Re: [Espee] The Slow Death Of A Boxcar
BRIAN PAUL EHNI
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From: <Espee@groups.io> on behalf of "Doug Debs via Groups.Io" <dougdebs2472@...>
Its sugar cane.
The second photo shows a 4-mule team hitched to an empty wagon, used to haul sugar cane from the field to the portable jib crane loading station.
"Bagasse (/bəˈɡæs/ bə-GAS) is the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice. It is dry pulpy residue left after the extraction of juice from sugar cane. Bagasse is used as a biofuel and in the manufacture of pulp and building materials."
Bagasse, on the other hand, was generated at the sugar mill. In this era, the mill boilers used all or almost all of the bagasse as fuel. Burning bagasse doesn't generate much heat (low BTUs per lb, especially if still wet), but it was what they had in abundance at no cost... except for the semi-unskilled labor needed to dry the bagasse, move it to the furnace firing floor, fire the boilers, and remove the ash afterwards. But labor was very cheap in that era. Special chain-grate stokers were developed to handle the large quantities of low-BTU bagasse used by sugar mill boilers.
Bagasse looks looks different than cane:
- Doug Debs
From: BRIAN PAUL EHNI <bpehni@...>
Cane or bagesse?
From: <Espee@groups.io> on behalf of Bob Chaparro <chiefbobbb@...>
This almost certainly was the last "assigned service" for T&NO 35247. Its glory days were long gone. The photos are from the Library of Congress.
Loading sugarcane into boxcars near Delcambre, Louisiana, 1938: