Dutch Engineering Tradition Also Displayed at Tulip Time

PELLA, Iowa- Tulip Time underway here draws visitors from all over. They come for the Dutch ambiance, with the tulips, the food, and the Dutch culture.

The 124 foot tall Vermeer Windmill is the tallest of the attractions here. The windmill was built in 2001 in Holland, and assembled in Pella in 2002.

“Obviously it’s a wind mill, so we’re totally dependent on the wind,” said Jim Brandl, the Molenaar for the windmill. Molenaar is Dutch for Miller.

The windmill turns with wind power, to grind flour. Running the mill requires some understanding of engineering, and the weather.

“We have to turn the cap of the mill which weighs 25 tons, around so that the blades are facing into the wind, said Brandl. “So it’s very similar to sailing ships reduce the sail that reduces the speed.”

Tulip Time crowds were coming through the mill in waves on Thursday morning.

“The grain falls through a hole for the topstone, gets between the two stones that’s where the flower gets made,” said Brandl.

At one time Holland had over 40,000 windmills built using technology from 1852.
Due to Holland being a low-level close to the sea, there were not places to establish water-mill power, so they harnessed the wind.

“We are rediscovering what the Dutch have known for centuries that there’s tremendous energy in the wind, said Brandl. just look at all the wind turbines what are scattered throughout Iowa.”