Monday, August 6, 2012

Blowin' In the Wind

From Pete Zarria:

Aermotors of Rte. 66

Route 66, Shamrock, Texas

Hard Blow

North of Rio, Illinois on U.S. 150

The self-oiling Aermotor windmills, produced in four different models between 1915 and the present time, are the most common of all windmills seen in the field today. The key to the Aermotor is its wind wheel.

The windmills were developed in the early 1880's by engineer Thomas O. Perry and adopted by LaVerne Noyes, the founder of the Aermotor Company. This wheel consists of curved galvanized steel blades which are riveted to steel wheel clips which in turn are riveted to curved bar steel rims.

Self-oiling Aermotor windmills were made in a full range of sizes including six, eight, 10, 12, 14, and 16 foot sizes. From 1929 until 1966 a large 20' mill, weighing 4,900 pounds and having a five-gallon oil reservoir, was manufactured for deep well pumping or for use in localities where large volumes of water was needed from shallow depths. Most of these were seen in the desert Southwest.

All of the Aermotor mills were made by the Aermotor Company of Chicago until 1958, when the firm began the first of several changes in corporate ownership. Among the firms producing the mills since that time have been: Aermotor Division, Motor Products Corporation, Chicago, Aermotor Inc., Division of Nautec Corporation of Chicago, Aermotor Division, Braden Aermotor Corporation of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: Braden Industries of Conway, Arkansas: and Aermotor Division, Valley Corporation of Conway, Arkansas. The manufacture of mills was shifted from Chicago to Broken Arrow in 1964, at which time the company began purchasing castings from foundries other than its own.

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