Rag Pumps have been used for at least 400
years and probably a lot longer.
Their use was widespread. Rag pumps were
used aboard large sailing ships to bring salt water up for various uses and they
were also used in wells. Horses, a water wheel, or "tramping men" all might have
supplied the power to turn the wheel.
Cloth bundles, usually just rags, are
tied in knots at intervals on a rope or chain. The chain is then hung around a
wheel and through a tube that goes below water level. The base of the tube is
flanged to prevent the rag balls from catching.
When the wheel rotates water
is drawn up a tube.
This pump is very similar to a Lift
Disk Pump and Bucket Pump.