Story by Gary Rich
Vickroy-Mong built the Bird City, Kan., elevator in 1950. It was ready for that year’s wheat harvest. But sometime afterward, the elevator had a blowout.
A nightmare for any elevator builder, a blowout can happen if too little rebar is used when pouring the concrete. There is a lot of pressure on the bins once you put grain in them. And the weakest point is on the outside.
As you see in the photo, part of the outside section fell to the ground. The grain would have spilled out, too. Note that some grain remains inside the bin.
Chalmers & Borton received the contract for the repair work here. It is unknown if they fixed only the damaged bin or found others were flawed.
The Chalmers & Borton superintendent was W. Grammer. The job number was 50-K-62. Work began later in 1950, probably by fall.
The Bird City elevator wouldn’t have been good advertising for Vickroy-Mong. It’s not known if they built any other elevators.
- It looks like a Tillotson elevator in Bird City, Kansas, but it’s a surprise instead (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)
- Concrete’s prevalence in elevator construction was ‘just a matter or time’ (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)