poniedziałek, 3 czerwca 2013
331. Netherlands #19
A windmill is a machine that converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails. Originally, windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. In the course of history, the windmill machinery was adapted to many other industrial uses. An important non-milling use is to pump water, either for land drainage or to extract groundwater.
Of the 10,000 windmills in use in the Netherlands around 1850, about 1000 are still standing. Most of these are being run by volunteers, though some grist mills are still operating commercially. Many of the drainage mills have been appointed as backup to the modern pumping stations. The Zaan district has been said to have been the first industrialized region of the world with around 600 operating wind-powered industries by the end of the 18th century. Economic fluctuations and the industrial revolution had a much greater impact on these industries than on grain and drainage mills so only very few are left.