I shot this image in northwestern Ohio in early August. The juxtaposition of airy clouds and expansive sky versus the grain elevators’ cold concrete and steel produced a wondrous industrial sensation I felt a black-and-white filter did better justice. Nikon D5500. Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm prime lens (f/1.8G). ISO 320. f/11. 1/500.
The Andersons Grain Group was founded in 1947. The firm’s grain elevators and retail store, featuring everything from lawn and garden items to fine imported foods, were fixtures of my childhood. I remember driving by both as a passenger in my mom’s 1957 AMC Ambassador on numerous occasions, running errands for bread, milk, home goods and the like.
The towers shown here originated, in part, in the 1940s. Nine truck bays were built to help provide rapid turnaround. Rail transfer to ship loading services were soon introduced, while “The Big Pour” ensured additional elevators and bays were added to the mix. Following the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the ’50s, the group added the first US deep-water grain-loading facility on the Great Lakes, and the rest is history, with the firm now regularly posting annual earnings in excess of $5 billion.