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How to Use the Images

 

Inquiry Question

Historical Context

Maps

Readings

Drawings
2, 3, &
Photo 1

Drawings
4 & 5

Activities

Table of
Contents




Visual Evidence


Drawing 1: Transverse view of Manville Company's No. 3 Mill, Manville, RI, 1874.
[Graphic] Drawing 1 with link to higher quality image.
(Courtesy of American Textile History Museum, Lowell, Mass.)

Drawing 1 is a transverse view of a typical textile mill with turbines. Transmission of power from water wheels or turbines was achieved by a direct drive system. Water was funneled from the canal down into the mill through an intake known as a penstock (see upper row of arches and dashed lines on Drawing 4). The water from the higher level fell, turning the turbine (1), and then returned to the river (2) or to another canal via lower level tunnels called tailraces (see lower row of arches and dashed lines on Drawing 4). Power was then transferred upstairs through the complex series of gears (3), wheels (4), and belts shown. Eventually the power turned the overhead line shafts (5) on each floor. Individual leather belts (6) running on pulleys connected each individual textile machine (7) to the line shafts.

Questions for Drawing 1

1. Identify all of the numbered items on the drawing.

2. How was water used to create power for the mills?

3. What seasonal problems might water-powered mills like the Boott have encountered?

* The image on the screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high resolution version of Drawing 1, but be aware that it will take about 30 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.

 

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