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

Dennis Storzek

On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 12:27 PM, Mont Switzer wrote:
I wonder if some of the "lake coal" was used to make charcoal.  Lots of that moved (and probably still does) from MN in paper bags for consumer use in small patio grills.
Do you by chance mean 'briquettes'? Charcoal is carbonized wood, not coal. I can't even begin to imagine the taste of prime steaks grilled over... soft coal. Yuck!

As to coal briquettes, yes, C. Reiss or somebody had a briquette plant in the twin ports. All the trans loading to get the coal from mine to port, on the boat and off the boat again made a lot of fines, and this was a way to reclaim those fines.

Interesting side story, the first time I saw the Laona & Northern steam train as a kid, the tender had a full load of what looked for all the world like barbecue charcoal. The give-away was the size, coal briquettes are about 2-1/2 inches square, at least these were.

Dennis Storzek 

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