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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.
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.
Windmills are useful for many things, but one of their most popular use case scenarios is their ability to transform the wind power into powering water pumps. With efficient designs being made for several centuries, windpump mills have been made more than million times all over the world.
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.