Sarichioi windmill, Tulcea, early 19th century
The windmills are installations of folk technique for grinding cereals, customary in the Dobrogea landscape since the 16th century.
In the patrimony of the Village Museum, there are three such units: the mill from Sarichioi, the mill from Valea Nucarilor and the one from Enisala. Although different in size, strength, grinding capacity and structure, all these mills belong to the same type characterized by the existence of a central pivot around which the “house” of the mill can rotate entirely in the direction of the wind. They operate on the principle of direct transmission of motion. Thus, the wind energy captured by the wings determines the rotation of the shaft on which they are fixed. Through the toothed wheel (brake wheel) and a lantern pinion (wallower), the horizontal rotational movement is transmitted to the vertical axis fixed in the moving stone (or runner stone). The grains flow from the hopper suspended above the stones into a shoe shaken automatically by the rotation of the spindle and from here between the stones. Subsequently, the flour flows into the crate.
The windmill from Sarichioi, Tulcea County, dating from the first half of the 19th century, was transferred and reassembled in the museum in 1953. It is built on a stone base, with an oak frame, and the walls and roof are made of fir planks. In the upper area, the 6 wings and a balcony with a pulley system for lifting bags of grains (which is why it was also called a “breasted mill”) stand out. The installation has a quadrilateral plan with two rooms on top of each other: downstairs, a storage area for bags and tools; upstairs, the mechanism and the two pairs of stones for grinding corn and wheat. These could work simultaneously or separately, as needed and depending on the intensity of the wind.