Building Plans for Dutch Industrial Windmills (1850)

Building plans dutch sawmillThis collection of 21 building plans for 5 different types of Dutch industrial windmills was published in 1850. There is a saw mill, an oats mill, a flour mill, and two pumping mills. The book contains no text, only illustrations.

Theoretisch en practisch molenboek: voor ingenieurs, aannemers, molenaars en andere bouwkundigen“, G. Krook, 1850.

(“Theoretical and practical windmill book; for engineers, contractors and millwrights”).

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Trees as Indicators of Prevailing Wind Direction

Flagged tree “In mountainous areas, winds are often complex and the available wind data are limited and provide little information on wind direction. One technique for determining the mean wind direction is tree flagging. Trees have been used for hundreds of years as an ecological indicator of wind direction, wind exposure and as a measure of the severity of wind and ice damage. This handbook will describe techniques for ‘reading’ the information written on the trees by wind.”

“Flagged trees only reflect the prevailing wind direction of the strongest winds, which may occur during only part of the year. Seasonal variations in the wind have a pronounced effect on the type of wind deformation and these effects are characterized in this handbook. Techniques for estimating the mean annual wind speed have been developed using indices of wind effects on trees. These indices have been calibrated on two widely distributed species of conifers. The main conclusions are that trees provide a simple, inexpensive and quick method for identifying promising locations where more detailed measurements can verify the wind potential.”

Trees as an indicator of wind power potential (.pdf), John E. Wade & E. Wendell Hewson, 1979.
Vegetation as an indicator of high wind velocity (.pdf), DOE report, John E. Wade & R.W. Baker, 1977

More low-tech wind power.

Sustainable Decadence

A wind-powered spa built from scrap.

The Homemade Windmills of Nebraska (1899)

WIND POWERED SAWING MACHINE “The merit of homemade mills has enjoyed such prompt recognition that they are going up daily. Not to the detriment, we are happy to say, of those important adjuncts to the farm, the shopmade mills, but in addition to them.

In a given community, the man who puts up the first mill generally furnishes the model for the rest of the community. Hence it seems the more desirable that good models should be at hand, the better models are often of quite as easy constructed and no more expensive than the poorer, and their efficiency considerably greater.

It is advantageous to have good models to copy, and the next best thing to the actual model is a good simple drawing. This is the first object of this paper on our homemade windmills; it aims to supply cuts illustrating all sorts of windmills, as found in this State.”

The homemade windmills of Nebraska” (pdf), Erwin Hinckley Barbour, 1899. Illustration: a wind powered sawing machine.

Related: Windmills and wind motors – how to build and run them (1910), Building plans of Dutch Industrial windmills (1850).

How to Rig a Windmill Sail

Het opzeilen van een wiek

Source: “Travailler au moulin / Werken met molens”, Jean Bruggeman, 1996.

Tree Windmill (1901)

Windmill tree Last year, William Kamkwamba made headlines around the world with his crude windmills built out of tree trunks and scavenged materials.

He could have saved himself some work if he had seen the illustration on the right, which I copied from a 1901 Dutch newspaper. The accompanying text says:

“Windmills are ugly contraptions and many attempts have been made to make them look better. This illustration shows how nature and mechanics can coexist.”

“It is a windmill constructed in combination with two trees. The trees only serve as a support for the upper part and for the ladder to reach the top. The mill was built in Illinois (US) and worked so well that several have been constructed.”

I could not find any more information about it.

Sailing Directly into the Wind

Sailing into the wind 5

“In the late 90s/early 2000s my interest was in developing boats that can sail directly into the wind. To some, this seems impossible, and they find it hard to accept that it is possible to overcome the wind using the force of the wind itself. This technology has further implications also, it can allow a boat, or a buoy, to remain stationary in the water, unsecured, no matter how hard the wind blows without using any fuel. Having revived the project recently (2008) I am doing further research.”

I cannot help but admire the simplicity of the design. Find all information here.

Windmills and Wind Motors – How to Build and Run Them (1910)

Detailed drawings windmills

“I have endeavoured in the following pages not only to interest the practical amateur in a branch of mechanics unfortunately much neglected, but also to present a series of practical original designs that should prove useful to every reader from the youngest to the most advanced.”

Chapter 1 : windmill evolution
Chapter 2 : a small working model windmill
Chapter 3 : a small American type windmill
Chapter 4 : a small working windmill
Chapter 5 : a practical working windmill
Chapter 6 : production of electricity by wind power

Windmills and wind motors – how to build and run them (1910).

Related: Wind powered factories / A wind-powered knitting machine / Scale models of Dutch Industrial windmills / The home made windmills of Nebraska / Building plans for Dutch industrial windmills.

Floating Citadels, Powered by Wind and Water Mills

Raft st malo

This engraving, published in 1798, shows the gigantic St. Malo raft, designed in 1791 during the French Revolution. The engraving informs us that this extraordinary structure was 600 feet long by 300 broad, mounts 500 pieces of cannon, 36 and 48-pounders, and is to convey 15,000 troops for the invasion of England. In the midst is a bomb-proof, metal-sheathed citadel.

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Scale Models of Dutch Industrial Windmills

Scale model sawmill penterbak.nl

Penterbak shows a dozen scale models of traditional Dutch Windmills. The text is in Dutch, but that should not stop you. Above: a saw mill. Some building plans are here, here and here. Related: Wind powered factories – the history (and future?) of industrial windmills.

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