Review of ‘Windmills, Picturesque and Historic: The Motors of the Past’ by F H Shelton

I like old windmills. It’s partly a nostalgia thing, as they feature in children’s book illustrations and in paintings from the olden days. I also just like the way they look. But once upon a time, they were cutting-edge technology.

This is quite a short book, reprinted from the Journal of the Franklin Institute, which tells us the history of windmills and the different types of mills around the world. Those in England are apparently the most innovative, rather than in Holland, which has a lot of mills because of the characteristics of the land, while the further east in the world you go, the more ‘primitive’ the mills are. This was written over a century ago, however, so it’s not exactly current research. I liked how the author, F H Shelton (of whom I know nothing about, other than they knew a lot about windmills!) had a passion for the subject and appreciated the structures from both aesthetic and engineering perspectives. There are some good images included.

Published by Lippincott, 1919. Not a bad choice for the first book in my Project Gutenberg random reading plan!

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2 thoughts on “Review of ‘Windmills, Picturesque and Historic: The Motors of the Past’ by F H Shelton”

    1. Yes, they are still around but they are as quaint heritage sites, hard to even think of them as technology now!

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