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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Glazed Tile Silo

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.

glazed tile silo

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.

glazed tile silo

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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Lin said...

I love old barns and old farmhouses. I always wonder what tales those walls could tell and who lived in them.

rainfield61 said...

You certainly provide some good information about the silo.

Thanks for sharing.

vanilla said...

There is a disused old tile silo very near us. JoAnn says she would like to "renovate" it for human habitation. Well, everyone has ideas! Oh, wait. Clarification. She merely wants it as a center piece with the house surrounding or abutting it.

Sandra Rose Hughes said...

How beautiful! Salt glazed pottery is wonderful because the patterns are so random. I have never seen a silo made from it before.

Ann said...

I've always love the looks of old barns and silos.

Sharkbytes said...

Well, everyone! It sounds like I should do some more barn/farm posts!

Secondary Roads said...

those glazed tile silos are distinctive and continue to look good. I've seen silos with walls of corrugated asbestos, which was not a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Love those tile. Actually, looking to purchase some for the bottom of my corn crib gazebo. From WI

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