Major Developments in Milling History

Ca 200 BC             stone quern invented in Roman Empire

1215                       the bushel (8 gallons by volume) and the quarter (8 bushels) became legal measures in the Magna Carta

1420                       first reference to a tower mill in France

1526                       first reference to a smock mill in Holland

1604                       100 feet high tower mills began to be built in Holland

1660s                     grain imports began in England

1700-1800            cast iron introduced in windmill gears, wheels, racks, cross

1745                       ground level fantail invented by Edmund Lee

1750                       fantail on cap invented by Andrew Meikle; this had a worm gear on a toothed rack on the curb ring

1759                       five sails engineered by John Smeeton

1768                       rotating grain cleaner patented by Andrew Meikle and Robert Mackell

1772                       spring sail invented by Andrew Meikle

1785                       roller reefing sails patented by Robert Hilton

1787                       ball governor patented by Thomas Mead

1789                       another version of roller reefing sails patented by Captain Stephen Hooper

1796                       payment by toll for milling abolished, fixed fees became mandatory

1807                       patent sails introduced by William Cubitt; these are the type now on Holgate Windmill

1834                       roller milling process for flour invented by Jakob Sulzberger in Hungary

1885                       roller mill built at dockside in Hull by Joseph Rank, made 1.6 tons of flour per hour