Grandma’s Washing Machine
- Did you know? In agricultural societies of the past, women had to work in fields on top of cooking and cleaning in their homes. They had a very difficult time! The generation was scarce on resources, so they used the characteristics of the land to build gear racks next to small waterfalls to make laundry machines that didn’t require electricity. That’s how they did their laundry.
- Think About It: Do you have experience doing your own laundry….
- Originating in China’s Southern Song Dynasty, it was only usable in places with flowing water that turned the noria and enabled it to power machines mill rice and grind powders. Today in Japan there are still Asakura water wheels used to irrigate fields.
- The principle of water wheels: Water flow from a reservoir powers the blades to rotate the water wheel. The bamboo container carries water and turns upwards at a 45 degree angle without spilling a drop, rotating to the topmost point and then pouring the water at a 45 degree angle into the water reservoir.
Archimedes Water Wheel
Archimedes Screw Pump: Legend has it this was invented by the Greek mathematician and physicist Archimedes in the 3rd century. It is still used today but the difference is it used to be driven by manpower or livestock. It is mostly used to irrigate fields or pump water out of ship hulls and mines;
Today, they are driven by electric motors in lowhead water delivery systems. Currently in Holland, they are used for drainage in low-lying areas or wastewater treatment that includes mud, garbage, and large solid debris.
Dragon Bone Water Wheel
In a long and narrow box-shaped guided tank, many square wooden boards are strung together like a chain. It utilizes human labor to rotate the axis and pump water and most are driven by foot pedals to lift water. As the linked square boxes look like a dragon’s skeleton, they’re named “dragon bone wheels”.
Edo Water Wheel
Designed by the Japanese, this wheel is used in still lake water and driven by foot pedals to continuously rotate the box next to the wheel to keep pumping water and irrigate fields.