The History of Grinding


13 Sep 2023


7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The History of Grinding

Humans have been grinding materials to reduce the particle size for hundreds of thousands of years. It has been said that grinding mills are the oldest machines. For the last few thousand years methods have been evolving and with the industrialisation of the last few hundred years methods have rapidly changed and the science developed. Bernard Lovatt will review these methods and the science behind them with special reference to the developments of the last three centuries associated with the pottery industry. The talk will be followed by a tour Shirley’s 1857 Bone and Flint Mill (not in steam) which uses the pan grinding method developed in the 1730s and used into the 1970s.

The talks will be held in the museum’s canal warehouse a short distance along the canal from the visitor centre. They are free at attend with light refreshments provided. Numbers are limited to 25 so booking is required on