On the site between Blackfriars railway station and Blackfriars Road Bridge once stood the world’s first steam driven flour mill. Designed by John Rennie and opened in 1788, this was the first time steam had been used to drive millstones and engines for grinding, fanning, sifting and dressing wheat. 20 pairs of millstones could grind 10 bushels of wheat per hour, 24 hours of the day. The Albion Flour Mill opened to wide critical acclaim, putting this technology and this part of London at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. However, the success of this innovation was viewed with hostility by traditional millers who feared their livelihoods would quickly disappear. The Albion Flour Mill burnt down three years later under mysterious circumstances. Arson or mechanical failure?
20”x16” (406 mm x 508 mm)