Beautifully engraved Company Check from the Husted Milling Company Grain & Mill Feed dated 1912. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of a factory. This item is
over 94 years old.
Fire destroyed a number of the early wooden elevators in Buffalo. Newspapers related the story when the National and Globe Elevator on the Evans Ship Canal burned to the ground on October of 1963. The National and Globe had been built one hundred years earlier and was abandoned at the time it burned.
After the 1890s, construction with steel and reinforced concrete reduced the problem of fire, except in the grain itself. Spontaneous combustion of grain caused a slow, smoldering fire deep in the interior of a bin. Using water to douse the fire would spoil the unburned grain, so other methods were developed to deal with this problem. The bin may be "turned over;" that is, the grain run out to another bin to cool it off or dry ice can be placed on top. This generated heavy carbon dioxide gas that sank into the grain and smothered the fire below.
The Husted Mill and Elevator exploded in 1913. Grain dust is an extremely volatile substance that can explode without warning. One such explosion occurred in 1913 at the Husted Mill and Elevator. The explosion killed 33 people and injured 80 others. Exact causes of fires and explosions were very difficult to determine. Sparks from electrical equipment were blamed, so was static electricity built up on moving belts. Overheating or badly aligned machinery caused fires and there was always the problem of careless smoking.
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