Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Master of Windmills and Whirligigs

Whirligigs are a form of automata -- to my mind at least. They depict an animated scene with a person or animal. The only distinction between a contemporary automaton and a whirligig is that the latter are outside and are powered by the wind.

The folks over at The Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society have a great post about a man with a passion for windmills and whirligigs. The man's name is Vollis Simpson, an 87-year-old retired mechanic from North Carolina. Simpson's back yard is filled with dozens of his wind-driven creations.

A quote from Simpson:
"The main part of doing anything that turns is to get it centered".

Truer words were never spoken.

Check out the post on Vollis Simpson's Windmill Farm at the Kircher Society blog.

Here's a list of books on how to make whirligigs:

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