Born ahead of their time,
Windmills predated ecology;
When pumping water with wind:
Was just a dream of technology
Man's harness on the wind,
Born of industrial revolution;
Turned the gears of the twentieth century:
To water pumping revolution.
They pumped water from a well,
to a cistern or a tank;
Found on deep paths to the barn:
Where tired horses bowed and drank.
Windmills dotted the prairie,
Every farm it seems had one;
Serving cool refreshing water:
When a hard day's work was done.
With tails astern that pierced the wind,
When winds changed they would drone;
Moaning brakes in eerie - gusty - dark night:
Shivered spines of those home alone.
On a wheel with it's sails spinning free unfurled,
A wheel in the wind's embrace;
Sometimes rocking just half turns:
To the wind's uncertain pace.
The legs were tripod, most had four,
Or wooden towers ten feet high;
Some reached to eighty feet high, some more:
Catching winds up in the sky.
Their ladders were a thrill of adventure,
When wobbly rungs would break;
Or the pump rod would set to motion:
And the tower would nudge then quake.
There was Aermotor, Chicago, and Butler,
Fairbury, Dempster, and Star;
Sears - Kenwood and Montgomery Ward:
But Eurica was cheaper by far.
There was Sandwich wheeler,and Haladay,
Eclipse had sails of wood;
Pumping water for railroads and cattle:
Devoted to duty they stood.
Eurica boasted an economy kit,
You assembled it yourself;
Butler competed with zinc coated steel:
Ball bearings gave it stealth.
Then Sears came out with Kenwood,
The affordable steel machine;
Montgomery Ward's answer, a twenty dollar steel kit:
That you assembled to keep the price lean.
Aermotors steel was galvanized,
It had cups to oil the machine;
Fairbury and Dempster closed in nineteen sixty:
And ended their wind blown dream.
With whiskey bottles of oil in hand,
We oiled windmills in younger days;
Cowboys climbing windmill towers found:
Height advantage for finding strays.
Yet it's hard feeling romantic about windmills,
Fixing em on a cold winter's day;
With your fingers froze tight to a tower of ice, from cold:
Or fright maybe would you say. ? ? ?
But like unto a Spielberg Movie,
When you thought the American Windmill was dead;
It's reborn to create electricity:
With a tall sleek three bladed head.