So, How Does a Mill Work?

So, How Does a Mill Work? (HM19SZ)

Location: Wye Mills, MD 21679 Talbot County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 56.5', W 76° 4.875'

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It starts with the grain ... Grist mills grind a variety of grains, such as barley, wheat, rye and corn. Here at the Wye Mill, native grown corn and wheat were the most common "grist for the mill." In years gone bye, the corn was husked and then dried for 6 to 8 months in a "corn crib."

After the corn was dried it was then shelled for milling. Wheat was similarly dried and then threshed. When needed, the grain was then poured into a hopper - a receptacle that sits above the grinding stones. Grinding stones are usually granite, and often weigh more than a ton apiece. Two stones are used - the "bed stone" or "nether stone" is on the bottom. Another stone, called the "runner" stone, sits just above the bed stone. The grinding surface of the runner stones are concave and carved in spoke patterns, which creates a scissors effect, grinding the grain. As the top stone rotates, the grain first gets cracked in the middle of the two stones; then is pushed to the outside by the spoke-like pattern. The finest grinding occurs along the perimeter of the stones. The millstones are rotated by water power.

To create the power necessary to turn the mill stones, the adjacent stream was dammed so there would be a steady and reliable source of water, stored in the mill pond. A large mill wheel, called an "overshot" wheel was used, turned by the force of the water that was sluiced from the pond. The water was caught in what looks like open pockets or trays on the wheel, the weight of the water pulling the wheel downward, thus turning the wheel. A system of gears connected to the wheel then turned the grindstones and all other equipment in the mill.
Details
HM NumberHM19SZ
Tags
Placed ByFriends of Wye Mill
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 3:18pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 406294 N 4310859
Decimal Degrees38.94166667, -76.08125000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 56.5', W 76° 4.875'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 56' 30.00" N, 76° 4' 52.50" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)443, 410
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 900 Wye Mills Rd, Wye Mills MD 21679, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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