Agricultural History Series

 Missouri State University

1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair

Agricultural Events


Not far from the Agriculture Palace was the windmill display area.  Windpower was an important source of power for 1904 farms along with horsepower and steam power.  Electricity was not yet widely available in most rural areas.

The scan and the descriptive paragraph below are from the Official Photographic Views of the Universal Exposition, St. Louis:

Occupying several acres upon Agricultural hill, with their broad faces set to catch the slightest breeze, is a collection of windmills. The manufacturer who harnesses the wind for purposes of power no longer calls his invention a windmill. He adopts the name of aerometer or some thing equally well-sounding to indicate the character. In the collection are all sizes and all heights. Water is pumped, wood is cut, corn is shelled, feed is chopped, grain is ground. These are some of the performances for which the wind caught by the whirling fans furnishes the power. One of these mills not only shells corn and grinds it but lifts the meal to a loft in the barn. The application of the power to a buzz saw with sufficient force and speed to cut the winter supply of wood in two days caught the admiration of tens of thousands of farmersí boys. The lesson of the windmill section was, as taught in a variety of ways, that, given the wind, all things which require stationary power are entirely possible to the farmer. It was a matter of all day wonderment to witness what one of these well oiled and well braced mills could do with only so much as a five miles-an-hour wind. Especially interesting is the pump which operates with a huge bucket to raise a large volume of water a few inches. This is the irrigation windmill outfit.

Reference: Official Photographic Views of the Universal Exposition, St. Louis

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