February 10, 2017

2943 FRANCE (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) - A tower mill in Provence

A tower mill is a type of vertical windmill consisting of a brick or stone tower, on which sits a wooden "cap" or roof, which can rotate to bring the sails into the wind. This rotating cap on a firm masonry base gave tower mills great advantages over earlier post mills, as they could stand much higher, bear larger sails, and thus afford greater reach into the wind. The advantage of the tower mill over the earlier post mill is that it is not necessary to turn the whole mill with all its machinery into the wind; this allows more space for the machinery as well as for storage.

The tower mills were an important source of power for Europe for nearly 600 years from 1300-1900. They were very expensive to build with estimates suggesting almost twice that of post mills, which is in part why they were not very prevalent until centuries after invention. Sometimes they were even built on the sides of castles and towers in fortified towns to make them resistant to attacks. I'm not sure, but I believe that the tower mill depicted in the postcard is Jerusalem Mill. Although the first known mention of this mill dates from 1750, it is likely to be older. It operated until 1919. Even if I'm wrong, it is anyway a typical Provencal tower mill.

About the stamps

The first stamp, depicting Toulon - Var and designed by Martin Mörck, was issued on July 7, 2008.

The second stamp was issued on July 13, 2008, to mark the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, when was created The Union for the Mediterranean.

Tower mill - Wikipedia
Jerusalem Mill - Federation de Moulins De France official website

Sender: Marie-Claude (postcrossing) FR-812046
Sent from Moulins (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes / France), on 30.01.2017
Photo: Charles Blanc-Pattin  

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