Record number: 3305
Date: First quarter of the 20th century
Georgaphical specifications: Sant Pere de Riudebitlles (Catalonia)
Dimensions: 290 cm. Maximum diameter: 5 m
Vertical compartment waterwheel with wooden compartments rotating around an axle with 10 spokes. It was operated by the force provided by the drop along the mill run leading from the village of Sant Quintí de Mediona to Sant Pere de Riudebitlles. The drop matched the height of the wheel.
The function of the wheel was to operate a set of Dutch beater, metal containers equipped with a rotating drum with knives fixed to its surface. The cellulose pulp was passed between these knives and others fixed to the container to beat it, removing the impurities and refining it before it reached the papermaking machine.
It comes from the former paper mill Cal Ton del Pere, in Sant Pere de Riudebitlles (Alt Penedès). This old mill was first a flour mill, before switching to paper production in 1785. It remained in operation, producing paper pulp for the Cal Ròmul factory, until its closure in 1967. Its owners donated this waterwheel to the MNACTEC, while the building was sold to Sant Pere de Riudebitlles Local Council, which restored the roof and a part of the facade.