Water-Powered Drop Forge

Wheels, Pulleys, and Shafts for Water-Powered Drop Forge. 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. GPL.].]

The wheels, pulleys, and shafts that drive the hammers whose repeated striking of heated metal (or forging) produced high-quality steel. This combination of wheels, pulleys, gears, and shafts transforms "the pushing, pulling, pressing of the hand into continuous rotation" -- a transformation that Sigfried Gideon terms the "first phase of mechanization" (47). Note, however, that wood still provides large partions of this machinery made for forging iron.

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

Last modified 11 January 2005