Donald C. Wisensale, the Father of Mill Restoration.
He work for the Fitz Water Wheel Company from 1926 to 1967.
Remembering Donald C. Wisensale, the Father of
In 1926 the Fitz Water Wheel Company along with a former employee, John
Blake Campbell (1890-1987), who in 1920 began the Campbell Water Wheel Company,
began the construction of a new grist mill at the Longfellow's Wayside Inn
in Sudbury, Massachusetts. There had at one time been a mill near this spot,
and now the idea was to construct an idealized New England grist mill. The
project was being funded with money from Henry Ford and his friends. Mr.
Ford had ulterior motives, he felt that if he gave them a brand new grist
mill they perhaps would not notice him walking away with the Little Red
School House where the young school girl wore "Mary had a little lamb,"
for his historic village. On Thanksgiving Day of 1929 the Grist Mill at
the Wayside Inn first began to grind grain. The Wayside Inn got their grist
mill which on postcards of the early 1930's identified it as begin "old,"
and they kept the Little Red School House.
A young high school student began working on this project in 1926 for the
Fitz Water Wheel Company as a draftsman, Donald C. Wisensale. Young Wisensale
began to learn about grist mills from the man who knew the most about mills
of the Oliver Evans era, John Blake Campbell. Mr. Campbell graduated from
Cornell University as an hydraulic engineer, and after parting company with
Fitz went back to his roots where he spent several years studying the mills
of the Roanoke valley of Virginia. This background set the philosophy of
the future mill restoration of the Fitz Water Wheel Company and the Campbell
Water Wheel Company. Just because it was done 100 or 200 years ago, does
not mean that it was done correctly. They made mistakes just as we do today,
and they do not have the information and resources that we have today. Some
people would later question the Fitz Water Wheel Company saying that they
did not do accurate historical restorations. John Fitz (1872-1966) would
always answer them by saying, we are not afraid to make improvements on
the past where ever it was needed to make them better. Why should we repeat
the mistakes of the past by reproducing them in what we do today, after
all we put our companies name (The Fitz Water Wheel Company, Hydraulic Engineers)
on the project.
In constructing the stone walls of the Grist Mill at the Wayside Inn, someone
working for the Fitz Water Wheel Company, took upon themselves to install
steel plates tucked underneath each window and door opening. This is not
how it would have been done historically and Mr. Ford was very upset when
he saw what had been done, but what could he have done all the exterior
walls were complete.
When the Grist Mill at the Wayside in was begin constructed in Massachusetts,
Dr. W. A. R. Goodwin was dreaming of restoring eighteen-century Colonial
Williamsburg. He persuaded John D. Rockefeller, heir to the Standard Oil
fortune, to tour Williamsburg. Together they planned more than just the
preservation of historic buildings and settings, they intended to recreate
and interpret colonial life. Colonial Williamsburg is now the oldest and
largest living history museum. America's founding fathers wanted to be no
different from the Kings of Europe, once they were no longer king, their
castles would be torn down. This was also the feelings of George Washington
and Thomas Jefferson. So if they did not want their homes preserved, no
on ever thought of preserving domestic structures such as mills. The first
mill to be restored and open to the public was in 1935. This was the Spring
Mill or Hamer's Mill on Hamer's Branch Creek, Spring Mill State Park in
Mitchell, Indiana. This mill however, was not an actual historical restoration
since it did not follow any known millwrights plan for the interior configuration
of its machinery.
In 1935 the Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes decided that a mill
would be restored under the supervision of noted architect Thomas T. Waterman.
Pierce Mill in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., was restored as an operating
flour mill in 1936; the flour and meal was sold to the public, and used
in government cafeteria, and the White House. Freeman Tilden mentions the
Pierce Mill grinding corn meal along Rock Creek, in "Interpreting Our
Heritage." The word "education" was used in place of the
word "interpretation" in the National Park Service for many years
until the terminology changed. Park Ranger Donald Patrick McHenry presented
the first National Park Service interpretive program of an historical structure
and of a mill at Piece Mill. Educational programs first began in the large
western parks where Mr. McHenry was first stationed and only dealt with
Mr.Fitz came to Donald C. Wisensale one day and said, "There is a 40'
x 50' mill over in Washington, D. C. the Isaac Pierce Mill, and I want you
to go and fill it up with machinery. You can use machinery from any mill
that would never again be restarted." (This is the present day Isaac
Pierce Mill operated by the National Park Service, in Rock Creek Park).
Mr. Wisensale did all the drawings for the 1930's Fitz restoration, and
architect Thomas T. Waterman had done his separate set of drawings for the
the mill's exterior stone structure. Thus, Wisensale and his assistant,
Richard Walker, started work using materials and equipment that Fitz had
previously collected including:gears dating from 1818, millstones, lighter
staffs, bottle weights, and meal boxes dating from 1804 which came from
the J. A. Baldwin Mill in Burnt Cabins, Pennsylvania. From the Baughman's
Mill near Linesboro, Maryland, came an 1802 hopper-boy, cleaners, sifters
and elevators. The other half of the works (the millstones and gearing)
was used later in the Lee's Mill restoration. At the Isaac Pierce Mill in
Washington, Fitz's millwrights built a wooden breast water wheel because
there was plenty of water available, and they could make the wheel about
8 feet wide to hold plenty of water. An overshot wheel would have had to
have been substantially smaller in diameter and would have developed much
less power. The wheel had French Creek granite bearings lubricated with
water. The granite came from Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. At one point John
Fitz complained to Mr. Wisensale, that he was replacing too much of the
interior wooden fabric of the mill. Donald Wisensale replied that most of
the interior wooden hurst or husk frame was rotten and need almost a total
replacement John Fitz would mention many times that Pierce Mill, in Rock
Creek Park, Washington, D.C., was their best and our nation's best restoration
of an Oliver Evans flour mill that included the finest example of an original
hopper-boy. Pierce Mill is not unlike many other mill and historical restorations,
they just run out of time and money. In Pierce Mill's case they ran out
of time and money to rebuild the historical mill dam, and never had the
water to adequately run the mill.
Donald C. Wisensale would later say, one of the best restorations that the
Fitz Water Wheel Company was involve with was the Robert E. Lee Mill at
Stratford Hall, Virginia. This restoration was done with the assistance
of Professor Benjamin W. Dedrick, Head of Mill Engineering School, Pennsylvania
State College, and author of the 1924 textbook "Practical Milling."
Most of the machinery the Fitz Water Wheel Company used came from mills
in Pennsylvania and Maryland. It was kept in storage at their Hanover plant,
reconditioned there, and used in restoration work everywhere. As they installed
newer water wheels and gear systems they retained the older original machinery
to use in their historical restorations. As a sales representative, Mr.
Wisensale began to scout out this machinery in his travels.
The 1941 Fitz Water Wheel Company reconstruction the (post-colonial Oliver
Evans) Beckman's Mill (circa 1783-1910), in Tarrytown, New York, which was
later replaced with a more historically accurate colonial (pre-Oliver Evans)
mill period. The Fitz Water Wheel Company did more than grist mill restorations,
they also did the water wheels for the Saugus Iron Works National Historic
Site, Saugus, Massachusetts, and the Hagley Museum Gunpowder Works (1951).
The end of the company came with the passing of Samuel Fitz's grandson,
John Samuel Fitz, at the age of 94, on September 4, 1965. Of the closing,
Wisensale would say, "Fitz Water Wheel Company went out of business
because the son of the previous owner was President and General Manager
and most of the stock was owned by his sisters who were all a little bit
too old to bother continuing the business, so they decided to sell out and
get rid of everything." The milling machinery that Fitz had collected
for his restorations, and machinery at the Fitz plant were all sold at public
auction on October 20, 1966 to various persons. All drawings, records, patterns,
etc, were purchased and shipped to the James Leffel Company at Springfield,
Ohio. The sheet metal templates and patterns were cut up and sold for scrap.
The wooden patterns were all destroyed by J. Robert Groff, President of
James Leffel Company.
When ever people would talk about the Fitz Water Wheel Company, I often
thought it would be wonderful to meet someone who worked for them. So one
time I asked Steve Kindig a mill consultant who could I look up. The first
and only person that he mentioned was Donald C. Wisensale. Mr. Kindig and
Robert A. Howard (now retired engineering curator at the Hagley Museum,
and consultant for Pierce Mill) had mentioned several times Donald C. Wisensale
in talking about the Fitz Water Wheel Company. So the next time I was passing
though Hanover, Pennsylvania, I decided to look him up in the phone book.
I am 6 feet four inches tall, and I came with a friend (that was equally
as tall) who was interested in mills and was one of my volunteers at Pierce
Mill. I rang the door bell and Mr. Wisensale answered the door. I asked
him if he was the Donald C. Wisensale who worked for the Fitz Water Wheel
Company? You should have seen his face his face light up when I told him
that I was the miller who was working at Pierce Mill in Rock Creek Park,
Washington, D. C. He was like a kid running around pulling things out of
different places in his house. We would mention something, and the next
thing we knew he was running down to the basement to get another treasure
to show us. I have corresponded with him several times after that and had
sent him several birthday cards, and a drawing of the Fitz Water Wheel Companies
breast shot water wheel that they installed on Pierce Mill back in the 1930's.
Mr. Wisensale was responsible for the Fitz Water Wheel Companies restoration
of Pierce Mill back in the 1930's, and meeting him inspired me to write
the original article on the Fitz Water Wheel Company.
Recently a large collection of Fitz Company artifacts have appeared that
the Fitz family paid a lot of money to be hauled to the furnace to be burned
34-35 years ago. I was going to contact Mr. Wisensale about this, and I
have collected a lot of photographs of these items, but I was always afraid
I would hear that he had passed away without me hearing about it. The items
include a barn full of casting patterns, John Fitz's personal collection
of glass plate negatives, these items include, celluloid negatives, A few
pieces of correspondence, one is from The Pelton Water Wheel Co., to John
Fitz, dated 1898. A dozen or so of the various Fitz Water Wheel catalogs,
some I-X-L Steel Overshoot Water Wheel Company early ones. A few pieces
of salesman's samples of the turbines, and an extensive collection of the
wooden patterns used for casting the iron components using in making the
turbines, and the large gear segments used with the water wheels. The hydraulic
schools models of water turbines and vertical water wheels were sold from
the collection over the years. It turns out that a man from Frederick, Maryland,
wanted an old mill that was in storage in one of the Fitz Water Wheel Companies
buildings, and was willing to buy everything to get the grist mill. Over
the years mainly water turbine casting patterns were turned into coffee
tables and sold. A restaurant in Frederick, Maryland, has a lot of the casting
patterns hung on the walls for decorations. The man's son recently sold
what was left to a man in Winchester, Virginia, who was trying to get a
museum to take the whole lot of stuff. There are still thousands and thousands
of casting patterns left, along with hundreds of water wheel bearing patterns.
I have tried and tried to get the Hanover, York, and the Hagley museums
to purchase some of this material, but I heard the same old song and dance
that other historical societies across the country are singing. We are no
longer in the business of preserving local history or artifacts, we have
devoted all of our resources and staff to assisting with genealogical research.
Perhaps it is a sign of the times, our nation's treasures are being sold
on Ebay to the highest bidders. I have seen the SPOOM modern reprints of
the Fitz Water Wheel Catalogs being sold there for as much as 50, 60, 65
dollars or more. This may become the future of the National Park Service
because they are not given adequate money to staff, restore and operate
our nation's national treasures. They have interpretive plans that go from
operational sites, to static exhibits, to finally just the interpretation
of ruins and sites, and who knows? Perhaps the one day gradually selling
off of artifacts that becomes necessary to meet their operating expenses.
In the last past 20 years, the United States Presidential Administrations
(since President Carter), and the Federal Government has turned their back
to the National Park Service and historical restoration money.
John Fitz was trying to keep alive the idea of vertical water wheels. If
you read the article "There'll Always be Water Wheels," by Neil
M. Clark (which is on my web site), you will get a sense of what he was
trying to do. I have often though about how different things would have
been if the employees of Fitz would have been allowed to buy the company
after the death of John Fitz. They would have the their water wheel catalogs
on the internet instead of me. They would have the computer program that
when you put in a few figures, a full size drawing of a Fitz Water Wheel
of the correct size and everything would roll out of a big paper printer.
Then of course there still would be even more hundreds, and thousands of
Fitz Water Wheels around. They would be making them rather than people making
knock-off copies, or restoring old ones. Then there is the whole energy
mess we are in. Regulations would not be on the books like here in Virginia,
where it cost 50 thousand dollars per year just to have the license to sell
electricity into the grid. Hopefully things would be different, the little
streams that are in the way of urban development that are now pipped into
storm sewers would be turning Fitz Water Wheels. And of course, mills would
be restored the way they should be in an historical fashion, rather than
by some one's nostalgic idea or what would win restoration awards, the way
the Fitz Water Wheel Company and Donald C. Wisensale began the mill restoration
business back in the 1930's.
SPOOM member, Donald Wisensale, who took a job while in high school with
Fitz in 1926, and stayed until 1967 when the company closed. Wisensale worked
for Fitz on mill restorations, as a sale manager, and later as Vice President.
Then after the passing of John Fitz was acting President of the Fitz Water
Wheel Company. I have contacted him many times in recent years for his advice
in a mill restoration project. The business and the preservation of mills
was close to Mr. Wisensale's heart. He passed away the Monday night August
26, 2002, at Hanover Hospital. He often spoke with family members about
Fitz, mills, and SPOOM. He was the husband of Anna May Frock Wisensale,
who died May 31, 1998. Born Oct. 24, 1911, in Hanover, he was the son of
the late John and Emma Trone Wisensale. By trade a draftsman before retiring
he was employed 40 years by the former Fitz Water Wheel Co. in Hanover and
then for 27 years by CAM Industries. He was a lifelong member of Grace UCC
where he had served as an elder and a deacon. He was a charter member and
past president of Hanover Industrial Management Club, and a member of Patmos
Lodge 348 Free and Accepted Masons, Loyal Order of Moose Hanover Lodge 227,
Hanover Fire Co. No. One, and York County Fireman's Association. He graduated
from Hanover High School, Class of 1929.
Mr. Wisensale is survived by two brothers, Richard B. Wisensale and Earl
K. Wisensale, both of Hanover; and a sister, Mary L. Lawrence of McSherrystown.
Memorial contributions: Grace United Church of Christ, 100 Fourth St., Hanover
17331; or the Golden Visions Adult Day Center, 1157 Eichelberger St., Hanover
Obituary Source Information:
Gerard Lawrence nephew of Donald Wisensale, e-mail of Tuesday 27 August
York Daily Record-Obituaries Wednesday, August 28, 2002
The Evening Sun, Wednesday, August 28, 2002
Note: The above article has been edited, and printed in Old Mill News under
the title: "In Memory - Donald c. Wisensale (1911-2002, the father
of mill restoration)," Old Mill News, Winter 2003 voluem 31, number
1, whole number 122, page 9.
The Following Additional Bonus Features are in the Celebration of
Life and the Memory of the Late Donald C. Wisensale: (1) The Fitz Water
Wheel Company's Last Historical Restoration, The
Restoration of the William Robertson's Wind Mill. (2) The
Fitz Water Wheel Company's Archival Records at the Hagley Museum
and Library. (3) The Campbell Water Wheel Company's
Archival Records at the Hagley Museum and Library. (4) Photo of
Donald C. Wisensale. (5) Photo of the Building
of the Grist Mill at the Wayside Inn, Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1926-1929,
just prior to the installation of the water wheel and water box. (6) Fitz
Water Wheel Company, Hanover, Pennsylvania, (image of an) Advertising
Bill Holder. (7) (images of a) Wood &
Rubber Stamp from the Fitz Water Wheel Company, 1906. (8) A
List of Pages in the Pond Lily Mill Restorations Home Page Web Site about
the Fitz Water Wheel Company and the Campbell Water Wheel Company.
(9) A Glass Plate Negative Photo from the Personal
Collection of John Samuel Fitz, of Hanover, York County, Pennsylvania.
(10) Advertisement Brochures from the Water Wheel
Fitz Water Wheel Company, Hanover, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Circa 1919.
The Fitz Water Wheel Company's Last Historical Restoration,
The Restoration of the William Robertson's Wind Mill
William Robertson's original wind mill was built sometime during the period.
and stood on a spot near the Governor's Palace in 1720. In 1723, William
Robertson sold the windmill to John Holloway were the mill stands. Neither
Mr. Robertson or Mr. Holloway were millers. Neither men left any record
of the exact appearance of the windmill. The deed did not also include the
precise location of the mill. The reconstruction, therefore, had to answer
two questions: Where was the location of Robertson's Wind Mill, and what
kind of mill was it? Archeological excavation of the whole are did not provide
any evidence of the precise location of the mill. James Deetz author of
"In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life,"
took many years to discover the site of the windmill (1621) at Flowerdew
Hundred Plantation, Virginia. The post mill was the most common type of
windmill found in the tidewater areas of Virginia, and Maryland. The wooden
box-like body of a post mill contains the gearing, millstones, and machinery,
and carries the sails. The mill was constructed supported above ground on
a upright wooden post, which in turn is supported by a four-legged trestle
that sits on brick pads. The sails are turned to face the wind by turning
a long tail pole attached to a heavy duty wagon wheel. The tail pole is
centered in the middle of a pair of steps that can be lifted off the ground
so the body of the post mill can be turned in a circle. The tree that became
the post was discovered to have been a sapling in 1675, which makes it one
of Colonial Williamsburg oldest "antiques."
Sometimes it was the English post mill that were built in England, disassembled
and packed into holds of ships along with the immigrants, and resembled
in the form of kits in some States like Maryland. Ordering a prefabricated
windmill from England was important lifesaver in the New World if the millwright
was not able to erect a windmill within a set period of time, or in the
event of his sudden death.
This is the Fitz Water Wheel Companies last historical restoration, and
it was not of a water mill but of an authenticated post mill. History has
recorded the two men behind the building of the wind mill. The first was
(late) Rex Wailes of England. Rex Wailes was an internationally renowned
authority on mills and milling machinery. He was the author of "The
English Windmill " (1954), and of other articles on windmills and water
mills in the Encyclopedia Britannica. During Mr. Wailes visits to America,
he accepts in invitation from another Rockefeller funded foundation in North
Tarrytown, New York. He was directly responsible for bring Charles Howell
to become the miller at Upper Mills at Philipsburg Manor. A newly reconstructed
mill on the site of the 1941 Fitz Water Wheel Companies restoration of the
mill on the Pocantico River one half a mile from the Hudson River in North
Tarrytown (now Sleepy Hollow), New York. Rex Wailes provided measured drawings
of a seventeenth-century wind mill still standing in Bourn in Cambridgeshire,
England. The other personality behind the building of the wind mill was
Edward P. Hamilton, the former director of historic Fort Ticonderoga, in
New York State. Mr. Hamilton became the author of the classic work: "The
Village Mill in Early New England," published by Old Sturbridge Village,
Sturbridge, Massachusetts (1964). Edward P. Hamilton was a retired investment
counselor, a collector of watch and clock mechanisms, and authority on windmills
of America. He was also a skilled model maker, and thus he transformed the
drawings provided by Mr. Wailes into a perfect working miniature model which
would perform every function assigned to the lager counterpart in the mill
itself. The Fitz Water Wheel Companies millwrights were master gear makers
both in wood and metal. They provided the windmill's complete machinery
components that would go into the mill.
The Fitz Water Wheel Company was discussing with the National Park Service
in Washington, D.C. for a second restoration of Pierce Mill. Mr. Fitz could
not understand why the National Park Service allowed the wooden breast shot
water wheel and the stone head race to deteriorate, when Donald C. Wisensale
informed them of John Fitz's death, and the demise of the company. Mr. Wisensale
suggested that they contact the James Leffel Company, but they were not
in the historical restoration business. Then the National Park Service discussed
the idea with John Blake Campbell of the Campbell Water Wheel Company. They
disagreed upon the mill's original location, length of the mill race and
the dam, which follow Race Road (then West Beach Drive, and now part of
a bike trail system). The final conclusion after the Campbell Company performed
an archeological excavation across the west bank of Rock Creek, was that
there was no longer mill race than what the Fitz Water Wheel Company and
the W.P.A., restored in the 1930, and in the early 1900's two of the cities
major sewer lines had been laid in in its possible path along Rock Creek.
The National Park Service finally decided upon a second in-house restoration
for Pierce Mill.
Description: An old rubber stamp from the Fitz Water Wheel Company,
the stamp is actually backwards. The scan is reversed so you could read
it. The wooden part is marked Buck's patent Dial Dater Pat'd Jan 2nd 06.
Wood & Rubber Stamp Fitz Water Wheel Company, 1906.
The Fitz Water Wheel Company, Archival Records.
Database Name: Hagley Museum and Library, Greenville, Delaware.
Search Request: Fitz Water Wheel Company
Search Results: Displaying 7 of 11 entries
Main Author: Fitz Water Wheel Company.
Title: Records, 1897-1966.
Primary Material: Archival/Manuscript Material
Description: 285 linear ft.
Organization: Series I. Correspondence sent (1908-1957); Series II.
Correspondence sent and received (1899-1966); Series III. Proposals and
agreements (1900-1935); Series IV. General accounts (1902-1946); Series
V. Production records (1902-1954); Series VI. Sales records (1899-1956);
Series VII. Engineers' notebooks (1930-1965); Series VIII. Miscellany (1908-1962).
History: Samuel Fitz established the Hanover Foundry & Machine
Co. in Hanover, Pa., in 1840. Ten years later he established the Tuscarora
Iron Works in Martinsburg, W. Va. The two operations were combined in 1896.
In 1899 the firm became the I-X-L Overshoot Water Wheel Company, and on
July 15, 1902, it was renamed the Fitz Water Wheel Company. The firm soon
came to specialize in the manufacture of water wheels and small power plants,
although it also manufactured grain dryers and blowers. Samuel Fitz built
his first iron water wheel in 1852. His son, John Fitz (1847-1914), who
succeeded his father as head of the firm, developed the modern steel overshot
water wheel. This represented the refinement of a relatively primitive technology
at a time when large firms were developing high-power turbines for large
factories and central generating stations Befitting its rural location,
Fitz aimed its product at farmers, small millers, and small town hydroelectric
and pumping stations. As a specialty producer, it sold its products throughout
the United States and also developed a strong export market, particularly
to rural areas and underdeveloped countries. Orders came from New Zealand,
Australia, Canada, South America, Africa, Indochina and all parts of Europe
with the exception of Russia. Fitz also manufactured impulse wheels, and
in the 1910s it acquired the sole manufacturing rights to the Burnham turbine.
Again, Fitz concentrated on turbines of under 150 HP. The spread of rural
electrification cut into Fitz's market, but John Samuel Fitz, who had succeeded
his father in 1914, kept the firm in business by adapting to changing conditions.
After 1930 many wheels were produced for "show" rather than productive
use. The firm made many model wheels and turbines for engineering schools
and produced many small turbines for the government during World War II.
It also became an important supplier to historic restorations of working
mills, including Colonial Williamsburg; the Old Pierce Mill in Rock Creek
Park in Washington; Stratford Hall in Virginia; the Historic Hudson Valley
Restoration in New York; and the Hagley Museum in Delaware. J. S. Fitz died
in 1965, and the firm was sold on September 1, 1966. James Leffel &
Co. of Springfield, Ohio, bought the machinery, inventory, patterns and
drawings. Leffel later sold the loom business to Heilig Brothers Manufacturing
Company of York, Pa. The real estate in Hanover was sold to Pen-Mar Foundries.
Scope & Content Note: The records of the Fitz Water Wheel Company
date from 1897 to 1966 and consist of correspondence, receipts, bids and
proposals, contracts and agreements, production records, sales records,
engineers' notebooks, and a small group of advertising materials. A large
selection of company trade catalogues is available in the Imprints Department.
The primary emphasis of the collection is on sales, as the company spent
most of its effort in trying to maintain its specialized market niche. The
records document the variety and persistence of low-head hydro power installations.
Access: No restrictions on use.
Described in: John Beverley Riggs, A GUIDE TO MANUSCRIPTS IN THE
ELEUTHERIAN MILLS HISTORICAL LIBRARY, SUPPLEMENT CONTAINING ACCESSIONS FOR
THE YEARS 1966 THROUGH 1975 (Greenville, Del.: Eleutherian Mills Historical
Library, 1978). Unpublished finding aid available at the repository.
Fitz, John, (1847-1914).
Fitz, J. S. (John Samuel), c. (1872-1965).
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Inc.
Fitz Water Wheel Company.
Hagley Museum and Library.
Hanover Foundry and Machine Company (Hanover, Pa.).
Historic Hudson Valley (Organization).
I-X-L Overshoot Water Wheel Company.
I-X-L Stone Burr Mills.
United States. War Production Board.
Export marketing--Hydraulic machinery.
Hydroelectric power plants.
Mills and mill-work.
Peanut (corn) roasters.
York County (Pa.)--Foundries.
Location: SODA HOUSE (Manuscripts & Archives), Hagley Museum
and Library, Greenville, Delaware.
Call Number: 0925
Number of Items: 0
Status: See departmental reference desk.
The Campbell Water Wheel Company, Archival Records.
Database Name: Hagley Museum and Library, Greenville, Delaware.
Search Request: Campbell, John Blake, 1890-1987 .
Search Results: Displaying 1 of 1 entries
Main Author: J.B. Campbell Water Wheel Company.
Primary Material: Archival/Manuscript Material
Description: 105 linear ft.3,000 items.
Organization: Series I. Accounts (1920-1939); Series II. Major job
files; Series III. Minor or miscellaneous files.
History: The J.B. Campbell Water Wheel Company was founded in Philadelphia,
Pa., in 1920. John Blake Campbell was born in Roanoke, Va., in 1890 and
studied engineering at Cornell University. During1915-1916 he studied the
old water-powered mills which survived near his home in Virginia, and in
1916-1917 he was an engineering salesman for the Fitz Water Wheel Company
of Hanover, Pa., a firm that specialized in small hydro-power installations.
After serving in the Army Engineers during 1917-1919, Campbell moved to
Philadelphia and founded his own company in 1920. He designed overshot water
wheels in welded steel, essentially applying modern production technology
to a relatively primitive device. He also worked on turbine installations,
municipal water systems and flood control, but he came to specialize in
traditional water wheels and was particularly interested in them as esthetic
elements in the landscape. Consequently, much of his work was for decorative
power plants for private estates or for historic restorations. His customers
included Henry Ford, numerous Rockefellers and du Ponts, as well as the
Hagley Museum and Batsto Furnace restorations.
Scope & Content Note: The bulk of the company's records consist
of two series of job progress scrapbooks, a "major" and a "minor"
or "miscellaneous" series. The files are relatively complete.
The scrapbooks are organized alphabetically by client or subcontractor's
name. Within each entry, items are pasted in chronologically, beginning
with a notation of the first contact and ending with the job's completion.
The contents typically include notations made by Campbell in the office
or in the field, details of the site, sketches, blueprints, lists of parts,
specifications, and background materials on the site and client. The "major"
file contains most of Campbell's actual projects. The "minor"
file contains primarily inquiries and minor jobs, although a few developed
into major jobs found in the other file.
Access: No restrictions on use.
Campbell, John Blake, 1890-1987.
Delafield, John Ross, 1874-1964.
Du Pont, E. Paul (Eleuthère Paul), 1911-1963.
Du Pont, Francis I. (Francis Irenee), 1926- .
Du Pont, Reynolds, 1918- .
Rockefeller, Avery, 1924-1979.
Rockefeller, James S. (James Stillman), 1902- .
Strawbridge, G. Stockton (George Stockton), 1913-1997
Boone Hall Plantation (Mount Pleasant, S.C.).
Foote Mineral Company.
George School (Bucks County, Pa.).
Green Hill Yacht and Country Club (Salisbury, Md.).
J.B. Campbell Water Wheel Company.
Precision Casting Company.
Hydroelectric power plants.
Mills and mill-work.
Location: SODA HOUSE - Manuscripts & Archives
Call Number: 1582
Number of Items: 0
Status: See departmental reference desk
A List of Pages in the Pond Lily Mill Restorations Home Page Web Site
about the Fitz Water Wheel Company and the Campbell Water Wheel Company:
Thank you, more to come!
Theodore R. Hazen, Pond Lily Mill Restorations Home Page
Fitz Water Wheel Company's Restoration of Peirce Mill, Part 1.
Fitz Water Wheel Company's Restoration of Peirce Mill, Part 2.
Water Wheel Album: Page Six- The Fitz I-X-L Steel Overshoot Water Wheels.
Water Wheel Album: Page Eight- The Campbell Water Wheels.
Water Wheel Album: Page Nine- I-X-L Steel Overshoot Water Wheel large ad.
Water Wheel Company, Water Wheels, Dams, Hydro - Electric
Plants & Water Supply Systems, by John Blake Campbell, 1932.
Steel Overshoot Water Wheels, Bulletin No. 70, December 1928.
Always be Water Wheels, by Neil M. Clark, December 3, 1955.
Personal Remembrance of John Blake Campbell, Hydraulic Engineer, Millwright.
Advertisement Brochure from the Water Wheel Fitz Water Wheel Company,
Hanover, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Circa 1919. View Other Advertisement Brochures
from the I-X-L Steel Overshoot Water Wheel Company and the Fitz Water Wheel
Company. Coming Soon!
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