Sunday, December 16, 2012

Steam Pump Museum

This was a Cornish stem engine - one of three built to pump water out of a lake created by peat harvesting and enlarged by subsequent storms. There had been heated discussion over whether or not it should be drained, but after two storms threatened Leiden and then Amsterdam the centuries old proposal was put into action.

The level of the lake Haarlemermeer used to wash this deck.

The process used sets of three windmills and engineers predicted a need for over 120 windmills.

There was an emotive debate over the wisdom of building so many windmills or whether they should employ a newfangled English invention called a steam engine.

The engineers' model.

The coal boiler

The engine room of the pump that with its two fellows at the other extremities of the lake pumped for three years and three months to create the polder.

A tank showing how much of the country would be under water without the dikes. The light green shows areas below sea level- over 2000 polders requiring constant pumping. It would take less than six years of neglect for the area to revert.

Did you know that Rotterdam is below the water level of the Rhine?

The area affected by the 1953 floods costing over 1800 lives and triggering the Delta plan.