Energy and power
March :
Energy, power ad prime movers - from mills to nuclear energy.

The Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community was signed on the 25 March 1957 at the same time as the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EEC Treaty).
This is the reason why the industrial heritage theme of March has been set to
the heritage of energy and prime movers

windmill (The "Encyclopaedie" by d'Alembert et Diderot The availability of motive power and energy was (and still is) a key factor for economic and industrial development.
From the moment one is not anymore producing flour for its own family, one needs to use larger and heavier millstones, to be moved by more power than one's hands and arms: a tredmill, the power of wind and water moving a mill. The first textile mills were situated in the countryside, on a river using its hydropower to drive mule jennies, waterframes, self actors and looms.
Water was pumped from mines using tredmills and watermills. But as shafts became deeper a stronger power was needed, solved by the fire engines of Newcomen, later the steam engines of James Watt.

The 19th century became the century of steam.

But from the second half and the end of that century other sources of energy came into play, which had to solve the problems of the steam engine and the rising cost of the coal: hot air, petrol and diesel engines, electricity.  Electricity changed the life of mankind, used for driving machinery in mills, lighting of streets and homes, heating, communication,... At the beginning of the 20th century even the speed record was broken by an electrically driven car
But after the war a new source of energy rose.
On Friday May 11, 1956 at around 6.30 p.m., the first fully civilian nuclear research reactor in Europe (the BR1, Belgian Reactor 1) produced its first chain reaction, although reactors for military purpose then were already operating in the UK (Harwell) and France. Less than a year later the Euratom Treaty was signed. Nuclear power was considered to solve all future problems...
But less than half a century later,
and certainly after Chernobyl and Fukoshima nuclear power is out of favor - and we look for alternatives that go back to traditional sources already used before the Industrial Revolution: wind, water, the sun,...





17-18 March: steam engine weekend >>> see programme
            steam engines in many countries open to the public  


BELGIUM Izegem Open door and guided visit in the former town power station
BELGIUM Westerlo Open door on sundays in the Bedder-windmill
BELGIUM Lille Two mills open to the public
FRANCE Gréasque La mine et les énergies. Les énergies et la mine
FRANCE Lyon Journée porte-ouverte à l'usine hydro-électrique de Cusset
FRANCE Lyon La pompe de Cornouailles / The Cornish engine of the pumping station
NETHERLANDS Stramproy Open door and guided visits in the Broekmolen
SPAIN Málaga Taller máquinas térmicas - Workshop on thermic engines
SPAIN Málaga Visita Central Térmica del ParqueTecnológico - the power station

For this theme month YOU still can register YOUR events, if taking place the second half of March (March 15th-31st)


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