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A windmill is an engine powered by the energy of wind. It often refers to an engine contained in a large building as in traditional post mills[?], smock mills[?] and tower mills[?]. It also refers to small tower mounted windmills used to pump water on farms and modern wind turbines generating electricity.

In Europe, windmills have been used since the Middle Ages and are especially popular in Netherlands. Windmills were developed from the 12th century, apparently from technology gained by crusaders who came into contact with windmills in the Middle East. Persian sources indicate windmill use as early as the 7th century B.C. Common applications of windmills are grain milling, water pumping, threshing, and saw mills. Over the ages, windmills have evolved into more sophisticated and efficient wind-powered water pumps and power generators.

The development of the American type water-pumping windmill was the major factor in allowing the farming of vast areas of North America, which was otherwise devoid of readily accessible water, and also allowed the extension of rail transport systems, throughout the world, into areas where water could be pumped up from underground to supply the needs of the steam locomotives of those early times. They are still used today for the same purpose in some areas of the world where reticulated electricity is not a realistic option.

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  • Google: Wind (http://directory.google.com/Top/Science/Technology/Energy/Renewable/Wind/), Windmills (http://directory.google.com/Top/Science/Technology/Energy/Renewable/Wind/Windmills/), Business: Wind (http://directory.google.com/Top/Business/Energy_and_Environment/Renewable/Wind/)



  • Google: Mills (http://directory.google.com/Top/Arts/Architecture/History/Building_Types/Mills/)
  • windmillworld: history (http://www.windmillworld.com/windmills/history.htm)


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