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Folk art collectors usually prefer the figural windmill weights such as animals, stars, the moon, etc. Writing on the weight and old weathered paint is of particular importance to collectors. Weights were rarely painted at the windmill factory but came later when the weight was decorated for use as an ornament.
The counter balance windmill weight, or tail weight, was used to counter balance the weight of the wheel upon the tower bearing. This windmill weight often became the trade symbol that a company used to mark its product so it could be identified at a considerable distance.
A governor weight was used to help control the action of the wheel as the speed of the wind increased. Some governor weights are considered very desirable but others are more common in appearance.
The spoke windmill weight is placed on the wheel spoke that is starting down just as the wheel is starting to lift the sucker rod. This is the undiscovered weight for most collectors.
A Regulator was a pump or a device bolted to the tower. Either the regulator pump or the regulator bolted to the tower usually had a regulator windmill weight.source: Rick Nidey and Don Lawrence from their book, "Windmill Weights: Pictured - Identified"