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Photo: Loading Coal Into Boxcars? (1914)


Bob Chaparro
 

Photo: Loading Coal Into Boxcars? (1914)

A photo from the Utah State Historical Society:

https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s68k7j8q

This photo can be enlarged quite a bit.

Standard Coal Company in Utah.

There appears to be a loading chute going into the boxcar on the right.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Douglas Harding
 

Notice the “grain doors” on the middle boxcar.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bob Chaparro via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2020 12:42 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Loading Coal Into Boxcars? (1914)

 

Photo: Loading Coal Into Boxcars? (1914)

A photo from the Utah State Historical Society:

https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s68k7j8q

This photo can be enlarged quite a bit.

Standard Coal Company in Utah.

There appears to be a loading chute going into the boxcar on the right.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


akerboomk
 

What is the “widget” coming up from the roadbed in front of D&RG 65054 (car at right)?

Something to couple to the car to prevent it from moving?

 

Ken A.


--
Ken Akerboom


Alex Huff
 

In 1985 I was asked by a hardware store owner whether it was still possible to receive bagged coal in boxcars.  The market was home heating.  I didn't know and made calls to find out.  The answer was, "Not any more."  I did learn that back in the era covered by this list, it was common.  I talked to a company in Duluth which had bought coal by the ore boat load and had a bagging line.  "We finally scrapped that machinery a couple of years ago."  Boxcar grain from the prairies was trans-shipped into boats at Duluth.  Some of the boxcars returned to the prairies loaded with bagged coal bought by grain elevators who also sold coal.  I don't know what the percentage of loads both ways was.
Alex Huff, retired South Dakota railroader & S scale modeler             


Mont Switzer
 

Alex,

 

Back when I was a kid (era addressed in this group) you could purchase bagged coal from Consumers Coal and Ice, in New Castle, IN.   This was available 24/7 thanks to a vending machine built into the front of the business.  You could get bagged ice that way also.  Bring lots of quarters; no bill changers.

 

Consumers was served by the NYC line running between Indianapolis and Springfield, OH.  Coal bags were paper, but I'm not sure where the bags were filled.  Your post has given me an idea as to how that came about.

 

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.

 

Mont Switzer   


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] on behalf of Alex Huff [dsrc512@...]
Sent: Monday, September 14, 2020 11:41 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Loading Coal Into Boxcars? (1914)

In 1985 I was asked by a hardware store owner whether it was still possible to receive bagged coal in boxcars.  The market was home heating.  I didn't know and made calls to find out.  The answer was, "Not any more."  I did learn that back in the era covered by this list, it was common.  I talked to a company in Duluth which had bought coal by the ore boat load and had a bagging line.  "We finally scrapped that machinery a couple of years ago."  Boxcar grain from the prairies was trans-shipped into boats at Duluth.  Some of the boxcars returned to the prairies loaded with bagged coal bought by grain elevators who also sold coal.  I don't know what the percentage of loads both ways was.
Alex Huff, retired South Dakota railroader & S scale modeler             


Josh
 

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.


Douglas Harding
 

Here is what I have on the Ottumwa Boxcar Loader, built in Ottumwa, Iowa. Iowa at the turn of the 1900s had a thriving coal industry.

 

W.E. Hunt, of The Ottumwa Iron Works, & Henry Phillips, of Phillips Coal Co, (Ottumwa, Iowa) designed a machine to load coal (and other material) in box cars, which was installed at one of Phillips' mines. The first machine was built at Hardsocg Manufacturing, (Ottumwa.) Then a plant was built at Main & Wapello Streets, (building later used by Nicholls Manufacturing Company.) Ottumwa Box Car Loader Co. was Incorporated in 1906, and company was moved to new location on West Second Street. Company had a fire in 1910, but remained in business. (Company has been out of business for some time now, since coal is no longer mined in the Ottumwa, Iowa area.) Former officers of the company were: Henry Phillips, president; W.E. Hunt, vice president & general superintendent; Philip P. Phillips, general manager & treasurer; Howard Phillips, plant superintendent. Box car loaders were installed at Rock Spring, Wyoming; Fairmont, West Virginia; and Portland, Oregon. Company territory included Canada, as well as United States.

 

PROMINENT CITIZENS from Ottumwa, Yesterday and Today- By Glenn B Meagher and Harry B Munsell, 1923

WILLIAM E HUNT- Inventor; William E Hunt, inventor, supervises the building of the big machines which are the product of the Ottumwa Box Car Loader company. Mr Hunt makes a continuous study of the needs of industry and keeps a few moves ahead of the demand by perfecting new machines to handle heavy burdens expeditiously.

HENRY PHILLIPS- Manufacturer; Henry Phillips divides his time between Ottumwa and Natchez, Miss., having a large plantation near the latter city. Ottumwa, however, still is "home". Mr Phillips had been identified with the community's development for many years before he established the Box Car Loader Company. He was prominently connected with Ottumwa's Coal Palace and is one of two living directors of the exposition.

 

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Josh
Sent: Monday, September 14, 2020 4:18 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] 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.


Jared Harper
 

This looks like an expensive specialty device in a time of cheap labor.

Jared Harper
Athens, GA


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.
Mont,
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 


np328
 

   The C Reiss briquette plant was (may still be) in Superior, WI along Winter Street, not far from where the NP's grassy Point bridge was/is.

     Coal transloading was not big in the ports, it was huge. See post 65477 and of that post, it was just the NPs orders. The GN, Omaha, SOO could all have been making the same orders with the DW&P a real question mark.  And the domestic market would have been another matter. Lake coal out of the ports was the single biggest determinant in NP gondola purchasing determinants in an internal 1930 study and again in 1939 when the report was revisited. This for a railroad that shipped much of it's on-line lignite across its system for locomotive fuel.  
 I've wrote some prior on this lake coal in post 55859. 

I gave presentations about coal distribution at the end of the lakes in 2005 at the old HI in Naperville and elsewhere.

Concerning coal and grain loading in the same boxcar. We may have a paradox here. Just as hide service is where boxcars go to die, so is loading coal into boxcars, even bagged. Only boxcars classed as "rough" are used at least for my researched railroad. 

       I am open to enlightenment with solid data, however the only time I ever read of grain and coal being loaded to the same car war in the USRA time frame when a clerk in North Dakota wrote a letter with USRA letterhead to a regional office on how he got a load of coal from the Twin Ports and then had the car swept out and sent back with a load of grain so I honestly do not believe the practice was that common.  
       Please remember even grain not yet milled is checked for inspected for contamination https://www.namamillers.org/education/wheat-milling-process/  

As stated above, I gave presentations in 05 and I have been tapped to give these presentations (updated) again whenever the next St. Louis gathering is. I would offer these to Mike Skibbe and crew also. Whenever it is safe again.                                                                                                                             Jim Dick - St. Paul, MN 


Mont Switzer
 

Dennis,

 

Yes, charcoal briquettes.  My the way, the coal in bags dispensed from Consumers Coal and Ice were coal briquettes also.  Not sure if that was the term used for this type of coal, though.

 

Thanks for jogging my memory.  Mont

 

Montford L. Switzer

President

Switzer Tank Lines, Inc.

Fall Creek Leasing, LLC.

mswitzer@...

(765) 836-2914

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 12:29 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Loading Coal Into Boxcars? (1914)

 

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.

Mont,
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 


Andy Laurent
 

On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 11:23 PM, np328 wrote:
   The C Reiss briquette plant was (may still be) in Superior, WI along Winter Street, not far from where the NP's grassy Point bridge was/is.
                                                                                                                           Jim Dick - St. Paul, MN 
C Reiss also had a coal briquette plant in Green Bay on the Milwaukee Road at the southwest corner of State and 7th Streets (near their large 2-gantry coal yard on the Fox River).  It was operated seasonally into the 1960s at least (evidenced by waybilled shipments to a foundry in Algoma, WI on the A&W Rwy).

Andy Laurent
Madison, WI


Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Andy,

Out of curiosity, I went to Google maps and looked for the C. Reiss plant. No such luck, though the building may still exist. A street address would help. However, a closed C. Reiss "coal field" shows across the St. Louis River in West Duluth near the intersection of Waseca Industrial Road and Leisure Street. This location is also listed for C. Reiss Coal Co. as a firewood dealer, but either way this area appears to have been cleared for redevelopment.

C. Reiss still has a coal loading operation in Green Bay. Google Maps also delivers two listings for C. Reiss Coal Co. in various other cities that are marked "attorney", which sounds very odd to me.

Sometimes I just want to throw up my hands and scream when trying to find something specific on Google Maps.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆

On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 7:50 AM Andy Laurent via groups.io <andy.laurent=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 11:23 PM, np328 wrote:
   The C Reiss briquette plant was (may still be) in Superior, WI along Winter Street, not far from where the NP's grassy Point bridge was/is.
                                                                                                                           Jim Dick - St. Paul, MN 
C Reiss also had a coal briquette plant in Green Bay on the Milwaukee Road at the southwest corner of State and 7th Streets (near their large 2-gantry coal yard on the Fox River).  It was operated seasonally into the 1960s at least (evidenced by waybilled shipments to a foundry in Algoma, WI on the A&W Rwy).

Andy Laurent
Madison, WI


np328
 

Just looked at Google Maps street view .......Garth, it is gone, gone, gone. One of the open fields. 
I will find an older map of Duluth /Superior and upload the image or put in into the files. 

Non railroad story here: My late brother and I used to tent camp up on the north shore of Lake Superior at times into December. More than once we stopped by C Reiss in Superior on the way north and gathered some of the briquettes that had escaped the property line cyclone fence meant to contain them along the public road.  Once a fire was started we would toss several into the campfire. The heat was truly intense, and often very welcome.  I have to agree with Dennis though as when the briquettes were tossed in and just starting, the smoke of the fire had a definite petroleum stink. 

On the hand - after a vaccine and travel can be done freely and safely again, if you ever get to Minneapolis, try this place  https://blacksheeppizza.com/     coal fired pizza, not cheap but for all the (here comes the railroad content) stories of locomotive coal shovel chefs you've read about, this place uses Bituminous coal to cook with.  Very good.  I'm sure there are others. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jim Dick - St. Paul, MN 


np328
 

Correction to the coal comment - it is Anthracite coal.  Oh well, wife likes it, I get to walk in and smell a coal fire.      JD