There’s more to be seen and read about the Jacobs Wind Electric Company. Here are some additional photos, movies, and documents.
This slideshow contains the images you saw during this brief history along with many more. Check back to find additonal updates and visit our photostream here.
Letters, articles and reports from or related to Jacobs Wind. All of which are in the form of Adobe PDF documents.
Mechanix Illustrated: In the March 1944 issue of Mechanix Illustrated one could find pictures of the newest war machines and advancements, or a do-it-yourself guide for building and anemometer. There was also one picture of Joe Jacobs (on p. 76) driving an electric car he had built for transportation purposes that proved very useful during a period of wartime gasoline rationing. For anyone out there interested in that homemade anemometer, we also included pages 90-91 covering its construction. Special thanks to Mr. Phil Wilson for finding and sending us these pages. (Yates, 1944, p. 75-76, 90-91)
Cathodic Protection Report: A paper submitted by M.L. Jacobs to a joint symposium of cathodic protection held by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers in 1947. It outlines the use of wind generators as “an external source of protective currents”. (Cathodic Protection, A Symposium, 1949, p. 77-79)
Congressional Letter on Distributed Wind Generation 1951: A letter written by M.L. Jacobs to the United States Congress pitching the idea of multiple small wind generators (5kW) being tied into a grid vs. a single large generator (1 megawatt) being designed by Percy H. Thomas at the time.
April 1955 National Geographic: A picture of a Jacobs Wind Machine at the Eureka weather station on Ellesmere Island. The station, built in 1947, used the machine for additional power. (Fletcher, 1955, p. 547, 551)
July 1957 National Geographic: Photos from Admiral Byrd’s Little America base camp in Antartica. The first one shows the two radio towers in the original 1929 camp. The Jacobs unit was installed in the second camp in 1934. The last picture shows Byrd’s final visit to Little America. All that is left to mark this camp is the very top of the radio tower that once held the Jacobs machine. It was taken down just prior to the picture, but the mount and protruding wiring is still visible. (Grosvenor, 1957, p. 42, 48)
1961 UN Report: This report was submitted to the United Nations Conference on New Sources of Energy in 1961. It outlined his experience with Jacobs wind machines.
Island Park: A promotional pack for the Island Park development in Ft. Myers Florida. Built by Marcellus Jacobs and named after the once great amusement park on Lake Minnetonka, MN, Island Park was where development of water flushing systems, and marine products took place. It is also where the prototype machine for the second generation of Jacobs Wind was designed.
Pioneers of Aeronautics: A certificate awarded to Marcellus Jacobs in 1977 by the Santos Dumont Foundation in Brazil for being a pioneer in aviation. The English translation was written down on the following sheet of paper.
Minneapolis Star 1982: An article from the Minneapolis Star about the second Jacobs Wind Electric Company and its progression from the past designs of its predecessor. (Hoose, 1982, p. 3, 10)
USA Today 1983: Another Article about Jacobs Wind and the general state of the small Wind industry as of 1983. It hits on declining oil prices and the end of tax cuts that eventually brought about the second downfall. (Raasch, 1983, p. 1B, 2B)
During the 1970s, NASA and the DOE began looking into alternative energies and did extensive research into different methods. Part of their research involved bringing in pioneers of wind power from the 1930s era to talk about their experience during the NASA-Lewis Wind Energy Workshop in December of 1973. These documents reference this research and additional info collected through 1995. They are relatively large (50 to 130 pages with file sizes of 3 to 9 MB) so it would be advisable to download the document (by right clicking and selecting “save link as”) if you wish to view it.
Historical Development of the Windmill: A report by Dennis G. Shepherd in 1990 for the NASA Lewis Research Center. This is a well researched historical overview of wind energy spanning from ancient windmills to modern wind turbines at that time. On page 41 there is a paragraph about the original Jacobs wind machines. (Shepherd, 1991)
Marcellus Jacobs was interviewed and filmed talking to some fair goers at the 1981 Minnesota State Fair. The following clip is taken from that footage.
The Jacobs “Wonder” Blower, pictured earlier in this history, has survived to this day and continues to run. Here are a couple clips of one starting up and running after the video’s poster “literally dug it out from under a pine tree 2 hours earlier”.
Starting up, running….
…and running some more. Notice the plate on the back at the end of the clip.