Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,192 pages of information and 233,429 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Lady Isabella, Laxey

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The famous 'Lady Isabella' on the Isle of Man is a massive 72 ft water wheel made of iron and wood in 1854 by Robert Casement. To generate more power the Laxey Wheel was constructed with 168 'buckets', which each contain some 24 gallons. It was an unusual pitchback design meaning that the wheel flowed in opposite direction to the river flow due to the water filling the buckets on the front side of the wheel rather than the over shot design where the water falls on the top of the wheel. The additional power was required to pump water out of the deep lead mine nearby. It was in commercial use up until 1926, and is now an icon for the Isle of Man.

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