Many of you readers have probably seen the new giant white towers that have gone up outside Perry recently. These Wind Generators were built to generate electricity using wind, but they are not a new concept; people have been building and using windmills to harness the wind for centuries. Modern windmills are erected using cranes and other machines, but have you ever wondered how windmills were raised in the past?
Fortunately, here at Hometown Heritage we have a couple of pictures that show the raising of a windmill, so your curiosity can be fulfilled! Below, you can see the raising a windmill on the Read farm around 1920. Raising this kind of windmill took many workers. Similar to raising a barn, the windmill seems to have been constructed on its side, and then pulled up into position with the workers pulling on the ropes. Curiously, in the picture there appears to be ropes on either side of the windmill, not just on the side being raised. Perhaps the other ropes were used to keep it steady while going up, or maybe would be used as anchors once the windmill was up? Another curiosity is the wooden structure on the left side of each picture. It appears to be some kind of big “X”, with the ropes running through the top. What is curious about this is not its purpose, as it most likely was used to create the leverage needed to raise the windmill. What makes it curious is why this method is employed instead of a pulley system, or something similar. Do any of you readers know why this big wooden x was used? If so, please let us know in the comments!
Readers, do not forget that the Gary Ernest Smith Art Exhibition is starting soon! The opening reception here in Perry is on August 23, from 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. You can find the link to the event on Facebook by clicking here. Feel free to invite people you know to come see the paintings of Gary Ernest Smith!