No water ever tasted better than when it came up clear and cool from deep in the ground, its flow pulsing to the steady rhythm of the wind-driven pump. . . . Windmill men such as Tex Burdick and others described in BakerÆs narrative deserve much credit for making life possible in semi-desert rural areas of Texas, New Mexico, and other parts of the West. ùElmer Kelton, from the foreword
During the Great Depression the windmillers of the Burdick & Burdick Company of El Paso, one of the largest windmill distributorships in the United States, crisscrossed the desert Southwest to bring wind power and water to a parched land. Battling blazing sun, dust storms, dizzying heights, and the hazards of cacti and rattlesnakes, they worked seven days a week from sunup to sundown and counted themselves lucky to earn two dollars a day. From 1923 to 1942, company owner B. H. ôTexö Burdick, Sr., photographed his men at work, producing a chronicle of the windmillersÆ lives. Fifty of his remarkable images, paired here with text by historian T. Lindsay Baker, preserve the fascinating story of the industry that made western settlement possible.
Never again will readers contemplate a ôromanticö image of a windmill against the sky without visualizing the effort required to put it there. ùEl Paso Museum of History Password
Accompanied by BurdickÆs photographs, the menÆs recollections both enthrall and inform. . . . T. Lindsay Baker offers a fresh perspective on the importance of windmills and windmillers. ùKansas History
A nostalgic look back at one of our most familiar prairie landmarks. ùNew Mexico Magazine
A glimpse of a Texas windmilling business which probably typified many similar enterprises over the nation. . . . fascinating and educational. ùPanhandle-Plains Historical Review
With the assistance of BurdickÆs photographic lens, Baker gives valuable insights into a neglected aspect of High Plains Americana: the culture of windmilling. ùSouthwestern Historical Quarterly