The "machine" of Marly was a civil engineering marvel located at the bottom of the hill of Louveciennes, on the banks of the Seine about 12 kms from Paris.
Louis XIV had it constructed to pump water from the river to his chateaux of Versailles and Marly. It consisted of fourteen gigantic water wheels, each roughly 11.5 meters, that were turned by the Seine to power 221 pumps to bring water 162 m up a hillside from the Seine River to the Louveciennes aqueduct.
The original Louis XIV Machine included not just an enormous structure on the river itself, but sprawled 600 meters all the way up the hill, comprising pumping stations, holding tanks, reservoirs, pipes and an intricate system of mechanical linkages to power pumps on the hill from the waterwheels below.
Several accounts of the period describe the infernal noise this all generated... Sixty maintenance workers were employed to keep it running. Pumping at full capacity, it could add over a million gallons in 24 hours to the Marly reservoirs.
The construction lasted 7 years and was inaugurated in the presence of the King in June 1684. It was considered a wonder of the world at the time. However, the machine suffered from frequent breakdowns, required a permanent staff of sixty to maintain and often required costly repairs. In use until 1817, it was subsequently updated and rebuilt, finally ending up as an electrical generator until 1963.