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The present paper concerns the development of theory and experiments on water wheels in the 18 th century. At that time, as a result of a growing demand for energy, a better understanding of the functioning of watermills, even at the theoretical level, was required in order to improve their efficiency. A hint about the evolution of the theory of wheels in the 19 th century is reported also. We have tried to clarify the role played by some protagonists as Antoine Parent, Jean-Charles de Bordadoi:10.4236/ahs.2013.23017 fatcat:2pu7ho4rw5e6xapmgdr52kkft4