By Martin Watts
(Shire, Paperback, 9780747806714, 48pp.)
Publication Date: April 21, 2009
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Corn milling, the reduction of hard cereal grains to form a usable foodstuff, is one of the oldest and most necessary crafts. While windmills and watermills are given deserved notice, the milling process and the modern development of the industry are usually taken for granted. The history of milling is exceptional in the necessity of the process and its continuing importance, and its unique buildings and machines, which had a marked effect on contemporary technology. With increased interest in wholesome foods, energy conservation and the preservation of technological history, the milling industry is in a unique position, with both traditional and modern mills presenting a working picture of the industry.
Martin Watts has been studying mills since the 1960s. After working in architecture and design he was curator of Worsbrough Mill Museum, South Yorkshire for three years, then spent seven years repairing a watermill in Devon and setting up a stoneground flour business. Since 1988 he has worked as a traditional millwright and consultant, his work covering many aspects of the repair, maintenance, conservation and interpretation of historic mills and their machinery.