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Grain Elevators/Hoarding and Speculation

The modern grain trade developed because of technological innovations such as mechanical grain elevators and agricultural commodity exchanges that were developed in the 19th century by U.S. grain traders. This entry reviews the development of grain elevators and the role of speculation and hoarding in modern grain trade.

Grain Elevators

Grain elevators are large warehouses or warehouse complexes where grains are stored, conditioned, and distributed. The facilities are named for the mechanical elevators that lift grain in buckets and into storage silos. Grain elevators were first developed at the key Great Lake port of Buffalo in the 1840s and soon after spread to Chicago to handle the millions of bushels of grain transported by rail from the newly settled Midwest farms. Chicago excelled at building the largest ...

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