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Imported Windmill Tourist’s Delight

Author Photo
By Staff

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.

Published on Sep 1, 1966

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines