This is something that I have wanted to write for sometime but I just have never had much information to go on other than the memories I have of my grandfather Henry Hahn and my uncle Herman Hahn and the times that I accompanied them when they went shelling corn.
These days when corn is harvested (feed or seed corn—sweet corn is harvested differently) it is done so by a combine, which cuts down the corn stalk, removes the husk and shells the corn (removing the kernels of corn from the cob) and then loaded into a grain wagon/truck with the cobs, husks and stalks ground up and expelled from the rear of the combine.
(At least that is what I think the process involves. If I am wrong, please let me know the correct procedure.)
On the other hand before combines were used to harvest corn, a corn picker was used to harvest the corn (they are still used to harvest sweet corn). These corn pickers were attached to the front of a tractor and then the ears of corn were picked and deposited in a wagon via a conveyor belt-like apparatus. Once the wagon was filled the corn would later be stored in a wooden crib—a barn-like structure—or a circular metal storage container until a later date when the corn would be shelled and taken to a grain elevator.
That was where my grandfather and uncle came in.