS.

Upright posts within a mill to carry weight of upper storeys - such as the STONE FLOOR.

A one-piece wrought or cast-iron fitting carrying the pivot for a triangle well forward of the stock in a patent sail linkage.

Standard Middlings
See Middlings.

Standing Balance
See Static Balance.

a temporary DAM.

Star Wheel
The iron centre into which the STOCKS carrying the VANES of a FANTAIL are fitted.

Start and Awe Wheel
A waterwheel with STARTS and AWES, in a close fitting wheelpit, usually fed through a curving launder or ROWHEAD (Scot.).

Starter Box
A store of water which can be released to assist in the starting of a waterwheel.

(1) Short spurs of wood or metal, projecting from the rim of a waterwheel to support the FLOATS or AWES. (2) The main horse beams of a horse gin. ( E. Scotland & N.E. England.)

Static Balance
A RUNNER STONE is in static balance if the weight distribution within it is such that when the TENTERING GEAR is used to raise the stone out of contact with the BEDSTONE, the stone lifts with an even gap between the stones when the stone is stationary.

Originally a tradesman who had a station or shop, as distinct from an itinerant vendor, formerly a book-seller, or publisher, or both, but now only a tradesman who sells writing materials, chiefly paper.

A small metal grease reservoir having a screwed cap for lubricating BEARINGS. It is usually fitted to a bearing cap.

Rods serving as cogs in a LANTERN PINION. Also known as RUNGS.

Stay Bolts
See Tie Rod.

Steady Bearing
See Collar.

Steady Pieces
Braces to steady the fantail assembly.

Steady Pole
A pole used for steadying the weight chain on smock and tower mills.

Steady Wheels
The centring wheels of a mill cap.

Steam Mill
A MILL in which the machinery is or may be driven by a steam engine.

Steel Ground
Ground by steel plates or ROLLERS.

Steel Proof
See Proof Staff.

Steeling Hammer
A TILT HAMMER which is used to weld a bar of steel between bars of wrought iron, for subsequent manufacture into EDGE TOOLS.

(1) A long iron lever, the final one in the system linking the BRIDGETREE or BRAYER to the GOVERNOR; part of the tentering mechanism. (2) A balancing lever used in weighing.

Step Bearing
See Footbrass.

Step Brass
See Footbrass.

Step Springs
The outside timbers of POST MILL STEPS.

The external ladder of a post mill, having side beams called STEP STRINGS also, when it carries a FANTAIL, TROLLEY STEPS. Also called a LADDER.

Stiff Rhynd
See Rhynd.

Stiff Tackle
The fixed drives, the pit wheel, crown wheel, the shafts running across the mill etc.

The curved iron member of a STONE CRANE which lifts the RUNNER STONE via pins inserted into sockets in the edge of the stone. The curvature allows the stone to be turned over whilst suspended. An alternative design to CALLIPERS, which serve the same purpose but are articulated.

(1) see STRAPS.


Stive Cupboard
A place where STIVES are blown by a winnower.

Rubbish & husks removed from corn by a winnower.

Stob Mill
POST MILL (NE England term).

(1.) A tapered spar passing through the POLL END to which a SAIL is fitted on each end, the WHIPS being bolted & strapped to it. (2.) see THRIFT. (3.) The spar carrying the VANE of a FANTAIL. (4.) Main shaft.

Stone Beams
Floor timbers supporting a millstone.

Stone Bearers
The beams and strong framework on which the bedstone rests. See also STONE BEAMS. Also called TRIMMERS.

Stone Box
See Neck Bearing.

Stone Casing
See Tun.

Stone Crane
A crane that can be mounted over the MILLSTONES, to lift them for DRESSING. See also BALES and CALLIPERS.

Stone Dresser
Man whose profession is to DRESS or sharpen the MILLSTONES.

Stone Dressing
A synonym forDRESSING (millstones).

Stone Floor
The floor on which the MILLSTONES are situated.

Stone Furniture

Stone Nut
Small cogged PINION mounted on the STONE SPINDLE or QUANT, which is driven by the GREAT SPUR WHEEL, or the Brake or TAIL WHEEL in a HEAD-AND-TAIL POST MILL. May be engaged to turn the runner stone. The final driven pinion to the runner stone. See also SLIP COG.

Stone Pinion
See Stone Nut.

Stone Pivot

Stone Saddle
A block, perhaps built up, which fits against the edge of the BEDSTONE while the RUNNER STONE is being turned over. It is secured against moving by bolts or pins engaging with purpose made holes in the floor. The edge of the runner stone rests on the Saddle as it is being turned over and is thereby prevented from slipping. It also protects the floor from damage. the SADDLE is not required when a STONE CRANE and CALLIPERS are used.

Stone Shaft

Stone Spindle
The spindle on which a runner stone is supported and driven. With UNDERDRIFT stones it carries the STONE NUT or driving BELT PULLEY. It may carry a BELT PULLEY drive & occasionally other wheels.

Stone Staff
See Paint Staff.

Stone Trail
See Jackstaff.

Stone Trundle
See Stone Nut.

Stone Wedge
The large wedge, often with handle attached, for use when lifting the edge of a stone in preparation for turning the RUNNER STONE over for STONE DRESSING, in conjunction with a MANYHEIGHT and CROWBAR.

A STONE DRESSER, either employed or itinerant. Also used (late C19) as a miller who attends to running millstones, rather than roller mills.

See Millstones.

The platform on which the stones are situated (Scot.).

Stop Chamfer
A bevelled junction between two faces of a timber with a 'Stop' or graduated end.

Oversize ground material retained on a sieve or reel (q v).

Storage Bin
See Bin.

Storey Posts
Vertical timbers in the wall framing of a WATERMILL, running the full height from SOLEPLATE to EAVES, usually having the floor beams tenonned into them.

Storm Hatch
An access hatch, located above the NECK BEARING of the WINDSHAFT, normally closed by a sliding or removable shutter. Also known as WEATHER SHUTTER.

Building in which finished powder or pellets were dried.

Straight Dress
A style of MILLSTONE DRESSING where there are a large number of main furrows tangential to the EYE. Also known asunion dress.

A devise consisting of screens to keep back impurities from the PULP passing to the paper.

Straining Wires
The wires fitted at three-quarter length along the SAIL BACKS to reduce movement as the sail passes the top of its circle and prevent wear on the bolts and strapping holding them to the iron cross. Used in Lancashire.

(1) Iron bars to take the wear on a wooden spindle, as from a SACK HOIST chain. See also SACK HOIST BOLLARD. (2) see FELLOES.

(1) Iron bars securing timbers. (2) A driving belt.

Strap Bolt
A bolt tapered off to a strap at one end.

Strap Rigger
A belt pulley.

The fitting of iron straps or stirrups to SAIL BACKS to fix them to the IRON CROSS.

Straps or Stirrups
U-shaped flat iron straps used to fix together two or more members of a frame in carpentry or of different materials i.e. iron and wood.

Cheap course board made on a multi-cylinder machine from incompletely cooked straw. Straw paper is a cheap wrapping paper made from unbleached straw PULP.

The ability of a flour to produce bread of satisfactory shape texture and appearances. Depends on the quality and quantity of protein in the wheat. STRONG FLOUR.

A wheat which is added to another wheat to improve the quality and/or quantity of protein.

(old Sussex term) see STRICKLE.

The straight edge used to level off grain or meal in a toll dish or measure.

See Strickle.

Strike Of Wheat
TOLL taken in a MULTURE BOWL & levelled off with a STRICKLE.

Strike Up
Start the sails.

A rod or lever carrying a fork to guide a belt between FAST AND LOOSE pulleys.

To set the sails in motion; hence STRIKING ROD - CHAIN - LEVER etc.

Striking Chain
The chain or rope for operating the STRIKING GEAR. For opening or closing the shutters on a patent sail or the blinds of a roller reefing sail.

Striking Gear
(1) The mechanism used with patent sails to apply pressure to the shutters, comprising a striking rod passing through the length of the windshaft, operated by an endless chain on which weights were hung to suit the force of the wind; a wind force greater than the effect of the weight would raise the latter & open the shutters. (2) Striking gear was also employed with roller reefing sails. see also BRIDLE IRONS, RACK AND PINION, ROCKING LEVER, REIN IRONS, SPIDER, SHUTTER BARS, SHUTTERS, STRIKING CHAIN, STRIKING ROD, STUMP IRONS, TRIANGLES.

Striking Rod
Rod which links the spider to the adjusting mechanism of a patent or roller sail by passing down through the hollow wind-shaft & out through its tail end & can be operated from the ground by means of a chain with either a ROCKING LEVER or RACK & PINION GEAR.

Striking Rule
The sail rod coupled to the SHUTTERS (1) See also WORKING UPLONGS

Striking Slides
Long, slender wooden bars linking the levers of shutters together. Same as SHUTTER-BARS.

Striking The Sails
Operating the control to open or close the shutters of PATENT (or SPRING PATENT) SAILS.

Striking Wheel
The wheel which carries the STRIKING CHAIN.

Strong Flour
(1) Containing sufficient gluten for bread baking (i.e. not a BISCUIT flour). (2) STRONG FLOUR Flour with a high GLUTEN content. Produces an elastic dough which results in good quality bread.

See Transom.

Uprights in the wall of a timber framed mill, or other building, to support weather-boarding.

Paper stock or PULP ready for making into paper.

Stuff Chest
The large circular supply chest or tank provided with an AGITATOR in which the STUFF is stored before passing to the VAT or machine.

Stump Irons
These are bolted to the STOCKS to support the TRIANGLES of the STRIKING GEAR of windmill sails.

Stump Mill
A post windmill (Kent).

A small pot of melted lead for balancing the runner stone (old Sussex term).

See Trestle.

Sucken (Suckeners)
The area restricted to a particular mill and those to whom the grain product belongs (Scot.).

Suction Boxes
These are placed under the further end of the wire on a FOURDRINIER machine to draw out the water from the PULP or paper passing over them. Also known as VACUUM BOXES.

Suction Couch Roll
A perforated revolving bronze shell passing over a SUCTION BOX which serves to further extract water from the sheet of PULP or paper just before it leaves the wire of a FOURDRINIER MACHINE.

Sulphate Process
A method of cooking wood chips generally in sulphate of soda to produce a chemical wood PULP. It was first produced by Dahl in 1884.

Sulphite Process
Invented by Tilghmann in 1863/6 and is the process of pulping wood with sulphurous acid and its acid salts (bisulphite of lime, magnesia or soda) in closed vessels at high pressure.

A special black-powder made from potassium nitrate and charcoal only, used in special environments because it did not react with brass.

Sunk Post Mill
Medieval POST MILL having the lower parts of its SUBSTRUCTURE buried in the ground. See PEG MILL

The top grade of flour (Patents).

Superior grade of offal, resembling middlings. See MIDDLINGS.

Suspended Rotary Sifter
See Brush Sifter.

Suspended Runners
An incorporating mill in which the runners (q v) were suspended so that they did not rest on the mill-bed. The adoption of suspended runners made an important contribution to the avoidance of mill ignitions and explosions, this in turn allowed significant increases in the mill charge (q v) and in productive capacity.

Suspended Waterwheel
One which can move up and down with the rise and fall of the water level.

Suspension Wheel
A lightly-built iron-framed WATERWHEEL with spokes in tension, usually with a RIM DRIVE (cf. ARMS). Explore other types of waterwheel in our Thematic Glossary.

Lever for operating the STRIKING GEAR (Suffolk - probably extinct).

The wider gap between the MILLSTONES around the EYE which allows easy entry of the GRAIN into the DRESSED faces of the MILLSTONES or QUERNS. American term for the EYE of a RUNNERSTONE.

Swan Neck Beam Scales
Beam scales having swan necked pivots at the ends of the arms.

Swan Neck Iron
The iron which anchors the lower end of the BRAKE band to the CAP or mill BODY.

changes in wheat induced by moisture and heat. Partial fermentation.

(1) see SAIL (Kent/Sussex). (2) see PADDLE. (3) A centrally pivoted lever, connecting a PESTLE to its water box in a water-powered PLUMPING MILL. (4) TAILPOLE.

Sweep Arms
Arms attached to and driven by the upright shaft above the centre of a flint-GRINDING PAN. They push the RUNNERS round in the pan via the HANGING ARMS. The drive is via a friction clutch (BRAKE DRUM) which will slip should a runner jam. Commonly four sweep arms.

Sweep Governor
A device for regulating the speed of the sails.

Sweep Rods
Sail whips (Kent).

See Paddle.

South of England? term for SAILS.

Swing Pot

Swing Pot Bearing
A bearing which has a TRUNNION at right angles to the axis of the bearing to allow automatic alignment between the bearing and the journal. Sometimes found on a WINDSHAFT NECK BEARING (1).

Swing Pot Neck
See Swing Pot.

The wedge used in the Norse mill to adjust the LIGHTENING TREE and thus TENTER/heighten the STONES.

Sword Iron
(1) The iron connecting piece between the upper end of the BRAKE band and the BRAKE LEVER. It usually has a number of holes for adjustment purposes. (2) The GOVERNOR linkage (steelyard) utilising a number of notches for locating the fulcrum knife edges.

Sword Point
Degree of reefing employed with a COMMON SAIL when about half the sailcloth is exposed to the wind (LONG POINT).