The first vertical water wheel was said to be invented by a Roman engineer named Vitruvius. This occurred somewhere between 31 B.C. and 14 A.D. during the Augustan Age.
An early example of the water wheel is the use of 16 water wheels to power a flour mill named Barbegal during the fourth century in southern France. There are three types of water wheels; two of them are vertical and one is horizontal. Other countries started using horizontal water wheels, but the Romans were the first to make a vertical water wheel. Vertical wheels are classified as either undershot or overshot water wheels.