The earliest known uses of wind power date back to 3000 BC, when people used wind to sail ships. Approximately 4000 years later, windmills were used in Europe to grind tobacco, wheat, and other grains. Later, in the 1700's, windmills were then used to pump water. It was not until the 1900's that wind mills were used for generating electric power. In the United States, windmills were used prior to widespead electrical distribution.