Re: How to unload coal 1945
--- In STMFC@..., "Steve Sandifer" <steve.sandifer@...> wrote:
Not obvious from the photo is these sheds were normally divided into separate bins with bulkheads inside midway between the doors. This shed had four doors, so as many as four different grades of coal could be stored. I did a little idle math, and from the dimensions given, each bin could hold about 1500 cu.ft. or about 40 tons level full. This jibes well with a story I've read by a man who as a kid in North Dakota was paid to unload coal as an after school job. In his town the shed had been sized for 30 tons o0f coal, and his comment was that to fit a 40 ton boxcar load the coal had to be pushed up into the rafters, which was a pain to do. That also means that unless two or more bins were the same size coal, all the coal in the car had to be moved down to the door of the proper bin, either bu moving the car as it emptied, or in the case of a boxcar, with a wheelbarrow.
Labor was cheap before WWII. I seem to recall from the story he and his brother were paid a dime a ton, so unloading a 40 ton boxcar earned them $4. However, they had to get it done within two days or THEY had to pay the demurrage, which was 1$ per day. He said they liked when a car came in just before the weekend, as Saturday and Sunday were free.