Images of Wooden Square-Bin Grain Elevators through history and across the continent. (Diagnostics are in a separate webpage.)
Grain Elevators are ubiquitous buildings, yet there is little popular understanding of them and their origins.
The basic arrangement of a grain elevator fits into two different "Type Families" based on whether it is a discrete building ("Self-Contained"), or a semi-dispersed cluster of structures (Annex).
Within those classifications, there are several distinctive types based on grain bin design and arrangment. Construction material and assembly then determine different subtypes or material variants.
An index to this and related typologies spells out the interrelationships concisely (without the clutter of images and descriptive text). Related and similar building and structure types are in a sibling websection.
"Interior Elevator Company," Minnestota, USA. Photo ca.1900.
Though lacking a clear headhouse, this appears to be a massive, long, deep, wooden Vertical Square-Bin grain elevator (and judging by its size, probably a terminal elevator). The line of boxcars (they have doors, so they're not hooper cars) on the adjacent railroad track illustrates the scale.
The more typical-looking grain elevator module at the far, right, end appears to be an integral part of this wooden building. I presume that its bookend-like headhouse serves all of the huge building, though I can't imagine how - though the gabled roof over the bins to the left of the headhouse is huge, and could hide many large conveyors.
The bumps on the roof appear to be dormer windows, apparetly to allow some light into the attic (which is presumably also a headhouse). The vertical lines running down the railside elevation appear to be downspouts, and probably are not reliable for indicating any interior divisions.
A separate, and probably competeing, grain elevator is in the distant right. Its painted sign appears to be longer, and thus different, from this elevator.
All but the tall concrete bin on the left appear to be gone by the end of the 20th century. The bin is separately known as the Peavey-Haglin Experimental Concrete "Grain Elevator" in Minnesota. The elevator leg runing up its right side may connect with the wooden bins, but is probably isolated - this concrete bin was built only to test the concept, and was never used again. Built 1899-1900, it was the first circular concrete elevator in the nation and possibly the world, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has its own web page (where this image was borrowed from) and an NRHP entry at the Minnesota Historical Society web site.