The Modest Forerunners

The term water mills has commonly designated run-of-the-river mills situated on waterways where there was/is no tidal current. The terms sea mill, and later tide mill, designated mills that took advantage of the tides with or without retaining ponds. There were thus tide mills that took advantage of the ebb and/or flood current. Some such mills were even “dual-powered”. Tidal current mills operated on one of two systems: they were equipped with a single wheel that rotated with the current between two pontoons, or the mill consisted in a single pontoon with a wheel affixed to each side, similar to the approach with paddle-wheelers.

The Dunkirk (Dunkerque, France) “Perse mill” (end of 17th century to 1714), the Bacalan mill a few kilometers north of Bordeaux on the Gironde River, the El Ferol mill (Galicia, Spain), used an ingenious hydraulic machinery that allowed them to use both ebb and flood currents for power production.[205] So could the scheme installed in the Thames River under London Bridge. The Demi-Ville (Morbihan Department, France) was an example of dual-powered mill using both the fluvial current and the tidal currents.

Updated: September 26, 2015 — 1:53 am