Re: 1950 Tonnage - Coal from PA

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

At 12:50 PM 8/18/05, Tim O'C wrote:

> Why was so little anthracite used in the midwest, compared
to NY/NJ/PA?
It is easy to forget that Illinois was a large coal producer (is it still?), and at one time there were a fairly large number of producing coal mines in Iowa (a mine on Iowa family land lasted into about 1960). One would presume that the cost of the local product would probably shut out another shipped from 1000 miles away. I do know that in our Iowa and Chicago family homes, coal disappeared like snow in the mid-day sun as a heating fuel about 1940-41, to be replaced in each instance by oil- which at that point must have become economically competitive.

Is/was anthracite ever shipped to the Midwest? I presume that it must have been on special occasions. Wasn't there a thread on this list several years ago about photos that showed D&H hoppers (or similar) full of anthracite in Waukegan or another of the Lake Michigan cities, the fuel required to fire a power plant that was under some sort of smoke abatement ordnance?

For a number of years until at least 2000, we also would buy small amounts of bulk anthracite coal in rural northwest Iowa to burn in my brother's steam launch (when more photogenic smoke was desired than could be ordinarily produced by the usual white oak firewood). Although we drew from a big pile, I never knew whether it was delivered by truck or hopper (the yard had an active adjacent siding- now gone, along with the railroad)

For the seven years that I lived in the New England far north, I heated the house primarily with anthracite coal, trucked up from PA. Every year, I would burn seven tons, all hand fired (by me) once a day in the morning. It is actually pretty wonderful stuff. Clean, a LOT of heat, relatively little ash, but hard as heck to get going from a cold start.


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