Thursday, June 4, 2015

Old Chinese Water Wheel

This photograph from the 1890s is a water wheel for irrigating located in Sz Chwan. West China. (It looks like a lot of hand craftsmanship went into its making.)

It is from a group of mounted photographs of China taken by Robert John Davidson held by the repository at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario Canada.


  1. it's not exactly intuitive as to how that would work..

  2. Have you ever seen their amazing old bamboo water transport systems that move water from higher to lower areas? Maybe this is similar. Think of the bamboo zen water fountain, and then imagine an entire system built like that.

    1. there's a wikipedia article on all sorts of water wheels, mostly for milling grain, but the basic idea is that it converts flowing water into power that you could use for anything, perhaps to drive a pump....and there's also a youtube video of a chinese irrigating water wheel in operation...