In a July 22 telephone conversation, Neil A. Lieb, who worked for Tillotson Construction Company from 1949 to 1951, described for us the elements of this photo, taken in the spring of 1950 during the earliest stage of work on the Alta Cooperative elevator, in Alta, Iowa.
- The slab and rebar box in middle is the pit, covered with wood to leave a hole in concrete.
- The horizontal box in the background is for the elevator’s leg, the critical motor-driven pulley-and-belt mechanism with attached scoops that lift the grain from the pit to the headhouse for distribution to bins and silos.
- Planking is to provide a smooth course for the wheelbarrow in order to transport and dump freshly mixed concrete.
- The dirt in the background came from the excavation.
- In the center, the larger black tank on left contains acetylene and the smaller one holds oxygen, for fueling a torch, presumably to cut rebar.
- The concrete mixer (upper left) had the capacity of one-half or one cubic yard of concrete.
Editor’s note: Although there is some distortion, the upper-right corner appears to show a worker who is bent at the waist and leaning away from the camera.