July 5, 2022

A cart (from German: Kehrrad, reversing wheel) is a water-powered elevator or conveyor belt. Carts are known both as transport devices for timber (can also be objects other than timber), and as a reversible water wheel for operating hoisting devices used in mining. The oldest known documentation of a cart comes from a mine in Hungary in 1439. In Agricola's work De Re Metallica from 1556 is the first time it is described in a textbook on mining.

Timber transport

A water wheel drives an endless chain that goes around. The chain follows the timber gutter (path) where the timber is to be transported and is equipped with hooks that attach to the timber and pull it forward. The timber was in this way hoisted by means of an inclined gutter or transported in horizontal gutters. The device was used to transport the timber up from the rivers to sawmills or paper mills or instead of timber floating where this was not suitable. The term is also used for horizontal, longitudinal feeding tables (conveyor belts) for logs in sawmills.

Mining operations

A reversible water wheel for operating stone hoists. It could be a water wheel with two rows of blades (in each direction). By reversing the direction, the curves could be hoisted up and down the shaft, a good braking system was also necessary. The facility was used for mining to lift ore and stone from the mines. A cart could replace two horse walks. A cart built on Kongsberg in 1870 is stated to have been hoisted from a depth of 342 meters at a speed of 1 meter per second.

Carts in Norway


There have been several carts in Norway in connection with timber floating, sawmills and paper mills. The cart plant in Åsa was the largest with 12 water wheels and especially for this was that many carts were connected over a long distance. The facility was built to transport timber from Steinsfjorden up the hill to Damtjern and Storflåtan on Krokskogen for further floating down Sørkedalsvassdraget to Bogstadvannet. In total, the cart had a height difference of 389 meters over a total length of 3,900 meters. The cart had a speed of about 1 km / h and total capacity was approx. 240 sticks a day, or one stick every six minutes. The gutters went over the water wheel and on the shaft of the water wheel there was a wheel with spikes that pulled the chain. The runways had two "floors", on the upper the logs and the chain went, on the lower the chain went back. The chain was made at Bærum Verk and weighed a total of 180 tonnes. The background for the plant was a lack of timber in Nordmarka and on Krokskogen after heavy felling. Peder Anker wanted to transport timber from his forest properties in Etnedal and along Begna to the sawmills by the Lysaker River. The cart in Buvika was part of the transport system for transporting timber from the Mangenvassdraget to the Haldenvassdraget. In connection with the Otteid Canal, which was built to transport timber from Swedish Store Le, to Øymarksjøen, steam-powered carts were built to help with transport. At Spillum Dampsag & Høvleri there was also a cart, it is now part of the Norwegian Sawmill Museum. In Kaldvellelva there were three carts built in the 1890s at Sliberifossen, Årdalsstemmen and Kaldvellstemmen. The cart at Kaldvellstemmen was powered by a turbine, the other two by water wheels where the water was led in a gutter on the underside of the wheel. A chain with spikes hooked itself to the timber and pulled the logs along a gutter by the waterfall. The gutters were about 30 m long, 1 m wide and 40 cm high. The cart at Kaldvellstemmen was in use until 1955. In 1837, Ingebret Soot built a water-powered cart over Otteid between Store Le and Øymarksjøen. Originally, Soot had used horses to drive timber over Otteid, then he set up a cart driven by oxen. At Borregaard in Sarpsborg, the floated timber was taken up from Glomma with a cart for a racing saw. I 1908