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The Fabyan Windmill in Geneva, IL
Crown gearings are not a new type of gear system. On the contrary, they have been in use since very early times for various tasks. Their earliest form is that of the driving sprocket, found in ancient Roman watermills or Dutch windmills. The first principles of gear geometry and simple methods of production (shaper cutting) were developed in the 1940s. In the 1950s, however, crown gears' importance declined. Their tasks were, for example, taken over by bevel gears, which were easier to manufacture and could transmit greater power. Current subject literature accordingly contains very little information on crown gears, directed mainly to pointing out their limitations (Ref. 1).
The load capacity rating of gears had its beginning in the 18th century at Leiden University when Prof. Pieter van Musschenbroek systematically tested the wooden teeth of windmill gears, applying the bending strength formula published by Galilei one century earlier. In the next centuries several scientists improved or extended the formula, and recently a Draft International Standard could be presented.