Om vattnets förunderliga kraft / On the fascinating waterpower
The history reflected in water may reveal both fundamental and sometimes astonishing insights. In this short essay we meet two Swedish very experienced engineers, both also representing a humanistic profile. The first one to meet is the late professor Bo Hellstrom, at the Royal Institute of Technology. As a young engineer he was intrigued by the story in the Old Testimony on the Israel escape from Egypt (see Exodus, chapter 14, verse 21 ff ). He asked: Was it a possible event from scientific viewpoints, or just an old metaphoric story? He used a scientific approach, including studies of old historic documents, geological and metrological data. He even built a small-scale model of the upper Red Sea. He approached the matter with three viewpoints: “WHERE-WHEN and HOW”. He concludes: The conditions were indeed favorable for the event! The second one to meet is a senior engineer, Bo Johan Ronnerstam. He was fascinated by the power found in water and focused on the water mill from some perspectives, such as historical, technical and, not least important, its importance in the development of the Swedish society and industry during many centuries. The use of waterpower is seen as one of the cornerstones in Sweden for our known history, according to Ronnersten.