Perot Malting - Table of Contents ........... Grain Elevators - Table of Contents

2013 photos
History - Perot Malting Elevator

100 Childs Street in the First Ward in Buffalo, NY
Part of Silo City
See also: HABS (online April 2013) The main source of information on this elevator

South elevation
Left (west):
elevator ... Right (east; orange brick): malt house

North elevation, at the Buffalo River dock.
Left: Perot elevator annex ... Center: overhead conveyor ... Right: American Elevator, including two marine legs.

Photo source: 1994, by Jet Lowe, found on HABS (online March 2013)

On the Buffalo River as seen from the Ohio Street Lift Bridge
Left: Standard Elevator ..... Center: Edward M. Cotter fireboat ..... Right: Perot Malting Co.

Built 1907.
Designer James Stewart & Co.
Builder James Stewart & Co.
James Stewart & Co. also built the adjoining American Elevator the previous year and may have used the same slip forms in construction. The bins in both elevators are nearly the same size
Built 1933 .
Designer H. W. Wait,
Builder Monarch Engineering.
Mainhouse bins (silos):
3 rows of 3 bins.
24' in inner diameter.
9" thick.
4 interspace bins in 2 rows of 2 bins
Bins are built on rectangular concrete subpiers, capped by a concrete floor slab.
2 concrete lower stories above which the structure is of structural steel. Construction resembles that of the adjoining American Elevator.
2 sets of rectangular steel bins, measuring 10' x 8', are contained within the workhouse, each group consisting of two rows of 3 bins
Original owner:
Perot Malting Co. Dissolved in 1963.
1984 owner:
Genesee Brewing Co. through its subsidiary Fred Koch Malting Company
The second example of reinforced concrete elevator construction in Buffalo. The first was the adjoining American Elevator, both designed and built by James Stewart & Co.


The Perot Elevator and Malting Complex has the most unusual history of any of the city's large grain elevators. While the elevator itself has only occupied the river site since 1907, the history of the founding company dates back to seventeenth-century colonial Philadelphia. Perot Malting originated when Anthony Morris II emigrated to Philadelphia in the 1680s and began a highly successful malting and brewing business in the city's "Northern Liberties" region..  Morris' company began in 1687, and, despite moving from Philadelphia to Buffalo, remained under family control until 1963.

Perot's decision to move into the Buffalo malting market was not without risk. Prior to 1890, Buffalo was the single largest malting center in the United States ...  The presence of American Malting should have been a deterrent since the giant, powerful trust had absolute monopoly as its goal. Competitors were not welcomed, especially ones as small as Perot. For its part, Perot Malting not only invaded Buffalo, but also constructed its malt house directly next to American Malting only two years after the larger facility had been erected.

It was not until 1914, seven years after Perot built its malt house and elevator, that the American Malting trust began to encounter restrictions on its dominance through general federal regulations of trusts. Only in 1919 did the trust finally begin to dissolve under assaults from stockholders' lawsuits. Therefore, for nearly 12 years, Perot operated directly alongside its biggest national competitor apparently without harm.

In the interval between Perot's Buffalo founding in 1907 and American Malting's final dissolution in 1922, the smaller malt house received all of its barley, the raw material from which malt is derived,via railroad. The Perot Elevator had been constructed without any marine legs despite the malting company's desirable riverside location. In1922 the American Malting Elevator was sold to American Elevator & Warehouse (later American Elevator and Grain Co.). On July 1, 1922, an agreement was struck between Perot and American for the latter elevator to handle water-borne shipments for Perot.

In 1933 a successor agreement between Perot and American established that part of Perot's land would be used to erect a movable marine tower plus a 100' dock. These would be built by Perot but used by American Malting. Perot's barley shipments were then conveyed to Perot from American via an overhead belting system.

Both American and Perot proceeded with these arrangements during the Prohibition era despite the curtailment of their prime market, the brewing of lager beers. Perot accommodated the restrictions by converting the elevator to general public grain storage and restricting malt production to legal malt used for medical purposes and for the only legitimate alcohol product, "near beer."

After repeal of prohibition laws in 1933, the malt house was doubled in capacity, as was the grain elevator capacity which was increased to1million bushels. During World War II, the U.S. government absorbed 70 percent of Perot's production to make industrial alcohol and beer for troops based in Europe.

Perot Malting continued as Buffalo's largest malt house until 1962 when the facility was sold.

- HABS (online July 2018)

Malted Barley Production

Barley is shipped by railcar or truck to malting facilities.

A screw conveyor or bucket elevator typically transports barley to storage silos or to the cleaning and sizing operations. The barley is cleaned and separated by size (using screens) and is then transferred to a malthouse where it is rinsed in steeping tanks (steeped) and is allowed to germinate.

Following steeping and germination, “green” malt is dried, typically in an indirect-, natural gas-fired malt kiln [for example, in the Perot Malthouse kilns ]. Malt kilns typically include multiple levels, called beds or layers. For a two-level kiln, green malt, with a moisture content of about 45 percent, enters the upper deck of the kiln and is dried, over a 24-hour period, to between 15 and 20 percent. The barley is then transferred to the lower deck of the kiln, where it is dried to about 4 percent over a second 24-hour period.

Some facilities burn sulfur in a sulfur stove and exhaust the stove into the kiln at selected times during the kiln cycle. The sulfur dioxide serves as a fungicide, bactericide, and preservative.

Malted barley is then transferred by screw conveyor to a storage elevator until it is shipped.

- EPA (online March 2013)

Special thanks to Silo City owner Rick Smith for his cooperation, and to Silo City steward "Swannie Jim" Watkins for his assistance. PHOTO

Photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
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