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cast head of the Challenge Dandy windmill    The Challenge Dandy windmill was first made in 1891 and was the first steel windmill manufactured by the Challenge Company of Batavia, Illinois, USA. It was a popular and long lived mill, being produced over a thirty year period and exported worldwide to countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Morocco and Canada. The Dandy was originally available in 8, 10 & 13ft diameter windwheel sizes but by World War 1 it was made in 6ft, 8ft and 10ft sizes.
   The Dandy was an open back-geared steel windmill, though the 10ft was also available as a direct action. The windwheel had 18 blades made of cold rolled sheet steel. The vane was also made of cold rolled sheet steel while the balance of the vane and wheel were made of either angle or flat bar cold rolled steel. The windwheel had 6 radial arms with 3 blades per section.
   An identifying feature of the Dandy was the bed-plate fastened two or three feet down within the superstructure of the tower, upon which the entire weight of the mill was supported. Regulation of the mill was by a weighted lever.
   The Dandy could be supplied with graphite bearings, though this was a slightly more expensive option and had to be specified on the order, otherwise the mill came with babbitt bearings. The mills could be furnished with either wooden or steel towers, however it is likely that all imported Dandy mills to Australia came with steel towers. restored Challenge Dandy open gear windmill on display at the Morawa Museum
   Each stroke of the pump took two and a half revolutions of the windwheel. The 8 ft back geared Dandy Steel Mill weighed 465 lbs, had a stroke length of 4, 6 and 8 inches and could pump at a rate of 40 strokes per minute. The 10 ft back geared mill weighed 520 lbs, had a stroke of 4, 6 and 8 inches and could do 35 strokes per minute. The 10 ft direct action Dandy weighed 500 lbs, had a stroke length of 4, 6 and 8 inched and could pump at a rate of 40 strokes per minute. The 13 ft back geared Dandy weighed 973 lbs, had a stroke length of 6, 8 and 10 inched and could do 30 strokes per minute.
   The Morawa Museum example is missing several parts such as the pinion gear, pitman, pump rod and weight. It dates to around 1906 and was sold by Dalgety & Co in Western Australia. Other Australian agents included Burns and Twigg in Queensland, Langwill Bros and Davies in Victoria, James Martin and Co in NSW, and J. R. Green in Tasmania.