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Tower Mills represent the most famous windmill design of all time. These very expensive windmills were first popularized in 12th century when only the rich nobles had the funds to erect them on their territories.
First examples of windmills that were created in Europe were of Post Mill design. They appeared first around 11th and 12th century, and they never went out of fashion even when other more efficient designs rose in popularity.
History of wind power reaches all the way back to the 4th millennia BC when first sailing ships were created in the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia. From there inventors utilized similar principles to move sails of windmills, which fueled industrial revolution of Middle East, Asia, Europe and entire world.
Smock Mills are the most advanced and commonly used designs of windmills that was introduced in 17th century as cheaper alternative to expensive and hard to build Tower Mills. With long history and presence all over the world, smock mills today represent some of the most popular traditional windmill designs of all time.