Re: seasonal coal traffic

Armand Premo

People would walk along the tracks with a cart and pick up coal that fell off the tenders or hoppers.Railmen were tolerant and rarely chased the pickers off railroad property.The pickers carried a burlap bag in their cars to store their find.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2015 5:07 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] seasonal coal traffic


---In STMFC@..., wrote :

Sack coal was delivered to houses which were in locations where an elevating coal dump truck could not feed the bin.  Coal was in canvas or leather sacks holding 100 lbs. and carried on a flat bed truck. The driver (no helpers during the WW II years)  carried each sack to where it was to be dumped, often through a basement window.  Twenty sacks to a ton.  The driver would also load the truck at the coal dealer's yard.

Must be regional differences in coal handling. In Chicago, many, many buildings on narrow lots had their coal bins located halfway up the gangway, where the the coal had to be brought in with a sack, but the coal didn't leave the yard that way... The first truck deliveries of the morning would be these sack jobs, the truck would dump a pile at the curb in front of the address. The coal dealers had labors (note for historical accuracy: mostly negro men) who would be given a sack, a scoop, and a list of addresses. How they got from location to location was their business. I do recall that the Chicago Surface Lines, the streetcar company was wise to the fact that no one would share a seat with someone who had been heaving coal all day; an old fare schedule shows that if a man wanted to carry a coal scoop in the streetcar, he had to pay a separate fare (possibly half fare, I forget exactly) for the scoop. After the trucks had spotted all these piles of coal for the labors, they then went to making deliveries they could service with a chute.

Sack coal was available pre-bagged for those who wanted to keep a sack on hand for occasional use.

Dennis Storzek

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