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human powered machine - drive shaft - casa de la moneda - potosi (bolivia)

The giant wooden gears of the minting machine.­ This is the oldest mint in a near perfect state of preservation.­

This photo shows one of the drive shafts located one story under one of the roller press machines.­ The power source was either animals or indigenous slaves (depending on availability).­

Casa de la moneda museum, Potosí (Bolivia)

Route Quijarro, Potosi, Bolivia

Casa de la Moneda - Potosí (Bolivia)

This is the old Spanish mint where the silver from the mines of Potosí was transformed into coins.­

The original minting machines are preserved in a near-perfect state.­ The oldest machines were made of huge wooden gears and powered by slaves or animals (depending on availability).­

Later they used steam-powered machines, but luckily they kept the old machines untouched (just in case!).­

This huge building is now a national museum.­

Bolivia 171 photos

Photos taken in Bolivia in February and March 2010.­

Related series:

- Uyuni Train Cemetery (Bolivia).

- Silver Mine - Potosí (Bolivia).

- Argentina.

- Chile.