Since the middle ages, local communities which were able to channel water, organized water powered manufactories and mills, creating over time what were actual “pre-industrial districts”, indivisibly bound to the network of channels that drove the vertical or horizontal blades of the millwheel. Canals, watercourses and waterfalls were as much as factor of production as the land and iron, coal and silver mines, and with time, communities learned to exploit water power with increasing efficiency. Water is by its very nature highly dynamic, and as a consequence, since ancient times, human activity has been directed at taking advantage of it power. Local communities learned to exploit water power increasingly efficiently, transforming the potentional energy of falling water into work. From the middle ages on, controlling, owning and/or managing a water-driven plant meant being in possession of one of the most important aspects of the economy. A water-powered manufactory or mill was, therefore, an economic asset, costly both in terms of initial capital investment and of maintenance, made by man and used repeatedly over the course of different production cycles. The Tuscan case studies in point – Calci (Pisa), Rio dell’Elba (Livorno) and Colle di Val d’Elsa (Siena) – still legible on the land, even if confusedly, vouch for the value of the work culture and that of the land and environment, which belong by right to the resident community.
|Titolo:||Local pre-industrial communities in Tuscany and the exploitation of water|
|Anno del prodotto:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|