Cultural Icons Featuring Wind Turbines

I don’t know how long I’ve been collecting examples of cultural icons that feature windmills or wind turbines. I know that I had a collection in the early 1990s that I featured in my book Wind Energy Comes of Age. I suspect I began to more assiduously collect items in the mid 1980s after I’d moved to California to work on the wind farms in the Tehachapi Pass. I hardly look for them now they’ve become so commonplace. Still, I’ll add one that strikes my fancy. As a consequence, this list is by no means complete and continues to grow.

Modern wind turbines have become an accepted feature of landscapes around the world by a process of cultural assimilation. As wind turbines become a more prevalent feature of today’s landscape, they begin to find their way into common artifacts as symbolic images.

This process is no different than that which led Rembrandt van Rijn to portray traditional European windmills as part of his landscape paintings. Rembrandt was personally familiar with windmills. His father operated a windmill near the Rhine River that was appropriately named de Rijn, from which the family took its name.

The Dutch have built a powerful tourist industry around the image of traditional windmills. Many homes in western countries contain bric-a-brac of Delft pottery portraying bucolic images of Dutch windmills.

This process of assimilation is underway today and can be seen on German beer coasters and Danish beer labels, on the dust jacket of a compact disk from the US, and on postage stamps from India, on Dutch passports, phonecards, and much much more.

If you see an image that incorporates a windmill or wind turbines that are not shown here, please send them along.

Advertisements Using Wind Turbines

Beer Coasters (Bierdeckel)

Beer Labels


Book & Magazine

Cover Art

Breakfast Cereals

CD Jackets


Cookie Cutters





Green Power Labeling

Greeting Cards

Home Decor


License Plates



Neck Ties

Olive Oil

Organic Chicken

Panel Trucks


Postage Stamps

Phone Cards

Pop Art





Search Engines



Toys & Model Railroads

Tourism & Identity

Wine Labels