Jan Leeghwater

In 1612, merchants and politicians from Amsterdam set out to expand Dutch territory by “creating” new land by draining a large lake known as the Beemster. To do this, they first had to build a strong 38-kilometer long dam around the lake, after which engineer Jan Leeghwater (1575–1650) placed 43 windmills to pump out the water. This method was repeated many times over the centuries.