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Windmills of Paris

Windmills of Montmartre, Maurice Utrillo.

Paris is not exactly hilly, but there are a couple of high points in the city where one can easily catch the breeze. Back when Paris had a flourishing grain milling industry, these hills were dotted with numerous wind mills—more than three hundred, some say.

Enormous quantities of grain arrived from the Americas and mills in the area ground them up into fine flour for local consumption. Bread was the staple food for the poor French peasants. During period of abundance, the average wage earner in France spent as much as two-third of his income on bread alone. During shortages, prices could double, dramatically straining the finances of poor French families. As such, grain merchants were often detested and viewed with suspicion. They were accused of adulteration and hoarding grain to artificially raise the price of this vital commodity.


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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