Monday, April 11, 2011

Watch a Wooden Grain Elevator in Action

Ever wonder how a wood elevator (prairie giant) worked? Ever wondered what they looked like inside? Want to see the elevator operator install a grain door, move an empty 40-foot boxcar by hand (using a ratchet-like device, called a pinch bar), then load it? And then move the loaded boxcar, also by hand!

Check out this great National Film Board documentary here. (It is available for sale or download.)

The elevator is located in Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan. It's abandoned, but still standing. (See photo above.)

The documentary was made in 1981, but it shows how elevators worked for decades, including using good old pen and paper (no computers).

If you model the transition era in the U.S. midwest or Canadian prairies, a time when grain was transported in 40-foot boxcars, this is for you!

(Photo above by Johnnie Bachusky from