Re: Photo: Loading Coal Into Boxcars? (1914)


Regarding the "widget" - 

The Standard Coal Company operated in Spring Canyon northwest of Helper. The company town there was named Standardville, an experiment in standardized and sanitary construction with all buildings built to the same concrete and ceramic block design.

The coal tipple likewise being thoroughly groundbreaking was equipped with several options for loading: standard chutes for gondolas and open hopper, door chutes for boxcars, and a massive mechanical contraption called the Ottumwa Boxcar Loader. Ottumwa produced more typical conveyor belts for loading cars, but this device was much more elaborate. The boxcars were spotted on a rocker, which would lift them up on one end so that coal could be poured inside. Then appropriate bulkheads were placed and the car was flipped on end to the other side to be filled. The widget is the coupler post that locked onto the car and held it in place while it went on its seesaw ride.

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