Duluth’s Imperial Flour Mill was one of the most sophisticated flour mills when it was first built in 1889. Each floor was designed to handle a different portion of the grain-milling process, starting on the top floor. By the time the grain made it to the first floor, it had become flour, ready for packaging in sacks or barrels and then sent out via train or cargo ship. (Photos ca. 1990.) Read Zenith City’s history of Duluth’s Imperial Mill here.
The Boiler Room. These huge coal-fired boilers helped create the steam that powered the entire facility. (Image: Duluth Public Library)
The Imperial Mills bolting machinery, which separated the flour from the meal in a process called “dressing the flour.” (Image: Duluth Public Library)
The Imperial Mill‘s grinding floor, which crushed the grain into fine powder. (Image: Duluth Public Library)
The Imperial Mill‘s spouting system, essentially a series of pipelines that carried granule and powder from floor to floor. (Image: Duluth Public Library)
The Imperial Mill’s packing floor, where flour was packaged into sacks or barrels. (Image: Duluth Public Library)
The Imperial Mill’s warehouse, looking rather empty on the day this photo was made. (Image:Duluth Public Library)