Monday, August 15, 2016

More Corn Cribs

Screenshot
[A video of a two-row pull picker, four round steel grid cribs, and closeups of the type of elevator that was used for ear corn. Note the old Allis-Chalmers tractor as the "auger tractor." My grandfather added an electric motor and removed every other blade to use this type of elevator to put hay and straw bales up into the now.]

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While driving on US highways where I could get close enough to see the gaps between the boards, I verified that a rectangular barn with a square copula on top was probably a corn crib. These are the two pictures I used in Corn Pickers and Cribs. And I have spotted corn cribs made with concrete blocks.

Once I learned what to look for, I was shocked as to how many corn cribs are still left and how easy they are to spot from the interstate. When I drove south on I-57 towards Champaign, IL, I saw several of them. Some of them were all by themselves out in the middle of a field. So one time when I was coming back north on I-57 with a daughter, I had her drive so that I could set in the back seat and take pictures with my telephoto lens. (The telephoto is a 55-200mm zoom, so I may have been taking the pictures more at 55 than 200 because it is hard to frame a picture at highway speeds.)

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The first one north of Champaign that I spotted. And using the magic of digital zooming (cropping), we have:


Unless noted, the remaining pictures are cropped views.

Some are rather "rustic." Behind the tree on the left may be an old silo. If so, it is quite old because that is short for a silo.
This one is the original framing. It illustrates why I gave up on using the telephoto length at highway speeds. Also, the camera has plenty of resolution so that cropping is fine for web pictures.
I didn't crop this one to illustrate that some of the cribs are out in the middle of the fields. That is, they are not part of the "homestead" set of buildings. You can also see a wind farm in the right background.
The tracks in the foreground are the former Illinois Central mainline. They are now owned by Canadian National.
In this second angle on that crib, I included all of the outbuildings.

I took a picture of the sign for Exit 250. Looking at a map, all of these cribs are between Champagne and Rantoul, IL.



At 70 mph I didn't notice the electric pole in the way or I would have taken a second angle.
Whoops, I tried 200mm again. This is full frame.

Then I passed milepost 256.
Birds Eye View
While looking on a satellite map south of Milepost 256, I did not find the above crib, but I did find this one. I think it is a different one because it does not have the tanks and appears to be in better shape. I would not be able to see the elevator from I-57. A Birds Eye View is typically around a decade old. But a Google Satellite photo also shows the elevator. Those images tend to be around one to two years old.
This is full frame. This crib is bigger than most corn cribs that I have seen. Zooming in, you can clearly see gaps between the boards.


When I took the picture on the left, I noticed that it was obscured by a berm, so I looked back and I was able to get a clear view. This one also stood by itself in the middle of the fields.

Next I took a picture of an Exit 261 sign.
I left this one full frame because the clouds turning orange due to sunset and the (accidental at 70 mph) framing by the trees appeals to me. Note the elevator. That would be the reason these buildings have a cupola.

Then I took a picture of a "Buckley Roberts 1 Mile" sign.
I was taking pictures of grain elevators also during this trip. Because of the cupola, I noticed there was a crib on the right side of the picture.



Cropped just a little horizontally, but removed a lot vertically. Another large crib. In fact, the building with the cupola is so large, I wonder if it is a crib. If so, it must have stored something in addition to corn cobs. Note the extended peak on the barn at the right. That means that barn is old and originally stored loose hay.


Cropped just vertically. The farm has modern grain bins and metal sheds, but they still kept their corn crib. If that is a corn crib, it is wide.


Isolated except for an adjoining tool shed.

Isolated.

See the "Update:" to concrete block corn cribs for the next picture I took on the trip.

Orange clouds caused by a setting sun means it is getting darker. Less light means the shutter speed gets slower. A slow shutter speed means a blurry picture at 70 mph. But you can still tell it is a corn crib.
I skipped some pictures because they were blurry and common looking. But this one was almost not blurry and rather distinctive with the size of the cupola and the red and white paint.

Then I put the camera away because it was getting too dark. Cranking up the ISO was going to be a loosing battle.


When heading southbound, more than once I would notice that you can see four cribs at the same time. I finally noted a milemarker and remembered to look for them so that I would see them in time to safely pull over on the shoulder and take a picture. Obviously, this picture is heavily cropped in the vertical direction.

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Satellite images or streetviews for these cribs are: far east, near east, near west, and far west.

The crib we saw above with the elevator seems to always have the elevator. And I notice the door is partially opened the same amount. So it seems they may have abandoned the elevator along with the crib. As you could see in the above photo, this is an isolated crib.
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On a later southbound trip, this was a grab shot with the 18-55mm lens that I normally keep on the camera, so this picture is at camera resolution. This was taken about 1.5 years after the above two pictures were taken and in the springtime. Given the door still has not moved, I now conclude that an elevator does not indicate a crib is being used. It just means the urban scrap steel thieves have not branched out to the rural areas.
This is the reason I had the camera out of the case and ready to take a shot. I've seen this elevator several times, but I would drive past it long before I could get the camera out of its case. This elevator is also always there.

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The 2016 Will County Threshermen's Show had this crib set up as part of their demonstration of a shelling machine.
Combines Harvesters Threshers posted
Who's still using their corn crib?
A.j. Grooms Hoping to get back to using one soon
John Conn We still use the double wooden cribs every year
Tim Kasten posted


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