Water Powered Rope Making Machine

Water powered rope making machine

Drawing of a water powered wire mill, taken from “The Pirotechnia” by Vannoccio Biringuccio (1540). Illustration credit. For the hand powered method, see: Lost knowledge: ropes and knots.

Update January 2015: Kurt B. writes us to say that “what you are looking at is a wire drawing machine, not a rope making machine. That is, taking a large wire and drawing it through a series of ever decreasing dies (holes in the die plate) to make the wire smaller. It is powered by water. The fellow with the rope in his hands is taking up the slack on the tongs which grip the wire. Every stroke of the wheel crank pulls the wire through the die just that amount and he takes up the slack each stroke, or tries to. Here is a guy drawing wire on a much smaller scale  Home made electric jeweller wire puller  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sieNdwdCQug“.

Floating Citadels, Powered by Wind and Water Mills

floating citadels

This engraving, published in 1798, shows the gigantic St. Malo raft, designed in 1791 during the French Revolution. The engraving informs us that this extraordinary structure was 600 feet long by 300 broad, mounts 500 pieces of cannon, 36 and 48-pounders, and is to convey 15,000 troops for the invasion of England. In the midst is a bomb-proof, metal-sheathed citadel.

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