Rhyl, United Kingdom
The Big Wheel
The Big Wheel at the National Slate Museum Llanberis, Gwynedd north Wales, was built in 1870 by the De Winton company of Caernarfon, Wales.
This is the largest water wheel on the British mainland: it is 15.4 metres in diameter. Water to power the wheel was piped down from the slopes of Snowdon in cast iron pipes and its power drove the machinery to produce slates for roof all over Industrial Britain.
The wheel is so finely balanced that it begins to turn the minute just one of its 140 buckets fills with water. The wheel itself is a testament to the talent of local engineers, and still works perfectly a century and a half after it was built.
April 1st, 2013
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