riparian rap

A wonderful book on water lifting devices.

Water Lifting Devices, by P.L. Fraenkel and Jeremy Thake.

My wife Kate loves libraries, and on one of our recent trips to the newly remodeled Morris Library at SIUC, I happened to spot this book. I’ve done innumerable internet searches on pumps and related technology for our river model development, but had never seen this one. Score another one for books on shelves.

The book’s aim is a review of applied pumping theory and practice, and description of pumps suitable for, mostly, third world applications. It’s amazingly comprehensive, with wonderful sections on theory and pump efficiency–even covering generation of electricity using wind, hydro, and biogas.

Pumping is a difficult topic. This book does an admirable job of making it accessible.

If you work with pumps or fluid mechanics, or are interested in mechanical devices (and their history) you’ll enjoy this book. Many of the technologies described, such as the Archimedes Screw, are centuries old and most rely on human or animal power.

You can find the most recent version (3rd edition, 2007) on here, and it seems the UN-FAO has an older online version with a linked table of contents here. Both are richly illustrated.

I also found a wonderful collection of photographs covering this topic by Thorkild Schiöler here. A photo from this site, of a Chinese “dragons’s spine” pump powered by three treaders, is shown below.