3/17/11

W is for Windmills In Texas

Top O' the Windy Mornin' to Ya'll

It' is a Windy morning here in San Angelo, Texas,
but it's March and we try to make the most of the Winds Blessings here in Texas!
Before the introduction of windmills to Texas, inhabitable land was confined to areas where a constant water supply was available. There was no way for vast areas to be settled without a life-giving supply of water. The coming of the windmill made it possible to pump water from beneath the ground, and soon whole new areas of the state were opened up to settlers.
The first windmills in Texas were of the European style, built by Dutch and German immigrants for grinding meal and powering light industry. What Texans needed most, however, was a windmill that pumped water. Because of its bulk and need for constant attention, the European windmill was impractical for this purpose. The solution to this problem came in 1854, when Daniel Halladay built the first American windmill in Ellington, Connecticut. He added to his mill a vane, or "tail," as it was called by Texas cowhands, that functioned to direct the wheel into the wind.

The old Wooden Windmills are becoming harder to find and most have been retired as working windmills.
Texas became the largest user of windmills in the United States, there were never more than three active manufacturers of windmills in Texas at one time. Windmills remain an important supplier of water for Texas cattlemen. The King Ranch in the late 1960s kept 262 mills running continuously and 100 complete spares in stock. Stocking spare mills is a common practice among ranchers who depend on the windmill to supply water for cattle in remote pastures. Because the windmill has been confined for the most part to remote areas, it has become a symbol of a lonely and primitive life, fitting for the pioneer Texans it first served.


During the 1970s researchers turned to windmills as an energy source. Due to the oil embargo and subsequent fuel crisis, the United States government increased funding for windmill research. In the 1980s the two types of modern windmills included horizontal axis and vertical axis. These new versions harness wind power and convert it into electricity.  Today Wind Farms are a viable part of the Renewable Energy Industry.


My favorites are still the Old Wooden Windmills!
Linking To
for
The Letter W

22 comments:

  1. I love the old wooden windmills also! Happy St. Patrick's Day! Grace

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  2. and a windy Happy St. Patrick's day to you!

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  3. Wonderful windmills!

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  4. Great Pics. Happy St Patrick's Day.

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  5. Those windmills look familiar! Interesting history and great, great photography!

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  6. Beautiful photos. There is something wonderful about windmills. They were definitely a part of my youth in south Texas. Now the windmill farms are popping up.
    Happy St. Patrick's Day! ~ Sarah

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  7. Sue,
    Gorgeous photos.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Carol

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  8. Wonderful! I love windmills. I was so excited to have on one the farm I bought. It's not hooked up to run anymore, but it is in pretty good shape. Your pictures are wonderful!

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  9. There's a certain architectural romanticism with the old windmills. Love your photos Sue! Happy St. Patrick's Day to ya!~Ames

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  10. Happy Green Day, Sue! The wind is blowing here, too. Brrrrrrrr!

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  11. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, love all the windmills. Texas is a beautiful place! Hugs, Diane

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  12. nice and educational post! I live in Oklahoma, and it sure has been windy, the last couple of days. Enjoyed your photos. {:-Deb

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  13. Sue, you always teach me new things. And, learning from you is so great because you teach with your gorgeous photos.

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  14. Wonderful windy photos!!!

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  15. My favorites are the old style too. We see them on ranches in the Kootenay and Caribou. I have come to really like the sight of the large new windmills after seeing them on the Danish Coast. With the terrible happenings in Japan it should be clear to us that we need to develop more of these non-toxic sources of electricity.

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  16. Ohhhhhhh, I love cow fans!!! I don't care for the new kind they look like they are out in search of the airplane the fell off of....

    See ya for pink Saturday!

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  17. I used to live in Texas, love the windmills in sight..
    way to go.

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  18. Nice post, Sue! I love the old barns here in Tennessee, but oh, how I miss the windmills! Thanks for the smile -- and memories -- this morning!

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  19. I love the old style windmills....great photos Sue

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  20. Love the pics and thank you for the history lesson.

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  21. Charm and knowledge.

    What a wonderul post for Alphabe-Thursday's letter "W".

    We see a few windmills out in the rural Arizona landscape but they are few and far between. These look charming.

    I loved how you taught us the history while making us wanting to have a picnic there!

    Thanks for a wonderful link.

    A+

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