Early 19th Century Up and Down Sawmill

Waterwheel with gear.
Overall view of sawmill.
Vertical saw can be seen above the wooden log carriage set.
Interior view of sawmill.
REmains of water channelling walls.
Remains of concrete sluice.

This unusual survivor of a water powered vertical saw with few changes was located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and photographed in 1961.

It is typical of the sawmills that were in Lumberland.

It is a water-powered vertical saw with a single blade and wooden log carriage set in a heavy wooden frame.

The saw operated at 100–130 strokes per minute and the log advanced approximately two
feet per minute.

The saw was contained in a framed superstructure on a stone foundation built over a millrace.

A wooden undershot waterwheel was housed in a shed on the side. Water was supplied by an adjacent stone dam.

The sawmill was dismantled and moved to the National Museum of History
and Technology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.—The Mill on Halfway Brook, p. 48.

Please click on the photos for a larger image.

Photos: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS, Reproduction number HABS PA,15-CHESP.V,1-6.

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