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Waterpower was an essential and cheap source of energy. It was, however, dependant on specific locations. Sawmills, fulling mills, flour mills and other water-powered constructions had to be built near waterfalls and rivers.

The Gate saw

The first water-powered sawmills appeared in the late 1400s. During the 16th century, the gate saw became common in Norway. This hydro-powered saw gets its Norwegian name, oppgangssag, from the up-and-down action of its blade.

These saws led to a more efficient production of wooden planks and boards. Wooden floors and ceilings now became more common in houses with fireplaces, and siding was laid on older houses built of logs.

Gate saws were used in Norway from the 16th century until the early 19th century, and were the foundation for the Norwegian timber industy.

Fulling Mill

Another water-powered invention is the fulling mill, which was used in the making of a felt-like cloth. Woollen cloth was put in a tub and warm water poured over it. The water wheel was activated, and the cloth pounded by the fulling stocks. When the process was finished, the cloth was rolled onto a round pole.