Regular reader, good friend and world traveler Warren helpfully submitted these pictures over the weekend of Aldi Mill in Virginia. Still working (over the summers, anyway) it’s a classic example of the gristmills that could once be found all over the Midwest and Eastern US.
Here’s a terrific shot of the rocks…the runner above and the bed below with furrows cut into their faces. Based on the angles, you can how the stones cut the corn kernels with an almost scissor-like action.
When the mill is running the stones rotate in this wooden enclosure, which funnels the meal down below into a bin.
The Aldi Mill is a double-wheeler, which is unusual (but way cool). You can see the sluice above where the water flows over the wheels. It’s by controlling the rate of flow that the speed of the wheel (and the rotating stones) is increased or decreased. Most mills are of the pass-over type like this. There were pass-under water wheels as well, but I’m not sure of there are any of those still operating here in the States.
Here’s a shot of the gears, which gives you a glimpse of the manner in which the power was transferred. All-wood machines like this make a magnificent creaky, rumbly sound when they run.
Makes me way to close up shop and head for the nearest mill! Maybe they’re hiring. Thanks Warren!