grain mill

Structure for grinding cereal.

Waterwheels were first exploited for such tasks. Geared mills turning grindstones (see gear) were used in the Roman Empire, but their fullest development occurred in medieval Europe, in, for example, the great grain mill near Arles, France, which, with its 16 cascaded overshot wheels, each 7 ft (2 m) in diameter, and wooden gearing, may have met the needs of 80,000 people. Windmills were also among the original prime movers that replaced animal muscle as a source of power. They were used for centuries in various parts of the world, and remain of major industrial importance in developing nations.

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Universalium. 2010.

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