Diogenes's picture

It's time for a windmill page. Holland and windmills simply go together. There are about 600 windmills remaining in Holland, many of them in good working condition. The tops rotate on some, and with others the whole structure can rotate to face the wind.

The lattice blades have sails than can be trimmed. Some have elaborate air foils on the blade edges for finer control.

The windmills were used for pumping water out of the polders and into the canals, or for milling grains. There is one in a museum Arnhem, still working, that washes clothes! It's a very big wash tub!

The inner workings of windmills, the gears and mechanical works, are mainly constructed from wood, which is really marvellous craftsmanship. If you have a chance to visit the inside of of working windmill, do take a look. Wonderful technology from the pre-industrial era.

windmill1 (77K)

These photos are of the windmills of Kinderdijk and are of the water pumping variety. The actual lift mechanism is an Archimedes' screw or water screw, also made out of wood.

windmill2 (56K)
windmill3 (88K)
windmill4 (93K)
windmill5 (70K)
windmill6 (111K)