Thursday, December 09, 2010

Glenda Price - Windmills headed for history

When we see a windmill we think “ranch.” This iconic equipment, without doubt, has made ranching possible in the arid Southwest as well as other parts of our nation. I’m one of those ranch kids who tied my horse to the metal windmill frame and piled into the drinking tub’s water for a little fun. Also, at least one windmill in every pasture had a metal drinking dipper hung from the frame near the outlet pipe with baling wire. If the wind was blowing — which it usually was — water came spilling out of the pipe and we could drink and fill our canteens from it. We can thank Daniel Halladay for his design of the first commercially successful new-style windmill in the New World. His windmill, first built in 1854, had a self-governing design. This means it automatically turned to face changing wind directions and it automatically controlled its own speed of operation. Halladay’s company manufactured his windmills in Connecticut from 1854 to 1863. Delays in production and shipping, some caused by the American Civil War, prompted him to relocate the factory to Batavia, Illinois. There, his company thrived, selling its Halladay Standard windmills by the thousands to farmers and ranchers on the plains and prairies of North America as well as farther afield. Other people joined Halladay in windmill production, of course. The one I remember is Aeromotor, introduced in 1888 and one of the few still in business...more

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