2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3, Page #24[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Windmill Ceiling Fan
Bush had fond memories from his boyhood of windmills that pumped water for cattle, hogs and horses, as well as their house. About 12 years ago he found a Chicago Aeromotor windmill with an 8-ft. fan on a 30-ft. tower similar to the one he grew up with, and he installed it on his farm. Two years later he installed one on his daughter and son-in-law's property.
Eight years ago, he spotted the Baker windmill while attending an Indiana windmill convention. "It caught my eye and I decided it would make a great ceiling fan for the meeting room at our family farm museum," he says.
Lifting the tower with a forklift and bolting it to the ceiling wasn't difficult. Bush's main concern was safety in mounting the several hundred pound fan over the dining area. He took a cone type variable speed friction drive honey extractor and powered it with a 3/4-hp gear motor to allow slippage for a smooth start, and when shut off allows it to coast to a stop. A lever controls the desirable speed.
Bush's entire three-story museum is a novelty. He started with a 40 by 32-ft. century-old cow barn with a haymow that had been converted to a hog farrowing house. In 1990, he remodeled it into a hobby barn and added a 40 by 60-ft. addition out of recycled metal from the Rock Island Arsenal lumber storage, which he got for tearing down and removal.
Bush started the museum to display his collections of farm equipment and memorabilia and to preserve the history of farming from the time his grandfather started in 1900 to the present day. He also wanted his 13 grandchildren to learn more about agriculture. Each year all of them stayed at the farm for several weeks and helped arrange and label items.
The building is used for family reunions, anniversaries and graduation parties. Historical groups, grain marketing groups, antique tractor clubs, the "Red Hat Ladies" and other groups have also held meetings in the museum.
The museum is private, but Bush holds an open house every September. If you're interested, send him your name and address on a self-addressed envelope, and he'll send you an invite before that date.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kenny Bush, 6706 78th Ave. W, Milan, Ill. 61264 (ph 309 787-1926).
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