Re: Hopper and gons, Monongah No 8 Mine, Fairmont Coal Company, WV 1907
Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
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Hi Ray and List Members,
Ray had some questions on this scene. To keep the context intact, I'll first repeat some of what I had written earlier, and then tackle Ray's questions as well as I can
Along with the freight cars, we get a spectacular view of a coke oven bank,
what is probably the mine tipple and sorting structures in the left background,
smokestacks for the mine power plant in the center, and ancillary mine buildings
on the left. Note the derelict mine cars at the bottom lst of the image
Ray asked: "would anyone happen to have a diagram of this (or similar) operation?"
Not right off-hand, no.
Ray also asked: "If the loading of the coke is from structure in the back, how was finished coke transported to the loading bin?"
Your assumptions around how this works are incorrect. Here is a rough overview...
Coal comes up from the underground mine at the minehead (obscured by the smoke in this image, but probably located behind the mine powerplant smokestacks). Most mines then simply sort, clean and ship this coal, but that appears to NOT be the case here. Instead the coal is deposited into the "structure in the back" - a loading bin. Some or all of this coal is then dropped from the bin into waiting larry cars - small hopper cars that deliver coal to the individual coke ovens. While no larry cars are visible, you can discern the tracks they run on, just behind the smoke plumes on top of the right-most set of coke ovens. The oven's are charged with coal from on top, the coal dropping directly from the larry cars into the oven thru a charging hole. Finished coke is drawn out of the individual coke ovens thru the arch-topped openings in the front. The coke is then loaded doused with water to quench it and is then loaded via wheelbarrow into the waiting (steel) hoppers. I think I can discern a wheelbarrow and worker above the second hopper. Note even in a b&w photo, you can tell it is coke due to the light color.
The (composite) gons on the left appear to be loaded with coal - note the much darker color. Probably the loading bin structure is designed to allow coal to be loaded into either the larry cars (to charge the coke ovens) and also to allow excess coal to be loaded into the gons. I think I can discern a chute on the loading bin that could be dropped and would be able to reach the middle track of the three tracks visible - this is where empty gons would have been positioned for coal loading
Hope that helps
appears the full output of the mine then