Morawa Museum banner


1895 advert for the Horwood Adelaide Challenge windmill    This is a solidly built vaneless, sectional wheel design that competed with a number of imported and locally made windmills during its production life. The only other known sectional wheel windmill of Australian manufacture is the Kilburn windmill made in Victoria during the late 1880's, so in fact the two mills are contempories.
   The Adelaide Challenge windmills are fortunately quite easy to identify in the field because one side of the main casting is clearly marked with the manufacturer's name, J.H.HORWOOD & Co MAKERS, or J. H. HORWOOD & CO. ADELAIDE, and the other side of the main casting has a large serial number embossed on it. To date the highest serial number recorded is 209. restored Horwood Adelaide Challenge windmill at the Morawa Museum
   The earliest known date for a windmill made by HORWOOD is in 1878, when an article in the South Australian Advertiser of 23rd March stated that at the Show, A windmill for pumping water, with self adjusting sails invented by Mr. Horwood and shown by Messrs F. Clark and Sons attracted much attention.
   The South Australian Register of the 25th Sept 1884 named the mill as the New Adelaide, the South Australian Advertiser of July 1888 called it the Vaneless Adelaide and from 1890 onwards it appears to be generally known as the Adelaide Challenge and the Horwood Adelaide Challenge.
   The wind wheel blades were made of wood slotted into an inner and outer wooden bar or wind wheel ring. However, the South Australian Advertiser of 24th Sept 1884 p6 described the laths or narrow strips which form the wheel as being made of galvanised iron.
   This windmill was originally intended to be supplied for the complete spectrum of pastoral, farming, garden and other use, and by implication was made in a broad range of wind wheel sizes. Known sizes to be manufactured were 10ft, 12ft, 14ft, 16ft, 18ft, 20ft and 25ft. The known wooden tower sizes are 30ft and 36ft, but undoubtedly there were others. Some of the display towers used at the various exhibitions and Shows were described as low stands.
   So far there is no evidence that the windmill was sold outside of South Australia, but it was popular within that colony, among outback pastoralists in particular. Some advertising promoted it as Horwood's Special Station Windmill.
   Remains of the Adelaide Challenge mills have so far only been found in South Australia. The main casting, hub and shaft of one of these, No. 150, has been donated to the Morawa Museum by Bruce HEWITSON and the restoration was carried out by Jim SAWYER, including the making of the wooden stand.