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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Atlanta in Logan County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Scale House #2

The J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum

 
 
Scale House #2 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 28, 2020
1. Scale House #2 Marker
Inscription.  What Did a Farmer Do at the Scale House?

If you were a farmer delivering a load of grain here at my elevator, the scale house would be the first stop upon your arrival. This is where I would weigh your wagon with its load of grain so I could determine its gross weight (that's the weight of both your wagon and the grain in it). Then I would use a grain probe to get samples of your grain to test and rate its quality. I'd look for two things: the size/quality of your grain and the amount of moisture in your grain. I wanted to know about moisture because I paid for your grain by its weight and I wasn't about to pay you for water!

Grain Probe

A grain probe was used to obtain samples of a farmer's grain. At least one, but sometimes several samples were collected, put through a sieve, and then weighed by the elevator operator to determine the quality of the grain.

Sieve

The elevator operator collected samples of the farmer's grain and put them through a sieve so that the corn could be weighed and other particles such as dirt and dust would not be included in the weight of the
Scale House #2 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 28, 2020
2. Scale House #2 Marker
Mounted on the scale house, which is part of the J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum outdoor exhibit
sample.

As farmers waited to have their wagons of grain weighed, they often gathered inside the Scale House around the pot-bellied stove. Without email, cell phones, or other means of instant communication, this wait gave them time to share experiences and catch up on the local news.

Which of the following instruments found here at the Scale House do you think I used to determine the amount of moisture in your grain?

(three different flaps:)

Sieve

(under this flap:)

Sorry, I didn't use this to test the moisture content of your grain. I used a sieve to remove dirt and other non-grain particles from the sample of your grain, so these would not be included when I weighed your grain.

Alcohol Burner

(under this flap:)

That's right. I would put a small amount of your grain in a sealed container that had a tube extending out of the top of it that connected to a measuring tube to one side. I'd use the alcohol burner to heat your sample. This caused any moisture in your grain to rise up through the tube in the form of steam, which would then collect in the attached tube where I could measure it. The more moisture in your grain, the less I would pay you for it.

Wooden Scale

(under this flap:)

This wooden platform
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is where you would park your wagon. It is actually a large scale that I'd use to weigh your wagon and the grain in it. I wouldn't use this to test for moisture in your grain.
 
Erected by J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 40° 15.646′ N, 89° 14.024′ W. Marker is in Atlanta, Illinois, in Logan County. Marker can be reached from 1st Street south of SW Race Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 199-293 SW 2nd St, Atlanta IL 61723, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Engine House #5 (a few steps from this marker); Welcome #1 (a few steps from this marker); The J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum (a few steps from this marker); Box Car #6 (a few steps from this marker); J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator (within shouting distance of this marker); Atlanta Public Library-Museum (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bushnell Grist Mill (about 400 feet away); Library Clock Tower (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Atlanta.
 
More about this marker. This is the second of six markers that are part of the self-guided tour at the J.H. Hawes Elevator Museum. (#3 and #4 are indoors)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 22, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 34 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 22, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Mar. 8, 2021