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The Rise and Fall of the Millstone1
The Mills Archive Trust, Reading, U.K.
1 Copyright of original images published with the article belongs to the author or The Mills Archive Trust; republished images are from publications that are more than 100 years old.
2 The Mills Archive Trust, Watlington House, 44 Watlington Street, Reading, RG1 4RJ, U.K. Tel: 01189 5020 52; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2019 AACC International, Inc.
Millstones have been used for more than two millennia for the milling of cereals. They were developed from primitive, hand-operated querns and today have largely been replaced by chilled iron rollers. The sources of motive power (energy) for milling also transitioned from human to animal to water to wind. The introduction of steam power helped to usher in the age of the roller mill. Increased demand for white (refined) flour and increased importation of harder wheat varieties accelerated the decline of the use of millstones as ever larger mills were built near ports. From the perspective of a millstone miller, my greatest regret is the progressive loss of traditional craft skills, such as those required to dress millstones and sense when the wood and iron machinery is not quite running properly. Fortunately, the health food trends of the late twentieth century ensured the use of millstones in milling continues, although on a very small scale.
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