to Dean & McCabe Windmills, manufacturers of VARCOE Windmills,
A Great Australian for more than 90 years
The history of the 'VARCOE' Windmill
Varcoe Windmills were first made in 1911 when Mr T H Varcoe purchased
the blacksmithing business of a Mr Williams who already made a windmill
called a Truman. Truman was an earlier blacksmith and was a Lord
Mayor of Mount Gambier.
Mr Varcoe did not like the Truman mill as it was big and a direct
drive and he set about designing a smaller oil bath geared mill,
which was marketed successfully locally.
Gradually the windmill sales grew and in about 1920 Varcoe made
what he claimed was the first oil bath, direct action windmill produced
in the world.
Over the years, several models were produced and perfected and the
present double geared mill and the oil bath direct action are his
design almost unchanged.
In 1979 the Mount Gambier City Council bought the Varcoe Foundry
which was built around 1913 (by Mr Varcoe) in the centre of the
city (Ferrers Street) as the site was required for the construction
of a civic centre. Although most of the building was demolished
to make way for the civic centre, the facade of it remains. Varcoe
sold the windmill part of his business to Chapman and Saunders Pty
Ltd who continued the manufacture of the mills until December 1984
when the present Company (Dean & McCabe Windmills Pty Ltd) was
set up for the sole purpose of manufacturing and marketing the Varcoe
windmills, and they are now sold Australia-wide and overseas. A
10ft wheel geared model based on the original Varcoe design has
been introduced into the range.