And his fascinating windmill site.
This page is dedicated to the late
from Strathroy, Ontario, Canada
His collection was dispersed to individuals,
museums and collectors.
This story, filmed in 1968/9 with a wind-up 8 mm camera, by Harley and Barbara Stroven and their daughter, Jan, is of the 13 foot Maud S powermill erected at the museum with the help of 80 year old Clare Dunham, who bought it used in 1906.
Harley sat with his TV and a record player and created this documentary in 1989.
The mill was taken down in 2004 and is stored indoors by a collector, the fourth owner.
Harley made many films in the era when home movies were in their infancy.
Here is a link to one that he made when he served in World War II
Dorr Felt patented his Comptometer and Comptograph in 1887 after making a prototype in 1884 out of a macaroni box, staples and rubber bands.
Among his inventions was this vertical axis mill placed at his mansion in Saugatuck, Michigan.
This link is to the patent.
Harley Stroven and family did the effort to save this historical machine and made one of their home movies to show how they took it down.
After the Windmill Gardens closed down, the mill was donated to the Wind Power Museum in Lubbock, Texas and is now awaiting restoration.
This very well done documentary shows some of the work of Harley and Barbara Stroven and their family's efforts to preserve our industrial history.
Sadly, the museum has closed but lives on here and with others who have appreciated their saving of relics of our past.
I was honored to have called them my friends.
Whenever I feel I have accomplished something, I watch this 1 hour film to humble myself.
Harley Stroven and his family filmed the 10 year restoration of this Stage Coach Stop windmill tower and the incredible dedication, passion and personal expenditure of time and money is unsurpassed.
I don't know why the video ended so soon, but the end shows Harley ringing the bells on July 4th 1976
Henry Nelson started making this little Sunflower model from a poor advertisement drawing.
He asked me to make the pattern for the head.
He had the sheet metal done and the stand but called me to say that he could not finish the project.
I picked up the pieces he had made two weeks before he died.
With a much better drawing provided by T. Lindsay Baker, I made patterns and had iron castings poured.
Dave Smith helped with the machining, along with Dave Brigolin, helping in the difficult times.
hand cranked deseeder
foot treadle broom winder and hand sewing vise
The Lipe Walrath Broom Sewing Machine Co. powered sewer
model Rider hot air engine made by Dave Brigolin
Dave Brigolin with his 1934 Packard on the historic GM Design Center Patio
Dave Brigolin with his 1974 AMX, Brig's Trick, that he has owned over 40 years on the historic GM Design Center Patio, with Mike Simcoe, Design V.P.
Early 1928 International Six Speed Special
Pratt and Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major
28 cylinder 4 row radial is the largest piston powered aircraft engine ever in production.
18,000 were made between 1944 and July 1955.
This one was made in February of 1955.
Summer 1966 REO NEWS factory brochure.
Drilling big Sunflower hub with carbon steel drill in a 1906-1910c Fosdick drill press
Milling foundry pattern out of REN
Smith-Drum lathe with War Dept. tag boring the big Sunflower hub mounted to a geared face plate
Cleaning the bent ends of the Sunflower actuator rods
All my ideas, patterns and machining would not exist without the work of the guys at the foundry.
The soothing hum of ancient machinery
crude die bending the steel for the Sunflower tailbone braces.
After figuring out the engineering of the little Sunflower model I decided to make ten 10 footers.
I call them "Indoor Static Displays" because they will be a work of art to be enjoyed, but they are not intended to be used to pump water.
The company was first listed as being in business in 1890 but no records exist after 1892.
1893 saw a recession, so many companies failed and I fear the Sunflower Windmill company was one of them.
Here is a link to the patent. Note that no model was submitted.
Although one of their advertisements claimed that their mill had the "fewest moving parts of any windmill", that, obviously, was creative writing.
I tried to make the mill as close as I could to the 1890 advertisement drawing, even though there are several areas that I would have done differently. I did not want to change the look of it by improving some engineering points.
I know of no original surviving mills so some details could only be guessed based on the advertisement drawing.
These slide shows should give an idea of the challenge of creating the machine.
After many years of hours of struggles, we often joke about people looking up at the completed mill, saying "ooo thats a nice windmill.." "oh, look at the grouse!" without a clue of what it takes to create.
If you watch all the videos they often have no order or seem to repeat some operations.
Usually, I will develop a part or process on paper, then mock it up in wood, then in steel to prove it will work
Sometimes I will develop a part, prove it but not get back to making the hundreds needed until a year or more later.
Often parts developed individually need to fit to other parts being developed and that leads to a total change and start over.