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Historical Technology Books: 1928 Fitz Steel Overshot Water Wheel catalog by Fitz Water Wheel Company of Hanover, PA, USA - 20 in a series

Technology isn't just computers, networks and phones. Technology has always been part of the human experience. All of our ancestors have looked for ways to help them survive and do less work for more gain. has a host of old technology books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. Many of the technologies discussed within these books are being put to use again these days in the back to the land" and homesteading movements. You might even find something that could address one of your own garden or farm issues but has been lost to time and history. Enjoy! --Douglas

Historical Technology Books: 1928 Fitz Steel Overshot Water Wheel catalog by Fitz Water Wheel Company of Hanover, PA, USA - 20 in a series
I was surprised to see that waterwheel technology was still so prominent in the late 1920’s, but then I remembered that electrical power was still something confined to large cities until late in the 1940’s, so it makes sense. In rural areas, water power would be some of the most reliable power around. — Douglas


A Bit of History

The Fitz I-X-L Steel Overshoot Water Wheel is the product of three generations of unbroken experience in the design and manufacture of water wheels. Its high efficiency is due to its correct mechanical principles and to its careful design and construction.

The manufacture of Overshoot Water Wheels was begun by Samuel Fitz, in Hanover, Penna., U. S. A., in the year 1840. The industry has been carried on continuously since that time on the same site under the management of the son and grandson of the original founder.

The earlier Fitz Wheels were, of course, built of wood. A number of orders are still being received for iron parts for wooden water wheels, as described later in this booklet, but by far the greater part of the business done today is the manufacture of the all-steel Overshoot Water Wheels, in which the company specializes.

The real credit for the invention of the modern Steel Overshoot Water Wheel and for its development into its present highly efficient form must be given to the late John Fitz. Very early in his business career he realized the great possibilities of this type of water wheel and he devoted the greater part of his life to the study of its principles and the improvement of its efficiency. How well he succeeded is shown by the high regard in which the Steel Overshoot is held today. In spite of this, we have not relaxed our efforts for further improvements, but are constantly striving for still better results in every detail of construction.

The knowledge and experience accumulated by our organization during its long career in the water wheel business forms an even greater asset than our well equipped modern factory. Most of our employees have grown up with us, and our millwrights and mechanics have been trained in this line from early youth. In reckoning with your water power problems, therefore, we have a vast fund of practical experience to draw from and we are glad to place this freely at the service of our customers.

Sincerely yours,


J. S. Fitz, President,
C. F. Eh rehart, Treasurer,
Chas. E. Ehrehart, Secretary.


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† Available from the LA Public Library


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