This exhibit demonstrates not only the use of windmills throughout the industrial revolution but how technology changed them overtime. It is important to note the progress windmills have made dating all the way back to the 1100s, when they were only used to crush grain.
(1) In the 1700s, windmills started to become irrelevant due to the Industrial Revolution. However, in the early 1800s the settlers of the Great American plains had a new idea. During the Union invasion of the Outer Banks in 1861 Charles Johnson, an enlisted soldier in the Union army, kept a diary. In his memoirs, The Long Roll, “being a Journal of the Civil War, as set down during the years 1861-1863,” Johnson writes about Hatteras, saying, “Everything on the Island seems to be devoid of paint – dwellings, barns and windmills, of which latter there are a greater number than I supposed were in existence in the whole country….” They (Great American plain settler) used windmills to pump water along the western frontier. (2) The text further states that if we fast forward to the late 1800s specifically July 1887, the first windmill for electricity generation was built by Professor James Blyth in Glasgow, Scotland.
The image to the right has the most popular words in the book Power from Wind: A History of Windmill Technology. In the book, talked about how some windmills would be built on top of the most popular town buildings to help create energy flow and reuse the energy. Windmills were constructed with the help of wood and waste materials.
(3) Dating back to the 1100s and understand that the lack of technology windmills were only used to crush grain, we can conclude that the advancement of technology not only made them (windmills) better but also allowed them to perform more task.
The image to the right shows the first windmill for electricity generation built by Professor James Blyth in Glasgow, Scotland. (5) We can see based on the image below a windmill that was built to do more than just crush grain are how far along windmills had come. Technology had advanced so much that Professor Charles Brush was able to developed a 12kw capacity wind turbine to charge 408 batteries stored in his home. This turbine was functional for more than 20 years. (6) According to the text, the use of wind power declined sharply in the 19th century with the spread of steam and the increasing scale of power utilization. According to the text, Windmills that had satisfactorily provided power for small-scale industrial processes were unable to compete with the production of large-scale steam-powered mills.