Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Turbines replaced Tredegar's waterwheel by the late 19th century, but one constant remained: Water was the fuel that powered Tredegar.
How Did They Work?
Belts and Pulleys
The resulting kinetic energy activated belts and pulleys that operated lathes and other powerful machinery inside Tredegar's nearby machine shop.
A long rod, called a drive shaft, rotated as the wheel turned, creating mechanical power.
Water entered the top of the wheel and spilled over into each bucket, causing the wheel to turn.
From the Kanawha Canal - To the James River
Waterpower was also likely used to stoke the iron furnace inside Tredegar's Central Foundry. As the waterwheel turned, a small fan—or wind box—pushed air into the furnace to intensify the fire.
This replica is representative of the many overshot waterwheels that once populated the site.
The waterwheel fed energy to these long belts, which powered Tredegar's machine shops. The Valentine
Erected by Tredegar Iron Works and BB&T Bank.
Location. 37° 32.105′ N, 77° 26.743′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Tredegar Street 0.1 miles west of South 5th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 470 Tredegar Street, Richmond VA 23219, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Southern Firepower (a few steps from this marker); Civil War Visitor Center (a few steps from this marker); Gateway to the Civil War (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Tredegar (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Industrial Patterns (within shouting distance of this marker); Adapting Power (within shouting distance of this marker); Toledo 1000-ton Press (within shouting distance of this marker); Francis Turbine (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
Also see . . .
1. Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced an older one at this also location titled “Overshot Waterwheel” (Submitted on February 21, 2017.)
2. Civil War Visitor Center at Tredegar Iron Works (Submitted on February 21, 2017.)
3. Historic Tredegar. The American Civil War Museum (Submitted on February 21, 2017.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 21, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 18, 2017, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 234 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 18, 2017, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.