The Celebrated Challenge Company

Corporate promotional materials for the Challenge Company show a company proud of its product

A panel from a pamphlet promoting Challenge Windmills

A panel from a pamphlet promoting "The Celebrated Challenge Sectional Wind Mill and the Challenge Patent Geared Wind Mills (Both Double and Single Header Wheels)."As portrayed in this artwork, farming offered a genteel life indeed, complete with barns sporting balconies with elaborate railings, and bright awnings providing shade. Note the lineshaft operations depicted within the barn.

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Corporate promotional materials have rarely been shy in making their claims. This pamphlet for the Challenge Wind Mill and Feed Mill Company, Batavia, Ill., is no exception. 

"Having made Wind Mills a specialty for over twenty years, and having over Fifteen Thousand Mills in successful operation and constantly filling orders received from all parts of the World, it is evident that our Mill must be a first class one, or it would have gone out of existence ere this; but instead of this, our business for the past six years has increased steadily so that at present we are turning out over double the number of Mills we were six years ago."

The pamphlet excerpted here was produced in about 1890. The Challenge company was formed in 1867, and at one point produced 105 different sizes and styles of windmills.

"It's sliding head connections are so direct, and the supporters and leverage of its sails are so perfect that no other mill can be made to compete with it except by infringing these patented peculiarities." FC 

Challenge ephemera courtesy of the Sharon D. Ansted-Williams Memorial Library, a branch of the National Printers Museum ( Beethovan A. Williams, curator), Salt Lake City, Utah.