The Homemade Windmills of Nebraska

home made windmills of nebraska

“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

how to rig a windmill sail

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

Tree Windmill (1901)

windmill treeLast 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)

windmills DIY

“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:

Floating Citadels, Powered by Wind and Water Mills

floating citadels

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.

[Read more…]