Thursday, April 2, 2009

Grain elevators in Gdansk, Poland

On page 110, I speak of Gdansk's Speicherinsel (Storage Container Island), which was destroyed in World War II. Prior to that, Gdansk/Danzig had been a major grain port for hundreds of years. One incredible photograph from this website shows a row of seven-story-tall, wood-timbered granaries, two of which have had modern elevating mechanisms attached to them. In each case, these granaries have been outfitted with an elevating leg and a canal spout, which suggests these buildings were both transshipping and storage warehouses. The elevating leg in both cases is not housed in any structure or "marine tower," as would be common in other modern transshipping and storage warehouses, but stands exposed. Evidently it could be extended out over and down into an incoming-ship.

Note the elevator at the far left: it too has both an exposed elevating leg and a canal spout, but its mainhouse appears to be built out of brick, not wood, and it would seem to have been built much later than the other buildings along the dock. It is possible that the other, older granaries received their new equipment when this brick grain elevator was built. Perhaps in the 1910s?

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