Part 2 of a photography outing unfolds the visual possibilities at Roggen, Colorado

Mayer-Osborn's Roggen, Colo. elevator has the typical stepped up headhouse.

The Roggen, Colo., elevator has the typical Mayer-Osborn stepped-up headhouse.

Story and photos by Kristen Cart

The stepped-style headhouse on the 1950-vintage elevator at Roggen, Colo., raised our suspicion that Mayer-Osborn Construction built the elevator, and that my grandfather William Osborn had a hand in it. Our hunch proved to be right. A 1950 newspaper account detailed its construction, as well as that of the concurrent project at Byers, Colo. Roggen’s elevator was built on the heels of its twin, the Mayer-Osborn elevator at McCook, Neb., which was completed the year before.

Gary Rich explores creative possibilities at the Roggen elevator.

Gary Rich explores creative possibilities at the Roggen elevator.

Last year Gary Rich, contributor to this blog, paid a visit to Roggen. He documented the manhole covers inside the driveway, which bore the company name in raised letters across the top of the steel plates manufactured by Hutchinson Foundry. After seeing his photographs, I was very eager to see the elevator for myself.

Last fall on a visit to Colorado I met with Gary, and we took in Roggen and Byers among other elevators on a photography tour. Roggen is fairly accessible and located just east of Denver. The purpose of our tour was to document the elevators, but also to inject some creativity into the process. The results were very pleasing, especially at Roggen. This is part two of our photo tour.

When I started looking for my grandfather’s elevators, I never suspected it would open the door to the elevator photography and historical research you find in this blog. Best of all, our contributors Ronald Ahrens and Gary Rich have made this project great fun for all of us. I hope you, our readers, get a kick out of it as well, and are inspired to follow your own quests wherever they may lead.

Empty containers frame Roggen's 1950 elevator

Empty containers frame Roggen’s 1950 elevator. 

3 comments on “Part 2 of a photography outing unfolds the visual possibilities at Roggen, Colorado

  1. Such a great photo! The paint on the empty containers gives the illusion of arrows pointing “This way to the Great Elevator” (at least, that’s what my mind sees). Plus the angle of the name lettering is just right. Love it.

  2. kocart says:

    Thank you Darla. Gary Rich has helped me to see elevators differently, and now he is teaching me the technical side of elevator photography. As an example, foregrounds can be wonderful, especially if they draw you in. They make a common photograph of a building much more interesting.

    You are a very good writer and I look forward to your posts with joy. It is especially sweet when you come by and enjoy something we have done. Thank you again.

  3. […] slip-formed, concrete elevator in the style of earlier Mayer-Osborn efforts in McCook, Neb., and Roggen, Colo., and it stood at the center of a sprawling grain […]

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