Undershot waterwheel


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Undershot waterwheel, c. 1820. Photographed on display in the Power Hall.
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Undershot water wheel used to power a paper mill in Pool-in-Wharfedale, near Leeds.

This waterwheel was used to power a paper mill in Pool-in-Wharfedale, near Leeds. This is an undershot water wheel, meaning that the water passes beneath it, in the manner of a stream, and hits the wheel horizontally. It was donated to the museum by B. S. & W. Whiteley Ltd, who had run the mill since 1886. The Pool Mill site had been used since at least 1798, with the river Wharfe providing plentiful power harnessed by water wheels. Two undershot water wheels, including this one, were used at the mill until 1920, when they were removed to make way for more efficient turbines. There is still a paper manufacturer on the site today.


Motive Power
Object Number:
metal (unknown) and wood (unidentified)
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
Gift of B.S. & W. Whiteley Limited

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