I love old barns, but so many of them are falling down. It's sad. Every farm had one or two silos. One of the types of silo that was commonly built in the 1920s and 1930s was made of glazed tile.
The whole point of this type of silo was/is to contain corn or grain in a semi-fermented state. The round shape prevents air pockets from being trapped in corners, and a number of different materials have been used to build them. Once the silo is filled, the contents begin to ferment and use up the remaining air. The silage can then be maintained at the same state, ready to feed to livestock.
Maybe I'll start a series on types of silos. In any case, the glazed tile ones are very attractive.
The tiles are what's called salt glazed. Salt is placed in the kiln during firing, and the salt vapor reacts with the silicone in the clay. This creates the sheen and the rich brown colors. The hard glaze makes the walls impervious to air and moisture. The blocks were generally hollow allowing them to expand and contract with temperature changes.
I thought I was going to show you a picture of a farm in good condition with two beautiful tile silos, but I can't find it, so perhaps some time in the future.
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