Treadmills – A Cruel and Unusual Punishment…
Did You Know…?
Early types of Treadmills were used in prisons in Britain from 1818; they were like twenty-foot long paddle wheels with twenty-four steps around a six-foot cylinder.
Several prisoners stood side-by-side on a wheel, and had to work six or more hours a day, effectively climbing 5,000 to 14,000 vertical feet.
While the purpose was mainly as a punishment for criminals, the mill could grind grain, pump water, or ventilate. 
 Source : ” The A-Z of punishment and torture”, Irene Thompson