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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Giant Elevator: 1943

The Giant Elevator: 1943

March 1943. "The giant Santa Fe R.R. 10 million bushel grain elevator, Kansas." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano for the OWI. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Also makes a great tripod

I wonder if Jack was up on top of this when he took ? If the latitude and longitude from Anonymous Tipster are to be believed, it would be in about the right spot. (About the only other explanation I can think of for the angle in 14960 is that he climbed one of the yard's light towers.)

The Great Grain Elevator

My dad worked 50 years in the Santa Fe Elevator A in the Argentine rail yards. The elevator had many grain companies lease the facility during the years, with some of the companies as Burris Mills, Continential Grain & the final one was Cargill. My dad was the weighmaster and his floor was 3rd row of windows from the top. I spent many days up there with him looking out over Kansas City.

Out in the Yard

And this is how it looks today

Nothing lasts forever.

Latitude: 39.0862 Longitude: -94.68742


"This site is the former location of a large grain elevator located within the Argentine Yard Railroad facility. The elevator was demolished in 1996, the cement foundation covered by approximately 5 feet of rock ballast and overlaid by closely spaced railroad tracks."

It's Gone

This grain elevator is now gone. It was located in the middle of the Santa Fe Railway's large Argentine Yard in Kansas City, KS. When the Santa Fe's corporate successor decided to rebuild and enlarge the Argentine Yard, it was demolished to make room for a larger yard.


I wonder if this is the type of photo that they would have censored in the wartime Soviet Union because it represented almost unthinkable wealth and resources -- just like they censored the movie "The Grapes of Wrath" because of the suggestion that Americans who were wealthy enough to own a truck were still considered to be living in poverty.

Where is this?

Can anyone identify where this is? Grain elevators are hard to demolish, so it is probably still there.

And I thought

I could almost hear the opening bars of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning."

The "hobo"

That's a brakeman signaling the engineer. Used to be called "decorating" as they walked the tops of cars.

Here is my Ripple, here is my snout

Dig the crazy hobo on the boxcar doing I'm a Little Teapot.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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