Thomas O. Perry
Thomas Osborn Perry was a mechanical engineer, designer, and the original innovator of the all-metal windmill. Perry made significant contributions to the field of wind powered turbines and was an early pioneer of modern wind power technology.
Thomas Osborn Perry was born in Franklin, Michigan on February 28, 1847. In 1882 and 1883, while working for the U.S. Wind Engine and Pump Company, Perry conducted a series of over five thousand experiments on windmill rotors and rotor blades. His experiments resulted in a windmill design that was 87% more efficient than other windmills manufactured at that time. Perry's main improvements were the use of concave windmill blades made from steel, rather than flat wooden blades. In order to conduct his experiments, Perry had designed and built an enclosed wind tunnel, a research tool that was not in common use at this time.
In 1888, Thomas Perry and LaVerne Noyes started the Aermotor Windmill Company and began manufacturing Aermotor windmills. The Aermotor was used for pumping water for livestock and became indispensable to midwestern farmers and ranchers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Selling only 45 windmills in its first year, Aermotor sales increased rapidly and by the turn of the century had sold hundreds of thousands of windmills.
- Volta Torrey, Wind-Catchers: American Windmills of Yesterday and Tomorrow, S. Greene Press, 1976, ISBN 0-8289-0292-5, ISBN 978-0-8289-0292-2, p. 113
- A Field Guide to American Windmills, By T. Lindsay Baker, University of Oklahoma Press, 1985, ISBN 0-8061-1901-2, ISBN 978-0-8061-1901-4, p. 36.
- The American Midwest, Richard Sisson, Christian K. Zacher, Andrew Robert Lee Cayton, Indiana University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-253-34886-2, ISBN 978-0-253-34886-9, p. 102
- A Field Guide to American Windmills, By T. Lindsay Baker, University of Oklahoma Press, 1985, ISBN 0-8061-1901-2, ISBN 978-0-8061-1901-4, p. 38.
- Thomas O. Perry, Patent number 375378, Filing date Sep 13, 1886, Issue date Dec 1887
- Thomas O. Perry, Patent number 431851, Filing date Mar 28, 1887, Issue date Jul 8, 1890
- Thomas O. Perry, Patent number: 431991, Filing date May 2, 1890, Issue date Jul 1890
- Thomas O. Perry, Patent number 495510, Filing date Mar 24, 1890, Issue date Apr 18, 1893
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