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Reconstructed open horse peg on the "Rudolphschacht" in Lauta
Originally preserved Göpel shaft system of the slate mine in Lehesten (Thuringia), the system was operated between 1846 and 1964
Model of a Göpelpyramid in Pobershau ( Ore Mountains )

As gin or gin factory, formerly "Göpel Art", one is the engine referred to by muscle , water , wind - or steam power is driven. The Göpelwerk consists of at least one mostly vertical drive shaft and a simple gear unit with an output shaft . The building in which the Göpel is housed is called "Göpelhaus" or "-kaue" or "Treibekaue".

Since the end of the 14th century, Göpel has been used as conveyor systems in Central Europe , primarily in historical mining . Later they were also used in agriculture to drive machines. Smaller or larger model replicas in the form of Göpel pyramids are like Erzgebirgische Schwibbögen popular today Erzgebirge Christmas decorations .


Depiction of a horse peg with gear and pulling ropes running over pulleys by Taccola (around 1430)

First mentions of the use of Göpelwerke come from the 3rd century BC. In Egypt , these tapels, known as Sakiah , were widespread for drawing water. Documents, which King Wenceslas II of Bohemia issued around 1300 for the mountain town of Kutná Hora , name “horses, ropes and other materials for drawing water”. From Kutná Hora, this technique spread to other mining areas at the beginning of the 14th century . a. to Carinthia and Salzburg . Reason for the proliferation in the mining industry was the fact that due to the increasing depth of the wells until then to well production used hand reel no longer sufficient. One of the earliest depictions of a horse goblet with gear and pulley ropes comes from around 1430 by the Italian engineer Taccola . The illustrations of the Kuttenberger Kanzionale (collection of Latin chants) from around 1490/1500 also show a horse goddess in mining. Horse pegs were also called horse work. According to Agricolas De re metallica , the Göpel was first used in German mining in 1504.

From the second half of the 19th century, Göpel were increasingly used in agriculture to drive various work machines. In particular, Göpel were used to drive threshing machines . In this century, Göpel were increasingly powered by steam engines. However, where the power was sufficient, horse pegs were still in use in the steam engine era. In the Ore Mountains , even in the 19th century, new horse pegs were built, so u. a. 1838 on the Rudolphschacht in Lauta and 1844 on the Türkschacht near Zschorlau . In 1948 there was still a horse goblet in Johanngeorgenstadt . The only sporadic production on this shaft was stopped in 1917. In the Freiberg area, the last horse peg was taken out of service around 1920. Göpels were still used in agriculture in the first half of the 20th century; they were only later replaced by motors. Göpel bucket wheels are still used in Egypt today. In developing countries , so-called universal pegs are used for post-harvest processing and for pumping water. The Noah Hoover Mennonites in Belize and in the USA , who belong to the Mennonites of the old order and therefore reject any kind of engine, still operate mills that are operated with a tour horse peg, for example a sawmill in Springfield, Belize or a sorghum mill in Scottsville, Kentucky, as seen in videos.

Basics and principle of operation

The Göpel is the simplest machine with which the muscle power of an animal can be transferred to an axle. Through the muscular strength of the animal running in a circle, a pulling movement is transmitted to a long lever to which the animals are harnessed. The long lever is attached at one end to a vertical shaft supported at the ends. Due to the continuously acting tensile force, the lever is always pulled forward and thus exerts a leverage effect on the shaft, which is thereby rotated. The muscle power is thus converted into a rotating movement. In this case, the animal practically serves as a motor . However, the relatively slow gait of the animals only results in a low number of revolutions of the shaft. If higher or lower speeds are required, the rotation of the main shaft must be converted into another speed via a gear ratio . If the Göpel is to generate a different direction of rotation, a special back gear is required. The rotary movement of the Göpel shaft can be transmitted to external machines via drive shafts or by means of a belt drive.

Göpel types

Different types of göpel have been developed and built over the years. Depending on the application of force, a distinction is made between Zuggöpeln and Tretgöpeln. Zuggöpel are also known as Rundlaufgöpel. The Göpel is further subdivided into standing Göpel and lying Göpel. The decisive factor in this classification is the height of the göpel and the bearing of the main shaft. Only a few of all Göpel types have prevailed. The simplest type of göpel was the hand göpel, which was also known as the common göpel. The common horse peg was considerably larger and more powerful. Further types of the round goblet were the spur goblet, the bell göpel, the temple göpel and the column goblet. Column goblets belong to the standing gappers. Spur gear göpel, Glockengöpel and temple göpel are also referred to as lying Göpel.

There are fixed and transportable gopels. A permanent house is required for the erection of a fixed Göpel. This is necessary in order to obtain appropriate support and bearing points. For this reason, fixed Göpel are also called building Göpel. Transportable gopels are mounted on a frame with which they can be moved more easily from one place to another and can be used immediately on site. This frame consists of a frame made of wooden beams that are mortised together. Wooden struts are built in to make the frame stable .

First generation Göpel

In this Göpel generation, the prime mover and the work machine usually formed a complex unit. Only in a few applications were the göpel and the machine to be driven spatially separated from each other and only connected by a shaft. The connection was made using a simple gear construction. For this purpose, a rotating wheel rim was attached to the Göpelwelle at a suitable point. Wooden pegs were mounted in the wreath over the entire circumference. The pegs of a smaller wheel that was connected to the transmission shaft reached into these pegs. Each Göpel was individually handcrafted and was only intended for a specific task. The göpel was usually made entirely of wood. Spruce was predominantly used as construction timber . Individual particularly stressed parts of the Göpels such. B. the Göpelwelle were also made of other woods. In order for this shaft to have sufficient strength for the rotary movements, it was usually made of oak. For the construction of main shafts, however, other suitable woods such as z. B. white pines , black pines or larches are used. Many additional, often superfluous, wooden structural elements were used in the construction of the Göpel. As a result, these göpels were very cumbersome and, despite their power of only a few hp , had enormous dimensions. In addition, these Göpel were very prone to failure. These deficiencies were remedied by omitting superfluous components and installing improved, less failure-prone components. Where it was necessary for technical reasons, individual elements were also made of wrought iron or steel . Forged gears were used to transmit power to other machines, but by today's standards they were very imprecise.

Ordinary horse poop

Reconstructed round horse head in Wieliczka

This horse peg is attached to a foundation called a pegstock. The foundation consists of a round or octagonal foundation wall on which octagonal sleepers are placed. This foundation is leveled so that the top of the sleeper is about a foot above the ground. In the foundation there is a recess, the so-called pan, in which the lower pin of the main shaft rotates freely. This pan is made of steel, it is also called a journal bearing. To reduce friction losses, the journal bearing is always well lubricated and cleaned if necessary. The main rafters are erected and fastened at the corners of the foundation planks. The main rafters are set into a short cylindrical post at the top. This post forms the head of the building.

A vertically standing shaft is rotatably mounted between the upper and the lower displacement point. It consists of a wooden column that rotates on its own axis. This wave is the main wave of the Göpel. It is called Göpelwelle, Göpelspille, Göpelspindel, Spindelbaum or Ständerbaum. This main shaft has an average diameter of 24 to 30 inches. So that the main shaft can also function as a drive shaft , it must be set in rotation using a long lever . For this purpose, several lever arms, the so-called cross trees, are attached in the lower area of ​​the spindle tree, with which the axis can be rotated in both directions. A pin is firmly inserted into the shaft at the top and bottom. To prevent the shaft from skidding when turning, the pin is inserted exactly centrally into the shaft. The lower journal of the shaft, the spindle, is made of steel. The upper shaft journal is made of high quality wrought iron, this is necessary because the journal is exposed to shocks when the spindle shaft is turned. Either top or side bearings are used as bearings, but side bearings are preferred. The upper journal is longer than actually necessary, this "excess length" is intended to prevent the journal from sliding out of the bearing if the shaft drops.

In the upper area of ​​the shaft the drifting basket is attached. The conveyor ropes or conveyor chains are wound onto the drive cage in opposite directions, which means that two loads can be moved in different directions at the same time. For the Göpel in the well production this has the advantage that the empty weight of the descending conveyor ton is mainly compensated. As soon as the upwardly drifting, full hoist barrel was driven more than halfway out of the shaft, the hoisting vessel hanging below and the hoisting rope became overweight and pulled in the opposite direction. To prevent this, the Göpel was prevented from doing so with the Göpelhund . This Göpelhund consists of an elongated piece of wood that is provided with iron teeth. So that the Göpelhund had enough weight, two tree trunks about seven feet long and two feet thick were connected with dwarf wood . In addition, if it wasn't heavy enough, the piece of wood was weighted down with stones. The Göpelhund was attached to the Göpel with a chain or rope. To do this, a so-called dog nail was hammered into one of the drawbars and the rope was attached to it. When the Göpel was moved, it pulled the Göpelhund behind him, which was dragged across the floor and thus prevented the undesired counter-rotating pull.

So that the Göpel can be brought to a standstill during the run, if z. B. jumps off a conveyor barrel, a brake mechanism is attached. The braking mechanism serves to decelerate the Göpel in the event of heavy downward loads, and thus relieves the draft animals. The braking mechanism consists of two horizontal brake columns, which are rotatably attached to the framework of the greenhouse. So-called brake calipers are located on these brake columns as brake pads. When the brake is actuated, these press on a brake disc located on the drive shaft and thereby brake the Göpel.

Horse engine house or Gin gang from Hudson Barn


To protect the groom and the horses from drafts, a (round or hexagonal) canopy was often built, which is referred to as a Göpelschauer (English "Horse engine house", "Horse mill" or "Gin gang"). The forms of the Göpel were very different in the respective mining districts . In the Harz mining industry, the Göpelhaus, also called Gaipel, has a conical structure. In the Freiberg mining area, open so-called Spießgöpel were used. So that the draft animals did not have to run too tight circles, the Göpelraum had a minimum diameter of 11  m to 12 m (36  ft to 40 ft). It also had to be taken into account which draft animals were used, as they have different running speeds. For horses this is 1.2 to 3.5 m / s, for oxen 0.6 to 0.7 m / s. The translation and the length of the pull arm had to be selected accordingly. The running track of the draft animals had to be level and sloping slightly outwards to allow moisture to run off better. In the mining area, the Göpelhaus was placed in such a way that the groom could always see the hanging bench .


Hundegöpel in the museum village of Cloppenburg to turn the butter jar - an early example of the mechanization of agriculture. The dog walks slightly upwards in the cage and drives the wooden chain that is connected to the butter churn in the box on the right.

Tretgöpel (also step bridge or American treadmill) are a type of treadmill in which the animal stands on an inclined surface, which consists of individual panels that are arranged as an endless belt. The panels carry chain pins that fit into the forks of a sprocket . When the animal, tied at one point, walks, the chain links slide down under its hooves, which sets the chain wheel in motion. Tretgöpel, which are especially designed for horses , are also called horse works, horse machines, horse mills or horse arts. The advantages of this type of cap are, on the one hand, the smaller dimensions than those of an equally strong pull cap. On the other hand, with this type of Göpel the labor of the animals is better used.


Handgöpel are set in motion manually by humans. There are hand goblets with a standing wave and those with a lying wave. In the handgöpel with a standing shaft, the shaft is movably mounted in a small frame. The shaft has a height of three to four cubits and a diameter of 12 to 18  inches , depending on the Göpel . The shaft is supported by a journal bearing. Either two or four horizontal arms are attached at a height of 1 to 1½ cubits from the ground, depending on the size of the göpel. There were also hand goblets with more than four arms. These arms are known as push rods, push rods, or pull rods. The push rods are four cubits long. People act vertically on the push rods by pushing away from them. The cable basket is located at the upper end of the shaft . The rope is then wound up or unwound as required. The construction of hand pegs with a lying shaft is very similar to a reel , but the hand peg with a lying shaft is also wound onto a rope basket.

2nd generation Göpel

In this Göpel generation, the working machine was completely disconnected from the prime mover. These gopels were manufactured industrially and consisted almost entirely of steel or cast steel. The gears were made of metal . Instead of the imprecisely forged gear rims, precisely manufactured gears were used. The floor racks and the drawbars of these göpels were still mainly made of wood. This type of production now resulted in a universally applicable gopel. Due to the material, these göpels now had smaller dimensions and were also lighter and thus also transportable. So that these Göpel could be transported easily and quickly from one place of use to another, they were mounted on a mobile frame. So that the Göpel could be brought to a safe stop, it was equipped with newly developed brakes. With these regulating brakes it was also possible to regulate the speed of the göpel. In addition, the new Göpel were also equipped with a locking clutch . This coupling was installed between the göpel and the transmission shaft. It caused the operating shaft to block immediately if the Göpel was driven in the opposite direction. In order to quickly separate the connection between Göpel and the working machine and to brake both machines at the same time, special loose couplings were used. These couplings prevented the animals from being hit by the towing beams in the event of a technical defect or from falling due to the lack of resistance. Further modifications were protective covers over the center gear, the shaft coupling and the transmission shaft.

Spur gear gob

The spur gear cap is the simplest form of a lying cap. He is one of the lying Göpeln. The engine of this göpel is mounted on a base plate or a wooden cross. In this Göpel, the first gear stage consists of a spur gear . The transmission of this Göpel usually only has two gear ratios. The first large spur gear is mounted on a vertical shaft. This shaft is movably supported above and below in tapping bearings. At the top of the shaft is a bracket to which the drawbars are attached. So that the rotary movement can be passed on. there is another, smaller, gear in the Göpel. This gear is mounted on a shaft. The teeth of the small spur gear mesh with the teeth of the larger spur gear. So that the Göpel can be separated from the machine, a manually easily disengageable clutch is installed between the Göpel and the machine. Energy is transferred to the machine via a horizontal transmission shaft attached to the coupling. To prevent the draft animals from stumbling over the horizontal transmission shaft, the göpel must be anchored so deep in the ground at the installation site that the shaft does not protrude. For safety reasons, the shaft is covered with a removable protective box which is attached to the ground with pegs. The simple journal bearing of the first gear stage was prone to failure with this Göpel type. Since high circumferential forces can occur on the gears, the pins can easily be bent during operation.

Bell goblet

In addition to this general shape, there is also a Göpel in which the transmission is enclosed by a stand, this design is called Glockengöpel . The bell goblet consists of a cast iron base plate, the so-called Sool plate. Both the vertical and horizontal shafts are mounted on this plate. A cast iron dome (housing) is mounted above the base plate. This dome carries the upper bearing of the vertical shaft and at the same time encloses the conical transmission gears. Such bells, whose first designer was HH Bestall from Maldon, were built many times.

Hanger bracket

The bow göpel is the most powerful göpel in its class. This is because it is designed so that up to eight horses can be harnessed to drive it. A steel bracket under which the gear unit was located is mounted on the base frame. The shafts could be stored on both sides in this bracket.

Säulengöpel in the open-air museum Glentleiten

Pillar cap

The pillar cap consists of a split, multi-stage gear. Two pairs of gears are rotatably mounted on a base frame of this gear. A column about two meters high is attached to the main wheel of the transmission. This column is made of cast iron. In the upper area of ​​the column a bearing block is attached, in which a horizontal shaft is rotatably mounted. A pulley is attached to this shaft. The drive shaft is integrated into the column. At the upper end, the drive shaft is connected to the pulley either directly or via two bevel gears and drives it. So that the pulley can be moved horizontally as required, the bearing block is usually rotatably mounted on the column. The pulley drive resulted in significantly fewer gear breakages than with other Göpeln. This was because the belt usually jumped off the pulley when overloaded. However, due to the relatively high bending load on the column, these gopels were less resilient than lying göpels.

Drive types

At Göpeln there are two types of drive:

  • Propulsion through muscle power
  • Drive by machine power

These two types are also different in their dimensions. Muscle powered are powered either by human or animal muscle power. With mechanical Göpel drives, either water power or steam drive is used, depending on the local conditions.

Propulsion through muscle power

Man-powered Göpel

There are two types of man-powered gappers:

Göpel that are powered by human muscle power
Göpel, which are driven by the weight of the human body.

Göpels driven by muscle power are hand gobs. In terms of drive, these are constructed in a similar way to a horn reel . However, the hoisting rope is not wound onto the reel shaft, but a gear wheel is located in the center of the shaft. The gear of a second shaft with gear meshes with this gear. The so-called basket compartments are attached to the shaft through which the hoisting rope is driven. The hoisting rope is diverted into the shaft via sheaves . Göpel, which are driven by shifting body weight, use a pedal or balance bike.

Göpel driven by animals

Tretgöpel with beef, after A. Meltzer, 1805

With göpeln driven by animals, the animals are usually driven around in a circle to drive the Göpelwerk. The space in which the animals are moved is called Göpelplatz, Göpelherd, Herd or Rennbahn. Horses, the Göpelpferde, or oxen and in rare cases also dogs are used as driving animals. The pulling force of the animals works on the round gopel because they are harnessed to the lifting boom and draw a circular path around the vertical göpel spindle. This lifting boom is also called a drawbar, swivel boom, cross boom or handle. Usually a change in the direction of force is required, which is guided in the desired direction by spur or bevel gears between the main shaft and the transmission. If this is not enough to achieve a sufficient speed of rotation, further gear trains, so-called intermediate frames, are switched on. A horse does about seven times as much on a göpel as a person. It has been found that a horse tires faster when working on the Göpel and is less able to perform than on a freight cart. This is due to the curvilinear movement in the Göpel. As a result, a horse in the Göpel can only generate 75 percent of the pulling force that it would otherwise bring on a straight route. Calculated over a working day, the performance of a horse is between 0.55 and 0.7 hp . In addition, once the animals walk at a certain speed on the Göpel, they cannot change it quickly. The average speed at which a horse moves in the Göpel is 0.9 meters per second. If several horses are used at the same time on a göpel, it must be ensured that all animals are loaded equally.

In particular, the pulling and keeping conditions were suboptimal for the horses. This was mainly due to the sometimes tight curve radius . The unequal pull caused by this led to strong body bending. If animal pegs are used in mining for hoisting shafts, it can happen with falling loads that the goepel speeds up before reaching the lowest point and the draft animals have to brace themselves against the load. In addition to the physical strain, there was also psychological stress, which, with continuous use, led to severe stress on the animals. In order for the horse to feel the circular movement in the Göpel only a little, the handle must be as long as possible. In the case of horses, the swivel boom must not be shorter than 4.9 m. The most common length for the cross tree is 5.5 m to 6.1 m, with deeper shafts longer draw beams were also used. In order to avoid the additional burden of the draft animals when the load is falling, technical modifications are required on the Göpel. For this purpose, a loop weighted down with stones, the drag dog, is attached to the lifting boom. The horses may not be used for more than three hours at a time, after which the animals must be able to rest for three hours. With daily use, the maximum working time is reduced to two hours, followed by four hours of rest.

Mechanical drives

Image of a hydraulic cap with eddy wheel to raise groundwater from a mine shaft in Georgius Agricola De re metallica (1556). Such water gobs were also used for ore mining. The change of direction of the hoisting ropes was faster by changing the slide pulls for the impact water than with the horse gopel, which had to be re-spooled.

To increase performance, göpels were driven with water power, wind power or steam wherever possible.

Hydraulic Göpel were used in the mountain areas where hydropower was widely available. Water gobs are driven by water wheels , water column machines or low-speed turbines (sponge jug turbine). Depending on the gradient, the driving water wheel was installed above or below ground. Göpel with an underground waterwheel need a back gear. In the case of above-ground Göpeln, the water wheel and the rope basket are on a shaft. If the driving waterwheel is installed underground, two separate shafts are required, each with two double-cranked crooked pins . Due to this construction, the connecting rods of the waterwheel always pull and never push. The conveying speed of the conveying vessels, which are driven by a water cap, is between half a meter and one meter per second in tonnage shafts. The advantage over steam pots is the lower cost of maintenance. The disadvantage is the low delivery rate when there is a lack of water.

Windgöpel are göpels that are driven by a wind turbine. Such wind goblets were already used in mining in 1578 and later in the early 17th century in the Harz mining area. However, these göpels were soon torn down again because they could not meet the expectations placed in them. The reason for this was the irregularly blowing wind, which made orderly and plannable extraction difficult or even impossible in some cases. In order to still be able to use the wind power, wind pegs were combined with a drive using horse pegs.

Steam pegs provide the greatest drive power of all pegs. They were mainly used for extraction in coal mines. These have the great advantage that they provide regular strength and are easy to regulate. With them, speeds of up to 13 meters per second can be achieved. Another advantage of the steam cap is that it can be used almost anywhere. In the Prussian mining industry, steam pegs were mainly used as hoisting machines. Although the steam peg caught on in mining and gradually replaced the horse peg, it was not able to fully establish itself in tunnel construction. The reasons for this were extremely high coal prices or the lack of feed water for the machines. But also procurement problems and the high costs for the machines, which did not pay for themselves over the term, were further reasons.

Use of the individual drive types

Göpeln used in mining were initially driven mostly by horse power. Usually a single horse or two horses were used, but in individual cases up to 20 horses are said to have been used. Horse-powered gopels could be used for shaft depths of up to 350 meters. The use of the horse peg changed the construction of the mining shafts. In contrast to the hand reel , the horse's running track could not be laid directly over the shaft, so it was attached to the shaft house. The tent-like roof construction is typical of the horse running track, which is open or closed depending on the climatic situation. The initial disadvantage of the peg, the re-harnessing of the horses when changing direction, was eliminated by the introduction of the reversible harness. In the "modern" variants, the change in direction was implemented by means of an intermediate gear .

In water-rich areas, where possible, horse power was gradually replaced by water power. The use of hydropower was achieved through various types of water wheels and turbines. The special construction of the sweeping wheel was mainly used for conveying, but also for lifting water ( Bulgenkunst ). One of the earliest proofs of the successful use of a sweeper wheel for lifting water is from the time around 1500/1505 in the Baia Mare mining area in the Carpathian Mountains . Water pegs were even more powerful than horse pegs and were suitable for shaft depths of up to 550 meters. One of the most famous water gaps to this day was installed in the Schwaz silver mine in 1554 .

Power transmission

Gear of a horse peg
The big cog wheel at the top right is driven by horses, the small wheel in the middle sits on a shaft with the left wheel, which drives a machine over the shaft in the adjacent building via the small cog wheel at the bottom of the picture.

With the first göpels, the power was transferred directly from the göpel to the working machine. As a rule, the power transmission from the Göpel to the machine to be driven is handled via a gear transmission . For this purpose, several small back gears are often set up, through which several machines can then be driven at the same time. The back gear is made of iron and has a spur gear ratio with a release device. This release device is necessary so that the animals that drive the Göpel can continue to run even if the work machine has to be switched off. If Göpel is used with only one large back gear, several belt pulleys can be attached to the last shaft of the back gear to drive various machines. In the case of single-horse Göpeln, the translation is formed by conical wheels. The göpels are constructed in such a way that the attachment point for the drive belts to the intermediate gear is as low as possible. This is necessary so that the draft animals can easily cross the drive belts while running. In another variant, the power was transmitted via ropes or chains. Here the gear drive was replaced by a cable chain drive.

Areas of application

Göpels were used in many areas. In mining, Göpel were used in water drainage and as hoisting machines to convey material in the shaft into the pit and minerals from the pit. The term "drift" used in shaft mining, which describes the number of revolutions of the hoisting machine, also originates from this time of Göpel mining. In agriculture, Göpel were mainly used as a drive for threshing machines. But Göpel were also used in agriculture to drive forage cutters or to drive pumps to irrigate the fields. In the construction industry, gopels were used to lift and move building materials. Göpel were also used on ships in order to propel them with animals. Oxen or horses were used to move the Göpel. In England, for example, a 20-meter-long package boat was propelled by means of a gopel, which was moved by four horses. This ship reached a speed of around ten kilometers per hour. In the USA a ferry was propelled by means of a horse peg. But göpels were also used on land for shipping. In Stralsund, for example, there was a slipway driven by a horse peg . In the manufacture of guns , Göpels were used to drive the drilling shaft of the drilling machine. Göpel were also used in rolling mills to roll lead plates or copper sheets. Another area of ​​application for Göpel was the textile industry. Here mechanical looms were operated using a Göpel drive. Ultimately, Göpel were also often used to whip milk into butter. Here dogs were used as a drive for the Göpel. Such a dog goddess can be seen in the Cloppenburg museum village .

Main areas of application

The main areas of application for Göpel were mining and agriculture.

Göpel in mining

In the case of seigeren shafts , the göpel was usually built up vertically, so that the rope was deflected over the sheaves at a right angle . In tonnlägigen shafts positioning the goepel is slightly more difficult. Since the sheaves must lie in the inclination plane of the shaft, the position of the Göpel shaft is aligned so that the rope has the best possible looping. The Göpel is set up at such a great distance from the shaft that the distance between the cable basket shaft and the shaft is at least 20 times the height of the cable compartment. This is necessary so that the rope is wound evenly on the rope basket.

Göpel in agriculture

Threshing machine with horse peg England
Mobile threshing machine with pillar, patent 1876

Göpel were used as a drive for agricultural machines. The Göpel could be operated with one or two horses, depending on the power requirement. Since these goblets are often used at different locations, building goblets are generally unsuitable here. Suitable göpels for agriculture are recumbent tour gobs. Further aspects, besides the easy portability, are the price and the size of the göpeln used for agriculture. In order to drive the threshing machine, on which the Göpel was mainly used, the Göpel was usually set up next to the threshing machine. In order that the threshing machine does not move unevenly, the exact placement of the göpel must be observed. The göpel must be placed in such a way that the connecting shaft (coupling rod) is not at an excessive angle to the horizontal göpel shaft. It must also be ensured that the connecting shaft does not engage the threshing machine shaft at too great an angle.

Göpels used in agriculture were industrially manufactured and consisted mostly of cast iron . The base frame of the göpel was a wooden frame, which was braced and mortised for reasons of stability. Two iron stands with a wooden cross piece were screwed onto this frame. The wooden cross piece is used to hold the translation. So that the pulling force can be increased by a second horse, two side sleeves are attached to the cast iron head piece of the göpel. A second drawbar for another horse can be inserted into these side sleeves. The göpel arms were mainly made of wood, only some English models were made of iron. To connect the göpel to the threshing machine, the connecting shaft must be as deep as possible. This is necessary so that the draft animals can easily step over the wave. The shaft must be covered with a cover so that people cannot injure themselves on the rotating shaft. The Göpel's gearbox must also be covered with a cover. If you want to operate several devices at the same time, special back gears are required.


  • Fritz Bleyl: The horse goddess of the "Neu-Leipziger Glück Fundgrube" near Johanngeorgenstadt in the Ore Mountains . In: Communications of the Landesverein Sächsischer Heimatschutz Volume XXV, Issue 9–12 / 1936, Dresden 1936, pp. 233–239
  • Lebrecht Johann Friedrich Erler: Detailed description of the horse Göpel on the Neuer Morgenstern Erbstolln pit on the Muldenberge near Freyberg. Freiberg / Annaberg 1792 ( digitized version )
  • Carl Hartmann: Manual of mining art . Second volume, Verlag Bernhard Friedrich Voigt, Weimar 1852

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h Heinrich Veith: German mountain dictionary with documents. Published by Wilhelm Gottlieb Korn, Breslau 1871, pp. 246–248.
  2. a b c d e f g Johann Christoph Adelung (ed.), DW Soltan, Franz Xaver Schönberger: Grammatically critical dictionary of the High German dialect with constant comparison of the other dialects, but especially the Upper German . Zweyter Theil, from F - L, printed by Anton Pichler, Vienna 1808, pp. 754–755.
  3. ^ Walter Bischoff , Heinz Bramann, Westfälische Berggewerkschaftskasse Bochum: The small mining dictionary. 7th edition, Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen 1988, ISBN 3-7739-0501-7 .
  4. ^ Johann Heinrich Moritz Poppe: Encyclopedia of the Entire Mechanical Engineering, or complete instruction in practical mechanics and machine theory . With explanations of the associated artificial words in alphabetical order, third part, by K - Q, bey Georg Voss, Leipzig 1806, pp. 5, 33-34, 42, 55-57.
  5. a b c d Gerd Weisgerber : On the technical revolution in mining in the Middle Ages. In: Heiko Steuer / Ulrich Zimmermann (eds.): Old mining in Germany. Nikol Verlag, Hamburg 2000, pp. 99-106, here: p. 104.
  6. ^ A b Hermann Brockhaus (Ed.): General Encyclopedia of Sciences and Arts in alphabetical order. First section AG, seventy-second part, FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1861.
  7. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Klaus Dippon: Animal-powered drive systems for post-harvest work in developing countries . Dissertation at Faculty IV - Agricultural Sciences II Agricultural Economics - Agricultural Engineering and Animal Production at the University of Hohenheim, Hohenheim 1993, pp. 21–36.
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  18. Visiting Daniel Hoover Mill in Scottsville KY on YouTube , accessed November 30, 2019.
  19. Horse powered saw mill, Belize on YouTube , accessed November 30, 2019.
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  22. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q H. Müller: Göpel- and Tretwerke . In: Agricultural engineering. Landtechnische Zeitschrift der DDR, Kammer der Technik (Ed.), VEB Verlag Technik, No. 2, 38th year, Berlin 1988, ISSN  0323-3308 , pp. 88–91.
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  24. a b c About innovations at Göpeln (Roßwerke). In: Polytechnisches Journal . 260, 1886, pp. 446-450.
  25. a b c d e f g h i j Johann Heinrich Moritz Poppe: Encyclopedia of the Entire Mechanical Engineering, or complete instruction in practical mechanics and engineering . With explanations of the associated artificial words in alphabetical order, Zweyter Theil, from E - I, bey Georg Voß, Leipzig 1804, pp. 619–623.
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  27. ^ A b Moritz Rühlmann: General machine theory . First volume, Verlag CA Schwetschke und Sohn, Braunschweig 1862.
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  29. a b c Philipp Dühring: Spur gear teeth with free-form contact path . Bachelor thesis at the University of Passau, Passau 2015, pp. 10–11.
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  31. Florian Dort: Explicit calculation of spherically conjugated bevel gear pairs using the spherical law of toothing . Dissertation at the Justus Liebig University Gießen, Gießen 2013, pp. 9-10.
  32. Johann George Leinböck: Forestry with respect to mining . According to the latest experiences and principles based on nature, third part; Forest use, Otto Wigand #sche Verlag Expedition, Leipzig 1834, p. 37.
  33. a b c Rudolph Feistmantel: Forestry in its entirety and with special consideration for the Austrian states . Third department; Basics of the forest use, in Commission of the Fr.Beck'schen Universitätsbuchhandlung, Vienna 1886, p. 257.
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  41. ^ Göpel at Lexicon 88 (last accessed on February 11, 2013).
  42. a b c d e Karl Friedrich Selbmann: From the earth or mountain drill and its use in mining and in agriculture . Bey Friedrich Fleischer, Leipzig and Sorau 1823, p. 59.
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  49. ↑ The historic Göpel goes into operation - the Brandenburger Landpartie opens in 2009 at Hof Grüneberg. Online (accessed February 11, 2013).
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Web links

Commons : Göpel  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Göpel  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. The term "horse goddess" was also used when oxen were used as draft animals instead of horses. (Source: Karl Christian Langsdorf: Basic theories of the mechanical sciences which contain statics and mechanics, hydrostatics, aerometry, hydraulics and machine theory .)
  2. Since these horse pegs were used very often in mining, they are also called mine pegs. (Source: Georg Freyherr von Bega: Lectures on Mathematics .)
  3. So that the wave tree does not tear, a trunk with concentric annual rings must be used if possible . Another requirement is that the trunk chosen for the wave tree is not too heavy. (Source: Rudolph Feistmantel: Forestry in its entirety and with special consideration for the Austrian states .)
  4. As a dwarf woods called it fits sawn logs, which in the construction of rope ladders are used as rungs. (Source: Johann Karl Gottfried Jacobson: Technological dictionary or alphabetical explanation of all useful mechanical arts, manufactories, factories and craftsmen . Fourth part)
  5. In some mountain areas the entire construction of the machine and the surrounding building was referred to as a Göpel. (Source: Glückauf, Berg- und Hüttenmännische Zeitschrift. No. 21: Linguistic explanations of known expressions of the German miner's language .)
  6. For the Göpel, lived horses were often used that could no longer be used for riding or driving. Occasionally, blind horses were also used. These animals patiently accepted the constant "going in circles". Where these animals were not available, healthy animals or young, high-spirited stallions were used (source: Helmut Meyer: Pferde - Motor für Maschinen .)
  7. However, increasing it to more than four draft animals is not very effective. This is because the overall performance of the animals does not increase proportionally with the number of animals. (Source: Otto Lueger: Lexicon of all technology and its auxiliary sciences .)
  8. This was due to the fact that the Göpel and the working machine are one unit due to their construction. (Source: Klaus Dippon: Animal-powered drive systems for post-harvest work in developing countries .)