The Corbet Windmill on a wooden tower. Beeac, Victoria

The Corbet Windmill

The Corbet Windmill was manufactured at Beeac, Victoria somewhere between 1891-1919.
History has James Corbet as being born on board the ship ALLEN KERR on its way to Australia in 1841. James married Jane McPherson at Geelong in 1863 but it appears they had no children.
The first information known of James in the Beeac area was in 1886, when he leased 194 acres of land near Beeac from Alex Armstrong of Warrnambool. In 1888 James increased his lease to 400 acres.
In 1889 James also leased 50 acres from Alf Pink, which in 1890 he bought. This was located 1 kilometre north of Beeac and was later named as Corbett Road, which headed east from the main road to Cressy. The Corbet Windmill. Type 2. Beeac, Victoria

Around 1891 James started up a blacksmith business on this site, on the south east corner of the main road frontage. Presumably James must have learnt some blacksmith skills in the years before coming to Beeac.
It is unknown when the windmill manufacture started. The earlier Corbet windmills certainly had wooden parts such as the tower and tail. Of the surviving examples it appears at least 2 basic size castings (presumably produced elsewhere from a casting foundry to his pattern) were used over the years of manufacture. The size and strength of the wheel increased slightly with the use of the 2 main castings pretty much remaining the same. For some unexplained reason there is a left and right tail on the larger casting type. The Corbet Windmill. Type 1. Beeac, Victoria

Photographs and information courtesy of Craig Pink.
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