This picture for today’s Sepia Scenes is from a trip to Solvang, CA, in the Santa Ynez Valley. It is a working windmill, but is primarily housing several gift shops in this tourist, European-style village, also called “Little Denmark”.
There are many different types and designs of windmills, which you can read about here. The following is an exerpt that talks about Dutch windmills:
As early as 1390, the Dutch set out to refine the tower mill design, which had appeared somewhat earlier along the Mediterranean Sea (Figure 3, above left). The Dutch essentially affixed the standard post mill to the top of a multi-story tower, with separate floors devoted to grinding grain, removing chaff, storing grain, and (on the bottom) living quarters for the windsmith and his family. Both the post mill and the later tower mill design had to be oriented into the wind manually, by pushing a large lever at the back of the mill. Optimizing windmill energy and power output and protecting the mill from damage by furling the rotor sails during storms were among the windsmith’s primary jobs.
- Difference Between Medieval and Modern Windmill Design (scienceray.com)
- how do windmills work (greenanswers.com)