Summary of articles in International Molinology No 102 which were published in June 2021

‘Traditional Grain Mills in Dakhla Oasis, Egypt: their mechanical systems and restoration’ by Yasser Ali

This is the first study of traditional grain mills in Dakhla Oasis, Egypt. A sample animal-powered mill was selected from seven potential candidates for conservation, with the aim of ensuring the sustainability of these traditional systems of production whilst retaining their original function. The methodology for conservation was based on a combination of the traditional experience of the old craftsmen and modern technological applications in restoration and rehabilitation, and in addition the use of software programs in data analysis.

‘The Bohnsdorf Post Mill at the Deutsches Technikmuseum, Museum Park, Berlin: historical context, condition monitoring and planning of future restoration measures’ by
Veronika Zanner

The post mill in Berlin-Bohnsdorf was the last one of its type in Berlin standing in its place of origin. Its destruction would have been unavoidable if the Museum für Verkehr und Technik, today known as the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, had not decided to buy and relocate the decaying structure and machinery in 1983. Today the post mill is still an important feature of the museum’s park and much-frequented by visitors. Nevertheless the wooden construction is more and more affected by degradation caused by neglect and disuse. To stop this process of decay the museum initiated a project in the form of a bachelor thesis, in cooperation with the HTW Berlin and its course on 'Conservation and Restoration'.

‘A Bavarian water saw in Greece during the first years of King Otto (1834-1838)’ by George Speis

The author discovered a previously undiscovered dossier regarding a Bavarian-built water saw at Stropones on the Greek island of Euboea, the result of colonial style development in the reign of King Otto. The details in the dossier reveal the reasoning behind the project, the problems encountered (environmental as well as cultural), and provide insights into construction and infrastructure of the water saw. The project was ultimately a failure.

‘Tide Mills of Portugal (13th-18th centuries): an energy resource for the maritime expeditions’ by Ana Cláudia Silveira

The expansion from out of the reconquered Iberian peninsular, and the crusades to North Africa in the 15th century, was part of the ‘right to conquer’ claimed by all of the sovereigns who governed there from the time of the reign of Fernando the Great, King of Castille and Leon (1037-1065). These maritime expeditions required large quantities of ships biscuits, and this prompted the foundation of tide mills, using the most readily available source of power. 45 such mill sites were located around the Tagus Estuary, alone.

‘The Perg millstone industry’ by Harald Marschner

There is no evidence as to when millstones were mined in Perg; several references indicate a very old tradition. However, in the 16th century the millstone crushers of Perg had such an important supra-regional significance that, in 1582, they had their ‘handicraft regulations’ confirmed by the German Emperor Rudolf II. He granted a privilege regarding these stones such that, “if millstone quarries are found in Upper Austria”, they could only be exploited by the Perg quarry masters.

‘Satellite Survey of the Horizontal-wheeled Watermills of the Shetland Isles’ by Nigel S. Harris

In 2018 Nigel Harris visited and widely reported on Scottish horizontal-wheeled watermills to be found in the Orkneys and the Outer Hebrides. A subsequent visit to the Shetland Isles to carry out a similar quest was postponed due to the Covid19 pandemic. In preparation for a possible future visit the author carried out a literature search and online survey of those mills that still exist, in order to determine their state of preservation and their geographical location.

‘Ancient texts on windmills’ by Etienne Rogier

Ancient writings on windmills are extremely rare; it took a 16th century genius having an encyclopaedic knowledge and an ability to write about a wide ‘range of things’ from bygone days, to deal with this subject. Jérôme Cardan (1501-1576), doctor, astrologer, mathematician, inventor, etc., was the author of a composite volume entitled ‘De Rerum Varietate’, printed for the first time in 1557 in Basel. So far this large book, written in baroque Latin, has not been translated and currently has no scientific edition; so, I have been trying to understand myself Cardan's few lines about windmills.

Also included in this edition of International Molinology are obituaries to Herman Peel, Richard Brüdern and Armando Ferreira. There is one book review, by Graham Hackney, on ‘A Miller and his Mill: The Story of John Else and Warney Mill’ by Judith Cooper.