National Corn on the Cob Day

Corn in Illinois will not be ready for harvest for another month, but the opportunity to celebrate our corn heritage is too enticing. It’s a small contribution, and a little bit of a deviation from the theme but this image of excess corn stored outside of an elevator from McLean County Historical Society via the McLean County Museum of History is too good to not share.

Excess corn stored outside elevator. C. 1950. McLean County Historical Society via McLean County Museum of History. Teaching with Cultural Heritage.

A dune of corn kernel surrounds the concrete elevator as less than ideal but temporary storage. Advances in industrial agriculture in the 1950’s and 60’s occasionally created such an abundant harvest that the infrastructure for storing corn struggled to keep up.

Husking Corn By Hand. C. 1910.  McLean County Historical Society via McLean County Museum of History. Teaching with Cultural Heritage.

In the same way that communities in Illinois revolved around coal, corn also was a community-wide touchpoint that was generously documented by everyday people and journalists. For more on corn in Illinois visit the IDHH.

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