Coal for home heating?


water.kresse@...
 

Was there a preferred type of coal desired for home heating . . . especially after automatic stokers became popular in th mid-30s?



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim O'Connor" <timboconnor@comcast.net>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, July 9, 2009 11:31:26 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Coal car loading on "home" roads...


There are, however, a noticeable percentage of PRR and B&O hoppers on my two pet railroads. Isn't it possible, or even probable, that although the C&O and N&W had large fleets of hoppers such a great percentage of those fleets were in essentially "captive" service they never made it offline?
Marty McGuirk

Marty, the hoppers probably spent 80-90% of their time on home rails.
I think this has already been pointed out. But that doesn't mean the
N&W and C&O cars were "uncommon" on other railroads. I've seen too
many photos of them offline. A great deal of coal moved by the RDG,
ERIE, DL&W, and CNJ also went to barges -- at Port Reading, NJ. But
that is power plant coal, not home heating coal.

Tim O'Connor


Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

Al Kresse:
Was there a preferred type of coal desired for home heating . . . especially after automatic stokers became popular in th mid-30s?
In northeastern PA it was anthracite of course. My father & grandfather had a Hudson Coal dealership and sold nut, pea, rice and buckwheat sizes. Our trucks picked up loads at the Marvine breaker near Scranton several times a week during heating season. I went along a few times and remember the hoppers with their coal loads sprayed blue. "Blue Coal", so named for its clean burning (blue flame) properties. There was nothing clean about it when you were in a customer's coal bin, moving coal pouring from the working end of a coal chute.

Tom Madden


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

I heated my home in northern Vermont in the '80s with hand-bombed anthracite. Very hot, and also relatively clean; and when banked, the fire could last for up to 48 hrs. without touching. Good stuff.

Denny


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

I heated my home in northern Vermont in the '80s with hand-bombed anthracite. Very hot, and also relatively clean; and when banked, the fire could last for up to 48 hrs. without touching. Good stuff.
Ah yes, sir, but in what sort of hopper car was it delivered? Anxious minds want to know <g>.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

Denny,

            I might be doing the same in southern VT this next winter.
Coal comes by hopper to a local dealer, who then drops it off in
a vintage Mack dump truck. Like being in the 50's again. Point
of interest; never seen the same roadname on the hopper in
over 6 months.  Now let the speculation begin.

Fred Freitas

 



________________________________
From: Denny Anspach <danspach@macnexus.org>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, July 9, 2009 5:57:14 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?





I heated my home in northern Vermont in the '80s with hand-bombed
anthracite. Very hot, and also relatively clean; and when banked, the
fire could last for up to 48 hrs. without touching. Good stuff.

Denny


mhts_switzerm@...
 

Denny's comment took me back to my childhood in the 1950's and 1960's.  We heated our huge house with  "soft" coal.  There was a large furnace that shared the basement with my model railroad.  I recall Dad banking the furnace every night and again before going to work each morning.  He also carried out the ashes and clinkers in 5 gallon buckets.  He kept the buckets of clinkers readily available for added traction on ice and snow.
 
The coal came from the local elevator and was deliveered from a truck with a special steel bed that would raise like a dump truck, but the rear opening was the size of the coal door in the side of the house.  The coal was dumped down a schute carried on the truck through the coal door into the terrifying confines of the coal room in the basement.
 
Mom always complained about coal dust after a delivery was made, but I don't recall any problem with the model railroad.
 
And of ocurse the small easten Indiana town in which this all happened was on the NYC Indianapolis to Springfield, OH line.  The coal was delivered to the local elevator in L&N 2 bay steel hoppers.  A local guy was paid $50.00 to unload one with the help of an elevator.  he was black head to foot when he finished.

--- On Thu, 7/9/09, Denny Anspach <danspach@macnexus.org> wrote:


From: Denny Anspach <danspach@macnexus.org>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Date: Thursday, July 9, 2009, 5:57 PM








I heated my home in northern Vermont in the '80s with hand-bombed
anthracite. Very hot, and also relatively clean; and when banked, the
fire could last for up to 48 hrs. without touching. Good stuff.

Denny


















[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


water.kresse@...
 

Nobody has mentioned "stokers" for their furnaces.  The 1935 "Stoker Coal, C&O Lines" booklet I was referencing showed home furnaces with a box on the side of of the furnace that automatically feed the furnace . . . . and with the entire family playing in the basement around the clean furnace. 



My first memory of moving into a "new" house in the Chicago western subs in 1946 or 47 was my Dad pulling out the cast iron coal furnace so the contractor would come in and install a new gas furnace and proper ducting.  It took years to get the coal out of the coal room next to the driveway.  Eventually, my Dad turned it into a room to store the storm windors/screen and some lumber.  It ever amazed me how my Mom could figure out that I had sneaked under the locked 3/4 door into the work shop and lumber storage rooms for materials for one of my many projects.



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----
From: "mhts switzerm" <mhts_switzerm@yahoo.com>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 7:43:03 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?


Denny's comment took me back to my childhood in the 1950's and 1960's.  We heated our huge house with  "soft" coal.  There was a large furnace that shared the basement with my model railroad.  I recall Dad banking the furnace every night and again before going to work each morning.  He also carried out the ashes and clinkers in 5 gallon buckets.  He kept the buckets of clinkers readily available for added traction on ice and snow.
 
The coal came from the local elevator and was deliveered from a truck with a special steel bed that would raise like a dump truck, but the rear opening was the size of the coal door in the side of the house.  The coal was dumped down a schute carried on the truck through the coal door into the terrifying confines of the coal room in the basement.
 
Mom always complained about coal dust after a delivery was made, but I don't recall any problem with the model railroad.
 
And of ocurse the small easten Indiana town in which this all happened was on the NYC Indianapolis to Springfield, OH line.  The coal was delivered to the local elevator in L&N 2 bay steel hoppers.  A local guy was paid $50.00 to unload one with the help of an elevator.  he was black head to foot when he finished.

--- On Thu, 7/9/09, Denny Anspach <danspach@macnexus.org> wrote:


From: Denny Anspach <danspach@macnexus.org>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Date: Thursday, July 9, 2009, 5:57 PM








I heated my home in northern Vermont in the '80s with hand-bombed
anthracite. Very hot, and also relatively clean; and when banked, the
fire could last for up to 48 hrs. without touching. Good stuff.

Denny
















      

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>
 

Al Kresse:
Nobody has mentioned "stokers" for their furnaces. The 1935 "Stoker Coal, C&O Lines" booklet I was referencing showed home furnaces with a box on the side of of the furnace that automatically feed the furnace . . . . and with the entire family playing in the basement around the clean furnace. 
We had a stoker on our coal furnace. Our house was completed in the summer of 1942 so the furnace dated from that time. IIRC the stoker was mounted on the side of and open to the coal bin. It was gravity fed, so the only time you had to actually shovel coal was when the level got way down in the bin. Since my dad was the coal dealer, and the shoveler if it came to that, he made sure the bin was always full. I don't think nut coal (the largest we carried) would work in household stokers. I think we burned rice. In any event, I shouldn't think sizes smaller than nut (the previously mentioned pea, rice and buckwheat) would heap well in a hopper, so a load of such coal might appear flatter and have a much finer texture than what we modelers are used to seeing.

Tom Madden


Tim O'Connor
 

I'm surprised if very fine coal was shipped in hoppers. I
can imagine some moisture (rain or snow) followed by a hard
freeze would turn that entire load into a solid block of
ice! (Larger size coal was far less likely to freeze solid
because of the air spaces between the chunks.)

Tim O'Connor

At 7/10/2009 01:03 PM Friday, you wrote:
Al Kresse:
Nobody has mentioned "stokers" for their furnaces. The 1935 "Stoker Coal, C&O Lines" booklet I was referencing showed home furnaces with a box on the side of of the furnace that automatically feed the furnace . . . . and with the entire family playing in the basement around the clean furnace.
We had a stoker on our coal furnace. Our house was completed in the summer of 1942 so the furnace dated from that time. IIRC the stoker was mounted on the side of and open to the coal bin. It was gravity fed, so the only time you had to actually shovel coal was when the level got way down in the bin. Since my dad was the coal dealer, and the shoveler if it came to that, he made sure the bin was always full. I don't think nut coal (the largest we carried) would work in household stokers. I think we burned rice. In any event, I shouldn't think sizes smaller than nut (the previously mentioned pea, rice and buckwheat) would heap well in a hopper, so a load of such coal might appear flatter and have a much finer texture than what we modelers are used to seeing.

Tom Madden


Victor Bitleris
 

This is an interesting topic. I remember when my parents bought their first house in 1956. It came with a coal fired furnace that fed steam to the radiators in the house. I bet the thing was built in the early 1900's. Us kids, I was around 7 at the time, had to shovel coal from the coal bin, which was about 3 or 4 feet away from the front of the furnace, into the open furnace doors every morning. I thought this was great and had a lot of fun doing it. My dad taught us how to check the water glass and all of that other cool stuff. Alas, it did not last very long, only one heating season. My parents had a heating contractor come in and convert the old, but still very stout boiler to a gas fired one instead of a coal fired one. All was not too bad, the coal bin ended up being my model building shop afterward. It was a HUGE job cleaning all of the coal dust out and finally, I painted the whole thing floor, ceiling, rafters, concrete block walls, everything with about 3 or 4 coats of basement paint. I think the paint is still holding the coal dust in suspension to this very day. I bet the current owners haven't a clue. However, a lot of houses in the neighborhood continued to heat with coal for several years afterward. The best one I remember was a 5 story apartment building across the alley that continued to use coal right into the 1960's. I used to love to watch the coal delivery guys load that one up. I am going to guess that building had stokers.

Vic Bitleris
Raleigh, NC



To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
From: water.kresse@comcast.net
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 16:22:23 +0000
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?






























Nobody has mentioned "stokers" for their furnaces. The 1935 "Stoker Coal, C&O Lines" booklet I was referencing showed home furnaces with a box on the side of of the furnace that automatically feed the furnace . . . . and with the entire family playing in the basement around the clean furnace.



My first memory of moving into a "new" house in the Chicago western subs in 1946 or 47 was my Dad pulling out the cast iron coal furnace so the contractor would come in and install a new gas furnace and proper ducting. It took years to get the coal out of the coal room next to the driveway. Eventually, my Dad turned it into a room to store the storm windors/screen and some lumber. It ever amazed me how my Mom could figure out that I had sneaked under the locked 3/4 door into the work shop and lumber storage rooms for materials for one of my many projects.



Al Kresse

----- Original Message -----

From: "mhts switzerm" <mhts_switzerm@yahoo.com>

To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 7:43:03 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern

Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?



Denny's comment took me back to my childhood in the 1950's and 1960's. We heated our huge house with "soft" coal. There was a large furnace that shared the basement with my model railroad. I recall Dad banking the furnace every night and again before going to work each morning. He also carried out the ashes and clinkers in 5 gallon buckets. He kept the buckets of clinkers readily available for added traction on ice and snow.



The coal came from the local elevator and was deliveered from a truck with a special steel bed that would raise like a dump truck, but the rear opening was the size of the coal door in the side of the house. The coal was dumped down a schute carried on the truck through the coal door into the terrifying confines of the coal room in the basement.



Mom always complained about coal dust after a delivery was made, but I don't recall any problem with the model railroad.



And of ocurse the small easten Indiana town in which this all happened was on the NYC Indianapolis to Springfield, OH line. The coal was delivered to the local elevator in L&N 2 bay steel hoppers. A local guy was paid $50.00 to unload one with the help of an elevator. he was black head to foot when he finished.



--- On Thu, 7/9/09, Denny Anspach <danspach@macnexus.org> wrote:



From: Denny Anspach <danspach@macnexus.org>

Subject: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?

To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com

Date: Thursday, July 9, 2009, 5:57 PM



I heated my home in northern Vermont in the '80s with hand-bombed

anthracite. Very hot, and also relatively clean; and when banked, the

fire could last for up to 48 hrs. without touching. Good stuff.



Denny







[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






















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Jim & Lisa Hayes <jimandlisa97225@...>
 

I too used an ex coal bin as my hobby room when I was young. A work table
across one end and lots of display shelves around the rest of the
approximately 6x12 room. What I have never wondered until now is How did the
coal get into that bin? The window was on the side of the house more than
100 feet from the alley. Wheelbarrow? Wow, that would have been a lot of
work.

Jim Hayes
Portland Oregon
www.sunshinekits.com


Victor Bitleris
 

As I recall, the coal delivery trucks had several conveyors they carried with them. I believe they were electrically operated and had corner turn pieces as well. I don't remember any of the coal delivery guys using wheel barrows much, but they also had them hanging off the back of the trucks. I wonder if any coal delivery companies exists any longer?

Vic Bitleris
Raleigh, NC



To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
From: jimandlisa97225@verizon.net
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 11:49:40 -0700
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?


























I too used an ex coal bin as my hobby room when I was young. A work table

across one end and lots of display shelves around the rest of the

approximately 6x12 room. What I have never wondered until now is How did the

coal get into that bin? The window was on the side of the house more than

100 feet from the alley. Wheelbarrow? Wow, that would have been a lot of

work.



Jim Hayes

Portland Oregon

www.sunshinekits.com






















_________________________________________________________________
Windows Live Hotmail: Find, add, and share the best celeb pics, right from Hotmail. Check it out.
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Al Campbell
 

Hello Group: I remember when I was young... Boy, don't we all sound
similar, coal delivery to my house in Chelsea MA was from a truck with a
mechanical arrangement to raise the body of the truck. No hydraulics here, to a
suitable height to dump the coal through a little door in the tailgate. Our
house was not set up to dump coal into a chute through a cellar window. The
men working the truck, usually three of them would fill canvas baskets and
walk them to the cellar window. The baskets probably weighed about 75 or so
pounds with a 50 foot walk. The coal we burned was anthracite most of the
time. My assumption is that the coal would have traveled via NYC hoppers
to a dealer in Chelsea or Everett. I'm pretty sure the B&M handled
bituminous coal for its own use and for commercial and industrial use. That would
have come in on barges to Mystic Terminal in Charlestown. Sometimes we would
burn coke and most likely it would be locally produced at a coal
gasification plant. Everett had a monster gasification plant which I guess belonged
to Boston Gas. There were others in Malden and Lynn I think. I'm not sure if
Chelsea had a gas plant. This was all around sixty years ago so don't be
surprised if there are some inaccuracies in what was said. I would like to
learn more about this industry. Anyone have suggestions to resources? Books,
web sites or whatever. Regards, Al Campbell
**************A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
steps!
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Armand Premo
 

In my early youth,coal was the fuel of choice.Coal trucks had metal chutes for delivery.Fuel oil was expensive.During the depression,now called the "Great Depression",youngsters would walk along the tracks picking up lumps of coal that had fallen from tenders and coal cars.When the men in the roundhouses were busy or not looking ,kids would scoot by the coaling tower and scoop up coal.I now believe that the railroad men were turning a blind eye to the petty pilferage.The youngsters would load their prize in burlap bags and then on to their carts with their bounty and head home.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: "Victor Bitleris" <bitlerisvj@hotmail.com>
To: <stmfc@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 3:41 PM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?



As I recall, the coal delivery trucks had several conveyors they carried with them. I believe they were electrically operated and had corner turn pieces as well. I don't remember any of the coal delivery guys using wheel barrows much, but they also had them hanging off the back of the trucks. I wonder if any coal delivery companies exists any longer?

Vic Bitleris
Raleigh, NC



To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
From: jimandlisa97225@verizon.net
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 11:49:40 -0700
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?


























I too used an ex coal bin as my hobby room when I was young. A work table

across one end and lots of display shelves around the rest of the

approximately 6x12 room. What I have never wondered until now is How did the

coal get into that bin? The window was on the side of the house more than

100 feet from the alley. Wheelbarrow? Wow, that would have been a lot of

work.



Jim Hayes

Portland Oregon

www.sunshinekits.com






















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mforsyth127
 

mhts_switzerm@yahoo.com wrote:
 
And of ocurse the small easten Indiana town in which this all happened was on the NYC >Indianapolis to Springfield, OH line.  The coal was delivered to the local elevator in L&N 2 >bay steel hoppers.
 
L&N hoppers on the NYC??? Perish the thought!!! How could that possibly be???
 
Matt Forsyth
 
Modeling the DL&W, Erie, D&H
and LVin "O" Scale,
Binghamton, NY 1951




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Jeffrey White
 

I lived in a house with coal heat for awhile in the late 1960s. The coal was brought to the house by truck and to the dealer by rail. I can't imagine the dealer using more then one car full of coal a season by then.

The truck would back into the alley and they would shovel the coal down a chute into the coal bin in the basement. We had a stoker furnace and had to fill the hopper that was attached to it by hand and the auger was controlled by a thermostat to regulate the heat.

It was a dirty heat and I hated it. Being 13 at the time one of my chores was to fill the hopper and take the klinkers out of the furnace. I wondered then how steam locomotives burned the coal so completely that it burned to ash they could dump and the furnace produced klinkers.

This was in Belleville IL just across the river from St Louis. The dealer was located on the IC line, but I never was by there when a rail car was on the siding so I don't know whose car made the delivery. I'm going to guess it came in an IC car as they were still hauling coal on that line to the big barge loading facilty that used to be on the East St Louis side of the river.

Jeff White
Alma IL

Victor Bitleris wrote:

As I recall, the coal delivery trucks had several conveyors they carried with them. I believe they were electrically operated and had corner turn pieces as well. I don't remember any of the coal delivery guys using wheel barrows much, but they also had them hanging off the back of the trucks. I wonder if any coal delivery companies exists any longer?

Vic Bitleris
Raleigh, NC



To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
From: jimandlisa97225@verizon.net
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 11:49:40 -0700
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?






















I too used an ex coal bin as my hobby room when I was young. A work table

across one end and lots of display shelves around the rest of the

approximately 6x12 room. What I have never wondered until now is How did the

coal get into that bin? The window was on the side of the house more than

100 feet from the alley. Wheelbarrow? Wow, that would have been a lot of

work.



Jim Hayes

Portland Oregon

www.sunshinekits.com


















_________________________________________________________________
Windows Live� Hotmail�: Find, add, and share the best celeb pics, right from Hotmail. Check it out.
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Brian Chapman <cornbeltroute@...>
 

. . . We heated our huge house with  "soft" coal. . . . I recall Dad banking the furnace every night and again before going to work each morning.  He also carried out the ashes and clinkers in 5 gallon buckets.  He kept the buckets of clinkers readily available for added traction on ice and snow. . . . the small easten Indiana town in which this all happened . . . <
Am I the only one reminded of the movie, "A Christmas Story" with Darren McGavin, by this remembrance? The movie was set in Gary, Indiana, in 1947, iirc. McGavin, the dad, battled daily with the home's recalcitrant furnace. The movie is a hoot.

-Brian

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa


MDelvec952
 

Amand's description of the metal chutes on these specialized coal delivery trucks best fits the description in the Anthracite belt coal dealers. These chutes had enough curveable joints in so they could reach almost any basement window -- it was always in the homeowner's interest to arrange the basement and coal bunker for easy access to a coal truck.

In 1990 I was driving between Scranton and nearby Taylor Yard and saw one of the old scissors dump trucks that had stopped traffic and had backed into someone's front yard. His bed was up, and he manipulated the chute which curved and telescoped as needed, then lifted the slide and the coal slid freely. The whole process was over before I could get close with a camera, but I did get a couple of pictures of the truck and the house from a distance. It was news to me that homes were still coal fired at that time. And it turns out that homes can still be coal fired. Some modern stoves have automatic firing, stoking and ash removal.

The Whippany Railroad Museum in New Jersey has a coal truck from a local coal dealer who actually received hopper cars in Denville into the 1960s and was a long-time Blue Coal (DL&W trademark) dealer. A link is at:

http://www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.net/eq_coaltruck.html

....Mike Del Vecchio

In a message dated 07/10/09 18:40:24 Eastern Daylight Time, armprem2@surfglobal.net writes:
As I recall, the coal delivery trucks had several conveyors they carried
with them. I believe they were electrically operated and had corner turn
pieces as well. I don't remember any of the coal delivery guys using wheel
barrows much, but they also had them hanging off the back of the trucks. I
wonder if any coal delivery companies exists any longer?

Vic Bitleris
Raleigh, NC


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

Would the blue paint/dye spray on top of carloads of coal from certain distributors have served to bind the top of a load of coal and lessen dust production while in transit?

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


I'm surprised if very fine coal was shipped in hoppers. I
can imagine some moisture (rain or snow) followed by a hard
freeze would turn that entire load into a solid block of
ice! (Larger size coal was far less likely to freeze solid
because of the air spaces between the chunks.)

Tim O'Connor



At 7/10/2009 01:03 PM Friday, you wrote:
Al Kresse:
Nobody has mentioned "stokers" for their furnaces. The 1935 "Stoker Coal, C&O Lines" booklet I was referencing showed home furnaces with a box on the side of of the furnace that automatically feed the furnace . . . . and with the entire family playing in the basement around the clean furnace.
We had a stoker on our coal furnace. Our house was completed in the summer of 1942 so the furnace dated from that time. IIRC the stoker was mounted on the side of and open to the coal bin. It was gravity fed, so the only time you had to actually shovel coal was when the level got way down in the bin. Since my dad was the coal dealer, and the shoveler if it came to that, he made sure the bin was always full. I don't think nut coal (the largest we carried) would work in household stokers. I think we burned rice. In any event, I shouldn't think sizes smaller than nut (the previously mentioned pea, rice and buckwheat) would heap well in a hopper, so a load of such coal might appear flatter and have a much finer texture than what we modelers are used to seeing.

Tom Madden


Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

Steve,

         The blue spray was an identifier for the coal co. It has been printed
that the blue was a way to note pilferage, not a dust covering. In fact,
most times it was blue dots, not an overall paint job of the load. Blue
Coal was a trade name, so they made sure it looked blue when delivered.

Fred Freitas




________________________________
From: Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@yahoo.ca>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, July 11, 2009 1:15:30 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Coal for home heating?





Would the blue paint/dye spray on top of carloads of coal from certain distributors have served to bind the top of a load of coal and lessen dust production while in transit?

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. com, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@ ...> wrote:


I'm surprised if very fine coal was shipped in hoppers. I
can imagine some moisture (rain or snow) followed by a hard
freeze would turn that entire load into a solid block of
ice! (Larger size coal was far less likely to freeze solid
because of the air spaces between the chunks.)

Tim O'Connor



At 7/10/2009 01:03 PM Friday, you wrote:
Al Kresse:
Nobody has mentioned "stokers" for their furnaces. The 1935 "Stoker Coal, C&O Lines" booklet I was referencing showed home furnaces with a box on the side of of the furnace that automatically feed the furnace . . . . and with the entire family playing in the basement around the clean furnace.
We had a stoker on our coal furnace. Our house was completed in the summer of 1942 so the furnace dated from that time. IIRC the stoker was mounted on the side of and open to the coal bin. It was gravity fed, so the only time you had to actually shovel coal was when the level got way down in the bin. Since my dad was the coal dealer, and the shoveler if it came to that, he made sure the bin was always full. I don't think nut coal (the largest we carried) would work in household stokers. I think we burned rice. In any event, I shouldn't think sizes smaller than nut (the previously mentioned pea, rice and buckwheat) would heap well in a hopper, so a load of such coal might appear flatter and have a much finer texture than what we modelers are used to seeing.

Tom Madden