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Imported Windmill Tourist's Delight

| September/October 1966

  • Windmill

  • Windmill

1102 West River Road, Battle Creek, Michigan 49017

Here is something though it's not gasoline nor steam power represents a form of power that has been used for at least 700 years, and might be of interest to readers of Gas Engine Magazine.

This windmill was imported from the Netherlands last year and erected by a millwright from there. It is located in Holland, Michigan on the western side of the state. It is 200 years old, at one time there were over 9,000 of them in use in this small European country pumping water, grinding grain, operating saw mills

etc. There are still about 900 of them. I believe this is the only genuine Dutch windmill in the U.S. Wind-power uses up no natural resources, is free, though not entirely dependable. Only a slight breeze, ten mph. or so is needed and it turns up to about 30 rpm. I would estimate its maximum hp. to be 40 to 50. The fan is 80 feet across, and total height 1 25 ft. It is in operation daily during the tourist season, grinding whole wheat flour. It's capable of grinding 1,500 lbs. of grain per hour.

It has 2 sets of millstones 5 ft. in diameter, each weighs more than 2 tons. They are driven thru 2 sets of massive wooden gears with renewable teeth, which run very smoothly and quietly, and are lubricated with beeswax.

Canvas is tied on the blades, the amount being determined by the force of the wind and the amount of power needed. It can be stopped and held motionless by a huge brake inside the cap, and is steered into the wind by rotating the cap by means of the wheel shown in the picture on the platform at the lower end of the tail poles. There is also a very interesting drawbridge nearby, also dikes and canals. The cap is covered with copper shingles, and the part above the platform with 1' thick cedar shakes. It's really something to see.


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