The Jacobs Wind Electric Company has been in existence or over 80 years. It started on the plains of Montana then moved to Minnesota, manufacturing wind machines sold all over the world. Jacobs Wind was responsible for bringing electricity – and a better standard of living – to areas beyond the reach of utilities, advancing the technology of wind energy, and pioneering design concepts, some of which are still in use today.
In the original era of distributed wind generation (1920s to 1950s) tens of thousands of small wind plants began charging “islands” of modern technology centers, illuminating with electric power and lights small portions of otherwise poorly powered areas on six continents. Before the second era of wind energy development (1970s to 1980s) when the “energy crisis” focused on the limitations of fossil fuels, Jacobs Wind’s founders moved to FL and focused on marine products and interests from the mid 1950s to 1975. Their most important discovery during this era was the use of a form of natural energy, tidal energy, to move vast quantities of water daily to reduce pollution in manmade waterways and thereby enhancing the marine environment and food chain for the growing population residing in the coastal zone interface.
Originally, Jacobs Wind relied heavily on word of mouth to spread its name. At the time, this worked very well. Unfortunately this, as with all oral based histories, fell victim to the passage of time and the loss of many who were around to witness its events. This greatly reduced general knowledge about Jacobs Wind, its founders, and what they accomplished.
This is our story, told with accounts, documents, and photographs from our company. The following pages break down the history of Jacobs Wind into three major sections: the inception of the company, its first major run, and its return during the energy crisis of the 1970s and 80s. While still around today, this information will give a better picture of what Jacobs Wind Electric, stood for, and still represents to this day.