Universal York

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Windmills Used Early in York County

Windmills–we might think of the sleek white blades of giant windmills generating electricity or those with huge canvas sails that we associate with Holland. Some of you might remember the iron frame windmills once used on many farms to pump water. Those seem to have come into use about 1850.
I was surprised to see an “excellent Windmill” listed in an 1816 York County sale bill. It might have been a wooden version of the later ones made of iron. The advertisement below, from the March 18, 1816 York Gazette, also gives a glimpse of the other essential implements needed for horse-powered farming:

Public Sale

On Wednesday the 20th day of March inst. the subscriber will offer at public sale, at his farm near the borough of York, the following property, viz:

A number of excellent HORSES
Gears, Waggons, Ploughs, Harrows,
an excellent Windmill, and a variety of Farming Utensils, and other Articles.
A generous credit will be given.
At the same time and place, will be offered for sale,
The one about a mile from York, containing about 133 acres
The other in Baltimore county, near Baltimore, containing about 100 acres.
Terms made known on the day of sale.

Click the links below for more on York County farming.
York County agricultural history.
19th century farming.
Cow in the corn.
Horse-powered threshing machine.
A Google search turned up several American windmill museums including a large one in Lubbock, TX. Looks like fun.