funnels

Dust Funnels

Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.

These Things Fall

Looking across a skyway at the dust-collecting funnels, one of the few pieces of equipment that haven’t been completely decimated by time and the elements.

Dust Collectors

The skyway’s steel substructure collapsed slightly, crushing part of the dust collectors.

King- Dust Funnels

Let’s play a game called “FIND THE PIGEON”! There is one bird in this photo of dust collectors atop the King Elevator train shed.

Hopper Stopper

Powdered coal would sit in these hoppers before they get mixed with water to make a slurry. Then the mixture is injected into the firebox and ignited to make a coal-powered flamethrower capable of boiling water very quickly.

Glory Hole Mill Creek

A shallow creek traces Illinois Gulch toward the Chain O’ Mines mill. Ball mills are laid out in the sun.

Geometric Fantasy

The coal crusher (above) and the conveyor (left) to bring the powdered coal to furnace hoppers (right).

North Face

Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.

Dust Collectors in Color

Sunset through a stained window in the headhouse made the floor feel like a heavy industrial Disney movie.

Grainy Funnels

Giant ingredient hoppers stand on a concrete floor covered in peeled paint.

Many Windowed Building

Between two brick buildings is a metal one with many windows set into it. Having been in many mills of similar design, I conjecture that this was the milling building, where machines ground the corn before it was boiled.

Torched Feeds

Cauterized wounds on the factory floor, where the middle of the newer mill opens up to allow massive equipment. Now the pipes are cut and the equipment is gone.

The Danger of Looking Up

Looking up from the train shed. The building was consistently crumbling and I wish I had worn a hard hat in this area.

Looking Out A Window at the Starch Works

The layout and design of the buildings reminded me strongly of a brewery or distillery. To the right you can see some of the retrofits by the first lumber company to buy the buildings, in the 1970s.

Silk Spools

There were bins with hundreds of spools in them in the basement.

Cone Room

The scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.