1991 - Volume #15, Issue #4, Page #17[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
World's Largest Windmill Collection
The 84-year-old retired rancher has three acres of rusty old Aeromotor windmills on his small ranch along state route 88. Medina calls his ranch "The Wonderful World of Windmills". He repairs, repaints, and sells the vintage rigs to people across the U.S. and Canada as well as from other countries. The "King of Windmills" became so famous that he was even flown to New York to appear on a national television show.
Medina began collecting and restoring windmills 15 years ago when he saw that many old windmills were being cut up' for scrap.
"I've loved windmills since I was a little boy so my collection is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream," says Medina. "There was a windmill at my grandmother's house where we'd visit when I was a kid. At night, it would clang and clink and squeak and put me to sleep. Since I started my collection I've bought more than $100,000 worth of windmills and now have about 175 models on my ranch. I buy most of my windmills in the Midwest, although I also find some in northern California. I buy only used wind-mills made between 1874 and 1980 by the Aeromotor Company. For decades it was the biggest windmill manufacturer in the world. The company still manufactures windmills at a plant in St. Angelo, Texas. My oldest and rarest model is a wooden one made in 1874. Another rare model, made in 1888, has an open gearbox that had to be greased constantly. Some of the 50-yearold models work better than the newer ones. The old models are riveted together while the new ones are bolted."
Most of Medina's windmills have 6-ft. dia. blades, although there's one 20-footer, the largest ever made by Aeromotor. Medina sells the restored windmills for $600 and up. "Buyers rig them up to pump water, generate electricity or just let them blow in the wind."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup,Frank Medina, 6553 E. Waterloo Rd., Stockton, Calif. 95215 (ph 209 931-3523).
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