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Who invented the windsock?

Windsocks are a simple and effective health and safety tool which are seen in many locations and industries. Although it is unclear who actually invented the windsock, the earliest windsocks were used by the Japanese, centuries ago.

Boys Day celebration

Boys Day was an annual Japanese celebration which was held on the fifth day of the Chinese calendar’s fifth moon. Each household would string carp-shaped flags known as koinobori on a tall bamboo pole, one for the father and one for each of his sons.
In Japanese culture, the carp symbolizes courage and strength because of its capability to swim up a waterfall. Boys Day was a festival to express hope that boys in each family would grow up to be healthy and strong similar to carps.
Often the koinobori would be different colours, usually black for the father’s and reddish colour for the eldest son. Depending on how prosperous the family were, the koinobori would be made from paper or cotton. Needless to say, they were primitive compared to today’s windsocks.

The Romans

Windsocks can also be traced back as far as 150 A.D, where they were used by the Romans as military banners to differentiate military groups. Nevertheless, it is generally thought the modern windsock was inspired by the wind sails used by naval ships in the nineteenth-century. These conical shaped sails made from canvas allowed oxygen to be directed to the ship’s bottom sections.

Today’s windsocks.

Windsocks today are generally made from polyester although can be made from nylon. They are usually orange though other colours and striped options are available. Deciding on the colour of your windsock really depends on its location -. as your windsock needs to contrast with its background so it is clearly visible. In the majority of locations orange is a suitable choice. At Windsock Company we produce and supply high quality windsocks to several industries including aviation, oil and gas, commercial refrigeration and water treatment plants. They are essential safety equipment to indicate wind direction. Windsocks may also be found by the roadside, marinas and ports as a helpful indication of hazardous crosswinds. As well as windsocks, Windsock Company also supplies windsock masts, swivel systems and the necessary harnesses and fixings.

Windsock range

Our standard windsock range is available from our online shop. For other sizes, bespoke orders, masts and swivel systems. Please contact our team via email, call +(0) 44 1245 476735 or complete our online form