Inglis has two elevators that are open to the public, the N.M. Paterson elevator on the end and the Reliance grain elevator in the middle of the five elevators. The Paterson office holds the site office and gift shop, so stop in here to find the tour guide and pay your fee for the tour. Don't do what I did and wander into the elevator on your own! :)
The N.M. Paterson ElevatorThe Paterson elevator in Inglis is open to the public. You can stick your head in one of the 20 bins to look up to see how far up it goes.
A bin in Inglis' Paterson grain elevator
I used flash to illuminate it as far as I could. I think this bin has been modified somewhat as I don't think they would have had those horizontal boards - a place for grain to accumulate.
This is the selector wheel, used to select which bin the grain would flow into.
|Grain elevator selector wheel|
This is the manlift for the elevator. Basically you step on it, step on the bar across the floor to disengage the brake, then pull on the rope hand-over-hand to pull yourself (and the platform) up. There are counterweights to make the job easier. On the way down you simply step on the brake lever and you glide down.
The counterweights are calibrated to be a little less weight than the operator. Obviously people who weigh significantly different than the operator can't use the manlift very well. The manlifts at Inglis are immobile, fortunately.
|Grain elevator manlift|
The balloon annex is filled with a photo gallery and a little movie viewing area. It is all very nicely done. When I visited, they had a display called "Echoes From The Dust: The Disappearing Prairie Grain Elevator".
Most if not all were by Tim Van Horn, who has a great collection of grain elevator photos on Flickr.
The Reliance Elevator
One of the Reliance elevators is also open to the public.
Here's the elevator's "leg" with the door open to show the individual cups that bring the grain to the top for distribution into the bins. The selector wheel is visible at the top.
|Grain elevator leg|
Here's a look up the manlift "shaft". It's not really a shaft at all and the manlifts are pretty crude as far as person-elevators go.
This is the driveway in the Reliance elevator, showing the grating in the floor where the grain was dumped.
The Reliance Office
Every elevator had some kind of office, either attached or nearby, where the elevator agent worked. The agent was responsible for the elevator and worked from here when he wasn't in the elevator itself.
The engine that drove the elevator's leg were generally located in the office building, to reduce the risk of fire from the engine. I'm guessing the tin on the walls was to help reduce the fire risk as well. I've seen tin on other elevator office walls as well.
Signs and DetailsHere are a few signs in and on the Inglis grain elevators. I've seen some of these at other elevators, especially the second "no smoking" sign.
|I love the Ukrainian text|
|Always make your nightly inspection before closing|
|A very common sign on grain elevators|