The Millstone Industry

A Summary of Research on Quarries and Producers in the United States, Europe and Elsewhere

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About the Book

Since prehistoric times, the process of cutting rock to make millstones has been one of the most important industries in the world. The first part of this book compiles information on the millstone industry in the United States, which dates between the mid–1600s and the mid–1900s. Primarily based on archival research and brief accounts published in geological and historical volumes, it focuses on conglomerate, granite, flint, quartzite, gneiss, and sandstone quarries in different regions and states. The second part focuses on the millstone quarrying industry in Europe and other areas.

About the Author(s)

Charles D. Hockensmith worked as a staff archaeologist with the Kentucky Heritage Council for 27 years before retiring in July 2008. He has published extensively on several historic industries with special emphasis on millstone quarries, bricks manufacturing, and lime kilns.

Bibliographic Details

Charles D. Hockensmith
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 283
Bibliographic Info: 84 photos, 16 tables, glossary, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3860-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5380-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Foreword by Alain Belmont      1

Preface      3

Introduction      5

1. Early American Millstone Documents, 1628–1829      9

2. Millstone Quarrying in the United States      19

Conglomerate Quarries


Granite Quarries


Flint and Buhrstone Quarries


Quartzite Quarries


Gneiss Quarries


Sandstone Quarries


Dolomite Quarries •

Sienite Quarries


Unspecified Materials


Boulders Used for Millstones

3. Millstone Makers and Urban Factories      88

4. The Rise and Fall of the American Millstone Industry: Producers, Annual Values, and Decline      100

Millstone Producers


Millstone Values


Millstone Industry Decline


5. Foreign Millstones Imported to America      119

England


France


Germany


All Millstones Imported into the United States

6. The Millstone Quarrying Industry

Outside the United States      124

Albania


Austria


Canada


Czech Republic


France


Germany


Great Britain


Greece


Hungary


Italy


Luxembourg


Norway


Slovenia


Spain


Sweden


Switzerland


Turkey


Studies on Millstones and Querns of Ancient Rome


Miscellaneous Millstone Quarries and Studies

7. Artificial Millstones      199

8. Tools Used in Making and Sharpening Millstones      202

Tools Used by Millstone Cutters


Tools Used to Sharpen Millstones

9. Working Conditions and Hazards in the Millstone Industry      207

Tool Related Injuries


Silicosis


Other Injuries

Conclusion      212

Glossary      215

Bibliography      219

Index      255

Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating and well worth the read”—Old Mill News; “Hockensmith has done a great service to those who study millstones and quarrying…an important case study…a grand survey…indispensable”—Historical Archaeology.