Waterwheel in waiting

Why isn’t this water wheel spinning?

It certainly looked functional, despite the weeds growing up around it.

“Blame it on modern times” I was told. “Modern day mills are powered by oil and electricity.”

And it looked like a normal water wheel … at least at first,

But then I was told different.

“It’s fed water from the top,” our friendly neighborhood expert pointed out.

Sure enough, he pointed to the top of the wall where the roof peaked – an angled wooden sluiceway directed water to the wheel.

“The wheel was too big for the stream – or rather the stream is too small for the wheel. Either way, the ingenious solution they arrived at was to redirect the stream water into a reservoir up on the side of the hill, and then pipe it down when they needed it.”

That let them build a bigger wheel, gave them fuller control of the water, and a more reliable wheel.

“Water, you know, was the original oil” he concluded.

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