Friday, March 30, 2012

Leffel turbine

The saw mill & grist mill in Sydenham was built in 1833 but burned down in 1897.  It was rebuilt and added Sydenham's first electrical power system in 20's, but burned down again in 1947 and was never rebuilt.  It is now a park.  The original 1921 Leffel turbine was left in place.  The James Leffel & Co. began in Springfield, Ohio in the 1840's as a stove manufacturer, perhaps the first in the state.  Mr. Leffel became wealthy from the sales of these items, then turned his attention to waterwheels and turbines.  With the need for more food to feed the armies during the American Civil War, Leffel introducted the American Double Turbine in 1862, which doubled flour production in gristmills.  In that year, a 10 to 13-inch turbine cost $200, while the 56-inch version cost $700.  The company still exists and their website contains an interesting photo gallery.

1867 ad

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