A water-powered cloth mill allows the operation of large weaving machines, beyond what human muscles can power and, consequently, larger profits.
The waterwheel is one of the oldest sources of motive power in the world. Watermills have been grinding flour since Classical times, and used to power tools for nearly as long. Ultimately, water-power relies on gravity. Damming streams to make millponds to provide a head of water is futile unless the water is there in the first place; the expense is pointless if the mill itself is not a lot lower than the water supply. Steep-sided valleys and plentiful rain therefore determine where watermills are likely to be economically viable propositions.
Once the waterwheel is turning, it drives a series of axles. Individual machines take power by a pulley-and-leather-belt system. This limits the overall size of the mill, because a wheel can only drive a limited number of machines thanks to friction and the fundamental inefficiencies of a gear-less drive. Thanks to few or no safety features - and leather strapping moving at high speed - a mill is a dangerous place to work. Any unlucky worker trapped by the machinery will be crippled or killed in seconds, and probably have their wages stopped for causing the mill owner to lose profits during the cleaning of blood and body parts.
- Level 2
- 4 Turns to Build
- 4000 Coin