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People have caught the wind to propel their boats for many thousands of years. I’m skipping that part of wind power history and jumping forward to the use of wind for mechanical and electrical purposes. In particular, I’m looking for the most part at the history of wind turbines. 1st century AD: For the first time in known history, a wind-driven wheel is used to power a machine. A Greek engineer, Heron of Alexandria, creates this windwheel. By 7th to 9th century: Windwheels are used for practical purposes in the Sistan region of Iran, near Afghanistan. The Panemone windmills are used to grind corn, grind flour, and pump water. By 1000 AD: Windmills are used for pumping seawater to make salt in China and Sicily. 1180s: Vertical windmills are used in Northwestern Europe for grinding flour. 1887: The first known wind turbine used to produce electricity is built in Scotland. The wind turbine is created by Prof James Blyth of Anderson’s College, Glasgow (now known as Strathclyde University). “Blyth’s 10 m high, cloth-sailed wind turbine was installed in the garden of his holiday cottage at Marykirk in Kincardineshire and was used to charge accumulators developed by the Frenchman Camille Alphonse Faure, to power the lighting in the cottage, thus making it the first house in the world to have its electricity supplied by wind power. Blyth offered the surplus electricity to the people of Marykirk for lighting the main street, however, they turned down the offer as they thought electricity was ‘the work of the devil.’ “

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