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)

casa de la moneda casa nacional de moneda cobblestones drive shaft historical mint museum potosí wood gears wooden gears wooden machine
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.­

Photos taken in Bolivia in February and March 2010.­

Related series:

- Uyuni Train Cemetery (Bolivia).

- Silver Mine - Potosí (Bolivia).

- Argentina.

- Chile.