Abraham Lincoln Predicted Age of Wind Power

You know who predicted the age of wind power? Abraham Lincoln, that’s who.

A New York Times article dated Nov. 22, 1936, quotes from a lecture titled “Discoveries and Inventions” Lincoln gave in 1860, before he became president.  Here’s the relevant part:

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“Of all the forces of nature, I should think the wind contains the largest amount of motive power … Take any given space of the earth’s surface, for instance, Illinois, and all the power exerted by all the men, beasts, running water and steam over and upon it shall not equal the 100th part of what is exerted by the blowing of the wind over and upon the same place. And yet it has not, so far in the world’s history, become properly valued as motive power. It is applied extensively and advantageously to sail vessels in navigation. Add to this a few windmills and pumps and you have about all. As yet the wind is an untamed, unharnessed force, and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made will be the taming and harnessing of it.”

Pretty cool, no?

See more of my writing on renewable energy and check out my book in progress on renewables at renewablebook.com.

 

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I'm a writer based in Bloomington, IN. I'm currently writing a book about renewable energy, titled "Renewable: A Reporter's Quest to Make Sense of the Coming Revolution in Alternative Energy," for St. Martin's Press.

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