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The Aermotor Windmill Company is an American manufacturer of wind-powered water pumps. The widespread use of their distinctive wind pumps on ranches throughout the arid plains and deserts of the United States has made their design a quintessential image of the American West.
La Verne Noyes, founder of Aermotor Windmill Company, had hired engineer Thomas O. Perry for a different job but saw the potential of the all-metal windpump developed by Perry after extensive experiments. The first Aermotor was sold in 1888, with 45 windmills in total being sold in the first year. Aermotor soon became a strong competitor among its contemporaries selling over 20,000 of its windmills by 1892. Over the next 30 years Aermotor grew and expanded, introducing accessories and variants on "the mathematical windmill."
La Verne Noyes died in 1919. He left the Aermotor Company to a tax paying trust, with 48 colleges and universities as beneficiaries.
During the latter part of the century ownership of the Aermotor Company changed hands and had its operation moved and expanded to new venues, including the country of Argentina, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Brentwood, Missouri, and Conway, Arkansas. By 1981, 80% of all windmills manufactured in The United States had their genesis in Conway. In 1998 Aermotor was purchased by Kees Verheul, grandfather of Kate Waldorf, its current owner and president. It now operates from a 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) facility in San Angelo, Texas.
Besides the production of windmills from 6 to 16 feet (1.8 to 4.9 m) tall, Aermotor also produces the towers on which a windmill sits. Four post towers come in steel (ranging from 21 to 60 feet or 6.4 to 18.3 meters tall) and wood (from 14 to 37 feet or 4.3 to 11.3 meters tall). Aermotor also produces and helps in procurement of the pump assembly and drilling.
In 1918 the founder of Aermotor Windmill Company, La Verne Noyes, donated nearly $2.5 Million USD to establish scholarships for veterans of World War I. The largest benefactors were University of Chicago and Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, La Verne's alma mater. These scholarships are still available today.