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Halladay Windmill

Object Number: R08468

This Halladay Standard wooden self-regulating windmill is the last of its kind in Australia. It was made in 1889 by the U. S. Wind Engine and Pump Company in Batavia, Illinois, who manufactured Halladay windmills to farmers for pumping water for livestock, and to the railroads to supply water for locomotives. They were hugely successful, and soon became the world’s largest maker of windmills. About 200 Halladay Standard windmills were imported and sold in Australia in the 1890s. They had limited success, being vulnerable to attack by termites and cockatoos. By 1900 they were superseded by the metal windmills we are now familiar with.

This windmill was used from the 1890s to the 1930s for pumping water on a farm owned by Miles Fox in Cleveland. In 1970 the Museum collected the parts from a shed on the farm. They were in a very deteriorated, almost unrecognisable condition. Restoration work required a large amount of research to determine how the windmill was originally constructed. Some parts were missing, and these had to be re-made from sketches in a copy of an 1889 manufacturer’s catalogue. Most of the restoration work was carried out by museum volunteers. By 2006 the windmill was ready for display and is now one of the most prominent and significant objects in the collection.