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Old Oct 20, 2011, 4:03 PM   #1
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Default What did steam locomotives have to constantly stop for?

You would probably say fuel but water may have been more important - attempts to build steam locomotives that recirculated water were unsuccessful.

So how did the railroad lines get water? By pumping it up from wells, and windmills did the pumping. Windmills pumped water for animals on farms and ranches, and often powered machine shops. Windmills were extremely important in the days before rural electrification, and at one time there were hundreds of windmill manufacturers in the US.

Here are a few photos from the Mid-America Windmill Museum, located in Kendallville, Indiana. In the heyday of windmills there were almost 100 windmill manufacturers in an 80 mile radius of Kendallville. They have 52 different windmills on display in this museum. Many of them are not the plain steel windmills we're used to seeing out west (yes, there are a lot of them still in use) or in old movies.



A highlight of the museum is a replica of the Robertson post windmill, a single stone grist mill with a 52 foot diameter wind wheel. The original Robertson was shipped from England and erected on the James River near Jamestown, VA. in the 1620's. It was the first windmill in North America. In this design the entire building was manually turned around the center post to aim the rotor into the wind (I'm not making this up).



In the foreground here is an Elgin FT Hummer. I'm not certain but I believe this was an early self-regulating design where the windmill wouldn't keep speeding up and self-destruct when the wind speed got too high.



Here is a pair of Fairbanks Morse Eclipse windmills. Dunno much about these other than that they're much nicer looking than the common steel windmills.



In case you think a windmill museum is kinda unusual, there are at least two more in the US: one in Lubbock, Texas and another in Shattuck, Oklahoma.

Ted
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Old Oct 20, 2011, 7:42 PM   #2
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How unusual and interesting. Never knew there were windmill museums. Great shots!

(As usual, even the windmills are perfectly straight. Come on Ted, at least show one shot where a windmill is leaning a little, just like the rest of us would produce. LOL)
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Old Oct 20, 2011, 9:28 PM   #3
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Very nice pictures Ted, looks you had a beautiful day to shoot those pictures.

Those trees have beautiful colors, I think I have to make plans maybe this weekend to shoot some fall colors in Pennsylvania.

Regards.

Marcelo
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Old Oct 21, 2011, 6:02 AM   #4
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Thanks, guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven R View Post
(As usual, even the windmills are perfectly straight. Come on Ted, at least show one shot where a windmill is leaning a little, just like the rest of us would produce. LOL)
OK, just to make you happy:



Ted
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Old Oct 21, 2011, 7:40 AM   #5
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That first shot is way cool. All those windmills going at once must be quite a sight, great shots.
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Old Oct 22, 2011, 5:16 AM   #6
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A very informative series on a slice of American History. A great example of American ingenuity.


Thanks for posting. Ted.

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