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Wind Spinners Come in Metal, Copper, 3D Shapes and More

Updated on February 12, 2018

Where Did Wind Spinners Come From?

Wind spinners have a very rich and unique history. They go all the way back to the introduction of the windmill. In order to better understand how wind spinners have become a part of our society it is important to to know where they came from.

First of all, no one really knows who the original inventor of the windmill was. It has been used for hundreds of years to power contraptions and machines. It has evolved from a horizontal shaft with four sails mounted on it to a rotating top with blades always pointing into the wind. Over the years the windmill took on smaller shapes, helping farmers to scare small animals and birds away from their crops and fields. As they got smaller they started to get some new names, including the whirlygig. They began to pick up popularity and were even a way for farmers to make money during the great depression. They evolved into the pinwheel and became a popular children's toy. The wind twirler was also created out of this, and only took a small breeze to cause it to start rotating.

Wind Socks

The windsock is another novel wind contraption that evolved from the spinners. The wind sock was created from the weathervane and is used as a weather instrument. The wind sock has become a valuable tool in gauging the weather, and has become a great help to modern day forecasting. You often see larger size wind socks at small airports to aid their gaging of the wind direction.

In addition to it's serious function, it can also be used as a yard decoration.

Whirlygigs and Metal Spinners

Last of all, the whirlygig eventually led the way to the development of wind spinners. They are very similar to pinwheels because they have a horizontal shaft. Some have the vertical shaft principle and are suspended from the center to allow the sails to twirl. The wind spinners that are created with the vertical shaft have the benefit of being seen from the side as well as from head on. The beauty of these wind spinners is that with the different color metal fans and the rapid spinning movement, it creates a kind of kaleidoscope effect. This creates an illusion of movement and light from the motion that is created. These stainless steel spinners create beautiful illusions and are fun to watch.

Today, new technological advancements have allowed wind spinners to be in many different creative designs. Because they are made out of stainless steel they are rust-resistant and can be used indoors as well as outside. The other very popular material for them is a brushed copper. Indoors you will need a motor of some sort, or you can place them outside and let the wind do the work. Wherever you decide to put them, wind spinners can add some flair and style to your porch, back yard, or living areas.

Old-Fashioned "Wind" Spinner

A great story about my husband's grandfather. While in his 80's, Grandpa couldn't see or hear very well. He wanted to know when his furnace was running so he hung some string across his living area and clipped several PopTart foil wrappers to the string. When the furnace went on, the foil ruffled in the "wind."

You have to admit, this counts as a spinner!

What's Your Favorite Wind Spinner Design?

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    • shanel profile image


      8 years ago from Seattle

      I love the rainbow spinner, and I love mixing spinners with windchimes. Nice hub.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      These are really great. Enjoyed the hub. My brother in law makes whirligigs, which also move in the wind, but are usually carved out of wood with moving parts. They can be quite sophistocated


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