The photo above show two of the four sails on the Prairie Mill. A "stock" made of steel provides the backbone to support the sail. All four sails have wind boards which work similar to the leading edge of an airplane wing. Hemlaths and sail bars provide the frame to lash sailcloth.
In the late 1800s shutters became popular as an alternative to sailcloths. These work very similar to venetian blinds. One lever closes the shutters to catch the wind. A spring on each shutter allows the miller to adjust the tension on the shutters. For example, the tension may be loosened to allow gusts of wind to blow through the shutters.
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