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ALSTON AQUA WINDMILL - 5 ft

photo of restored Aqua windmill at Booleroo Centre, South Australia    The little "Aqua" windmill (depicted at left at the Boolooroo Centre, South Australia), with its five foot wind wheel was available by 1923 and was the cheapest of the company's range. It could be fitted to a conventional tower or to a post. Advertising exists up to about 1934 for both versions, but like its bigger cousins it may well have survived for longer. Like the Alston "Single Crank" windmill it was also offered Ca.1933 as a complete, ready to go, pumping pack, including tank, trough, pipes etc. for £23/5/- [AU$46.50]. drawing of the 12 blade Aqua windmill
   The biggest design distinction in the mechanics between this and the "Single Crank" is that the hub-shaft/pinion rotates in two bearings in the main casting and the pinion gear has been moved to the back of the motor along with the main gear.
   The "Aqua" was a very lightly constructed mill designed for light work such as to raise water for household, stock or garden supply from shallow sources into storage tanks. Figures supplied for its pumping capacity give it a maximum capacity of about 318 litres an hour lifting three metres and a maximum pumping depth of about 9.2 metres with a 1.5 inch [40 mm] pump.
   The wind wheel was available in two configurations. It could be supplied with a conventional hub holding four spokes for twelve blades. Records for this version at present only occur at the end of the model's life. The display model is its more recognisable version fitted with six blades bolted directly onto a special hub. The blades were braced between themselves by rods and the finished wheel was considerably more concave than that on most mills.
   As with the "Single Crank" windmills, the low sale price of these mills is presumably responsible for them selling for so long and making them seem such an anachronism in the later catalogues and advertising.
   The windmill on display at the Morawa Museum is not pictured but was donated by Bruce HEWITSON of One Tree Hill, South Australia.
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