This cast iron rooster is a windmill weight, made between 1887 and 1925 by the Elgin Wind Power & Pump Company, of Elgin Illinois. In bright, old orange paint that shades to red on his head, this guy would have been mounted as a counter-balance at the end of the blade assembly on a windmill, to keep the blades turned into the wind correctly.At approximately 9 inches tall, he is a harder to find smaller size than larger types.
HUMMER E184 is cast into the right side of his tail.
Condition is extremely nice: A lovely casting with no broken parts, solid and sound. The old paint adds character and depth. For a working farm implement, the casting is extremely nice quality with filed edges and no rough or sharp places.
What a wonderful addition to any grouping of historical agricultural tools, or simply a chicken collection!
A windmill is a structure that converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. In the days before electricity, most American farm windmills were used to pump water, grind grain or power machinery and were mounted atop a post so their blades would catch the wind. One type incorporated a tail (vane) that would keep the wheel turning into the wind. Another vaneless type was constructed with a long wooden beam, to which a counterbalance weight was attached at the end, keeping the heavy blades positioned correctly and preventing the structure from tipping over. Weights were made in many shapes, often farm animals. Unique castings served as advertisements for mill manufacturers, since they could be recognized by their shapes. But basically, the windmill weight just kept the wheel directed into the wind and prevented the whole thing from tipping
The Elgin Wind Power & Pump Company existed between 1887 and 1925. It got its start in 1887 in Elgin, Illinois when a department store owner named George M. Peck obtained not only the patents but also the factory from an earlier company that had gone out of business. Peck served as company president from 1910 until 1935. The company did well, and was shipping as many as 50 windmills and towers a week by 1895. In 1925, the company name was changed to the Elgin Windmill Company. The future was not good, however, as prices for agricultural products had begun to decline, while land prices rose significantly, creating a crisis for cash strapped farmers. Also, electrification was increasing throughout rural America, further decreasing the call for windmills. In 1943, the Woodruff & Edwards foundry purchased Elgin Windmill and by the beginning of 1948, windmill production had ceased.