a brief history of wind power and the wind turbine, wind power history, wind energy history, wind turbine energy, windmill history

A Brief Important History of Wind Power and The Wind Turbine

What is the History of Wind Power and The Wind Turbine?

Early Wind Power Generation

Renewable energy brought wind power and its energy generating turbines to the forefront as a major player in the clean energy transition, with a whopping 67,000 turbines in place across the United States. While this technology may seem new, it is really only the improved version. The use of wind power and the wind turbine has a rich history dating back as early as the 7th century in the Middle East where it was used mainly for food production. Around the 11th century, merchants brought the technology to Europe and used it to grind flour and pump seawater to harvest salt, but it wasn’t until the 14th century when the Dutch improved upon this sparsely used technology and ushered in the windmill that would withstand for many generations to come.  


First Electric Generating Turbine 

In July 1887 in Scotland, a professor named James Blyth designed and installed the first electricity generating wind turbine in recorded history in his garden as a battery charging machine that would light his holiday home. Blyth’s home is thus the first home in the world to operate electricity through wind power. His windmill created enough of an energy surplus to be offered to the town in which he lived; however, still believed to be the work of the devil, the extra electricity was turned down and went unused. 


Wind Power and the Wind Turbine in the Americas  

American colonists, homesteaders, and ranchers began using windmills for grinding grain, pumping water and for sawing wood at sawmills in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A year after the firstwind-powered home was constructed in Scotland, an American inventor named Charles Brush created the first known wind turbine to be erected in the United States to provide electricity for his mansion in Cleveland Ohio. Later in 1927, Joe and Marcellus Jacobs open “Jacobs Wind” in Minneapolis Minnesota a factory producing wind turbines for use on farms that did not have access to the grid. 

By 1957, Jacobs Wind had produced and sold over 30,000 wind turbines across the U.S. and even to Africa and Antartica. Despite the expansion in technology, it wasn’t until 1975 when the first U.S. wind farm went online and provided electricity to 4,149 homes, but by 1990 46 wind farms were put online providing wind-generated electricity to over 300,000 homes.  


Today in wind farms, wind power and the wind turbine are ubiquitous and a main contender in the fight against climate change. With our wealth of knowledge and experience in wind producing technologies, Bridgelink Engineering is proud to be a leader in the clean energy transition . We look forward to continuing the history of wind energy  to power future generations with a green source of electricity

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