Water-Powered Drop Forge

Water-powered tilt hammers, forges, and wheels. Mid-eighteenth century. Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet. Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Photograph 1980 George P. Landow. [This image may be freely used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]

Catherine Hamilton, Collections & Access Officer, Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, has written to say that "the water-powered tilt hammers . . . were used for forging together metal to form scythe blades. The site dates from the mid 1700s and was one of the first sites in the UK to involve all the processes needed to make edge tools. There is a crucible steel melting furnace on site together with the tilt forge, grinding hull, boring shop and blacksmith shops. Also on site are workers' cottages and a manager's house." The Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet now has its own website.

Other Photographs


Gideon, Sigfried. Mechanization Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History. New York: Norton, 1969.

Last modified 11 January 2005