No water ever tasted better than when it came up clear and cool from deep in the ground, its flow pulsing to the steady rhythm of the wind-driven pump. . . . Windmill men such as Tex Burdick and others described in Baker’s narrative deserve much credit for making life possible in semi-desert rural areas of Texas, New Mexico, and other parts of the West. —Elmer Kelton, from the forewordDuring the Great Depression the windmillers of the Burdick & Burdick Company of El Paso, one of the largest windmill distributorships in the United States, crisscrossed the desert Southwest to bring wind power and water to a parched land. Battling blazing sun, dust storms, dizzying heights, and the hazards of cacti and rattlesnakes, they worked seven days a week from sunup to sundown and counted themselves lucky to earn two dollars a day. From 1923 to 1942, company owner B. H. “Tex” Burdick, Sr., photographed his men at work, producing a chronicle of the windmillers’ lives. Fifty of his remarkable images, paired here with text by historian T. Lindsay Baker, preserve the fascinating story of the industry that made western settlement possible.
|Publisher:||Texas Tech University Press|
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
T. Lindsay Baker holds the W. K. Gordon Endowed Chair in Texas Industrial History at Tarleton State University. He has written more than twenty books on the history of the American West, a number of them dealing with energy topics, and he edits the quarterly Windmillers' Gazette newsletter on wind power history. A fellow of the Texas State Historical Association and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, Baker and his wife live on a family farm in central Texas.
Table of Contents
Blades in the Sky