Prairie Windmill Model

Prairie Windmill Model

Usage conditions apply
This model represents a horizontal paddle-wheel windmill of the type used to some extent on the prairies of the United States. The model shows the windmill set up to pump water to an irrigation flume. The axle of the wind wheel is mounted on bearings supported on the top of a board fence that encloses the lower part of the paddle wheel.
Paddle-wheel windmills differ from the sail-wheel mills in that the paddles move in the direction of the wind rather than across the wind, and it is necessary to make the paddle-wheel feathering or shield part of it so as to prevent the wind from striking the paddles that are moving in the direction opposite to that of the wind. The axis of the paddle-wheel type may be either horizontal or vertical. The use of the horizontal type is limited by the fact that it operates only when the wind is in the direction nearly perpendicular to the axis of the wheel.
This description comes from the 1939 Catalog of the Mechanical Collections of the Division of Engineering United States Museum Bulletin 173 by Frank A. Taylor.
Currently not on view
Object Name
windmill, prairie
windmill, prairie, model
date made
overall: 8 1/2 in x 14 1/2 in x 10 1/2 in; 21.59 cm x 36.83 cm x 26.67 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Industry & Manufacturing
Bulletin 173
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object