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.

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Scale Models of Dutch Windmills

scale model dutch windmill

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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DIY Low-Tech Windmills

DIY low-tech windmills

Low-tech energy revolution in Africa by William Kamkwamba and the Moving Windmills Project. Simple diagram (pdf). Image by Tom Rielly (TED).

Wind-Powered Knitting Machine

wind powered knitting machine

Finally, a real-world use for small windmills: the wind-powered knitting machine.

Guido Vigevano’s Wind Car (1335)

Guido Vigevano’s Wind Car

“Chapter XII. On the way of making a second waggon which is propelled by the wind without draught animals, and which dashes violently over open country to the confusion of all troops”

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Hybrid windmill

Hybrid windmill

Corn-grinding windmill, equipped with an auxiliary steam engine (Rotterdam, the Netherlands, circa 1900). Source: “Geschiedenis van de techniek in Nederland“.