During these trials, Pelton's design proved the most efficient, Winning the contract tosupply wheels to the Idaho mine. The Pelton Water Wheel Company went on to become the leading producer of impulse type wheels, eventually moving its operation to San Francisco.
In a special mining edition of April 1897, written by G.A. Carpenter, the Amador Record newspaper produced the following overview of the Knight operation at that time:
The mines of the surrounding district are favored with one of the largest and best equipped foundry and machine shops in the state outside of San Francisco. The shop, located in Sutter Creek, is supplied with all the modern improvements and appliances for handling heavy work, such as is wed in the mines. They have lathes that swing offset in diameter, and a planer that takes in work 4 feet square and 16 feet long. Their rolls for sheet-iron work take inPieces 10 feet long and are strong enough to roll any thickness of steel plates, having hydraulic appliances for handling them.
S. N. Knight, the senior member of the firm, is an acknowledged authority on water wheel power upon the Pacific Coast. It is he who first perfected and nwde practical the bucket wheel and the other manufacturers, such as Pelton and Dodd wheel, were a modification and copy of the general plan of the Knight wheel. Today the wonderful power obtained from these wheels has made possible cheap motive power on the lode, and the owners of the many hoisting works and mills owe to his genius a debt of gratitude.
Information, photographs courtesy of the Amador County Archives, The Historical Marker Database, the Chronicling America Database, and the Library of Congress