Joseph Dart

Father of the Grain Elevator: Dart


In 1842 JOSEPH DART, a Main Street retail merchant, constructed what came to be known as the first GRAIN ELEVATOR at the foot of Commercial Street on the Buffalo Creek. Dart’s invention consisted of a wooden structure that served as storage bins for the grain. Loading the grain into this structure was a steam-driven belt which had buckets attached to it. As the belt with the buckets was lowered into the hold of a ship, the buckets would scoop up the grain and hoist it up into the structure where it was dropped into tall bins. This is where the term “elevator” originated because this is exactly what the process did. It elevated the grain from the ship and stored it in bins until it was lowered for transshipment or for milling purposes.

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