Windmills are machines that convert wind power to rotational motion. They can be used to crush, grind or press grains in a grinding mill. Windmills can also be used to provide power (energy) to sawmills, paper mills, hammermills and windpumps. But who invented the windmill? This post will answer that question and then tell you a few interesting facts windmills!
Who Invented the Windmill?
The first windmill was built by Heron of Alexandria in the 1st century (AD). His ‘windwheel’ operated an organ (the musical instrument). This was the first time wind had been used to power a machine in history! The first practical windmills (similar to windmills found today) were built by the Persians sometime during the 9th century. Persian geographer Estakhri noted the invention of windmills. There is one document (supposedly written between 634 and 644 AD) that suggest that windmills were invented in Persia in the 7th century. However, this document was probably created in the 10th century and, therefore, is unreliable.
Interesting Facts About Windmills
- Windmills feature significantly in the history of New France, particularly in Canada. Windmills were used as strong points in fortifications.
- In the US, the invention of the windpump (which pumps water from underground) was the major reason farming could be done in dry areas of North America.
- A wind farm uses groups of wind turbines (similar to windmills) to produce electrical energy. One wind farm is built in Antarctica to reduce their reliance of diesel.