Down by the Feed Mill: The Past and Present of America’s Feed Mills and Grain Elevators

David Hanks. Schiffer, $34.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7643-5293-5
Hanks’s photographic survey of feed mills in America is both a beautiful nostalgic record and an informative guide to how feed mills used to (and still do) function and play a role in the American agricultural economy. As architecture, feed mills are often the tallest structure in town, and they’re hyper-local in construction. Many of the mills here are clearly one of a kind, and all are aesthetically pleasing, not necessarily by design. As Hanks points out, the walls of these structures are often thin, with only basic protection from weather required, whereas the floors are immensely thick, due to the practical requirement of holding up an assortment of milling equipment. Along with 300 photographs of the mills’ exteriors and interiors, Hanks includes comprehensive explanations of the machinery housed within each of the structures, including pelletizers, seed dividers, and distributor chutes. The book is as much a document of the fascinating range of agricultural machinery within the mills as an homage to the beauty of their peeling exteriors. B&w photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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