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Friday, June 13, 2008

Cape Cod Windmills

Since the 1600s, windmills have been providing power on Cape Cod, mainly to grind corn into meal. By the 1800s, windmills were used in the flourishing salt industry. The power they created from wind pumped water into storage tanks. Left standing to evaporate, the salt which remained after the sea water evaporated was a valuable commercial product.

At least until salt mines were discovered in the western United States, and the New England seacoast salt industry, powered by the windmill, collapsed.

Today there are new uses for wind power and a new drive on the Cape to employ modern windmill technology. Not without much controversy, the new interest in wind power illustrates how old ideas have a way of coming around and around.

For more on modern windmill efforts, have a look at this website.

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