HISTORY OF GOAL EXPORT PROM
3 ALT I MORE , MARY LAND .
A THESIS SUBMITTED
FOR ENTRANCE TO PHI MU FRATERNITY
MAY, ?, 1928.
THE HISTORY OF COAL EXPORT FROM BALTIMORE, MARYLAND.
The coal shipped .from Baltimore in normal years
has a value from 100 to 200 millions of dollars, engaging
the labor of some 25,000 men; hence it is fitting that a
subject of euch importance in the industrial field should
engage the study of one contemplating entering the engi-
In opening this subject, it Is well to consider
the reasons back of shipment . rom 3altimore- First and
forenoBt, is the proximity of the city to the mines. This
is clearly and forcefully illustrated in the accompanying
diagram published by the Sureau ofi Mines, Department of
commerce. Further, some figures used by the Interstate
Commerce Commission in determining coal rates are;
Average Coal Haul Distances (in miles)
To 1024 1Q25
New York 353-5 359.4
Philadelphia 316.3 314.?
Baltimore 231.7 231.8
Hampton Roads 413.1 414-5
The sources of supply of coal for exporting
from Baltimore are Central Pennsylvania, Western Maryland
and Northern West Virginia for low volatile coal, with
V. e stern Pennsylvania, and Northern 'Vest Virginia for high
COAL FREIGHT RATES FOR EXPORT
The study of coal freight r::tes is very complic-
ated. It requires an expert to understand and explain rate
differentials, etc. Agreements entered into l^y the railroads
100 years ago, relative to the eastern markets, policies of
the Interstate Commerce Commission, conpetltion between the
railroads, and other factors, enter in to the rate determin-
ation. But a few general statements may be maJe as follows:
There are two coal railroad freight rates, one for export
coal and one for coal used locally, the export coal rate
is in general, about two-thirds of the local coal rate, the
rate is built originally proportionally to the distance of
haul, but if the grade of the railroad is down hill from the
mines, or if quantities are consigned for through shipment,
a substantial decrease In the rate can be obtained. Decreases
can also be obtained If a consumer can show he is at a
disadvantage in obtaining coal. For example, a factory is
built on the Chesapeake 3ay, not contigeous to a railroad,
It is necessary then for the coal to be loaded at Ealtimoee
on scows, and be towed to the factory. The rate can be so
adjusted so that the coal will cost no more than factories
ln Baltimore who do not pay for towing or scows.
These reasons, and others, produce rates that some-
times appear paradoxical. Baltimore coal dealers pay an
export rate of *2.25 for coal hauled 240 miles and Hampton
Rords coal dealers pay a rate of 2-52 for coal hauled 4^ r
miles . (Baltimore shippers are now fighting for a aore pro-
portional rate before the Interstate Commerce Commission. )
Some figures on prevailing, rates are as follows:
Mew York, Lower Piers 2.7^
New York, Upper Piers 2.79
Hampton Roads 2.52
Ocean freight rates are regulated according to
supply and demand. If there is a demand for ships, their
rates increase proportionally; and if there is no demand
decrease proportionally. A ship may cost $ 2.50 a ton for
coal today and next week be | 5-00 a Ton. When the British
coal strike was on in 1926, ocean freight rates went sky
high and in some instances were , ; 10.00 a ton.
The greater distances a ship must go in coming fc
to Baltimore to load coal offsets the lesser prevailing
BUREAU OF MINES
BULLETIN 76 PLATE t
Base map [rom map of U, S. Geological Survey.
f OD 100 200 300 400 soo M/'fes
t -r-Fi-t-i- i — _ — i i i -j ■
MAP OF THE UNITED STATES SHOWING FIELDS CONTAINING COAL AVAILABLE FOR EXPORT AND THE SHIPPING PORTS FOR THE FIELDS.
The numbers refer to the groups mentioned In the text.
railroad freight rate to Baltimore as against Hampton Roads.
Thus it will be seen that the total cost of coal shipment
for exporting from Baltimore and Hampton Roads are equal.
From other Atlantic ports, the rate is greater than from
either of these two.
'•urther, Baltimore occupies a favorable position on
the seaboard. Being at the head of Chesapeake Bay, it is the
most inland port of the United States. It '-.as a deep channel
to the sea, the natural channel teinp deepened by dredging pro-
moted by federal and city aid.
r !he railroads were not long in seeing its possibilit-
ies and erected in Baltimore immense coal piers, and today one
of the leading reasons for shipment from Baltimore is in its
coal handling facilities. Large exporters realizing no delay
will be encountered in shipment from Baltimore, route large
GROWTH OF TRADE
An examination of the accompanying figures reveal
that Baltimore has enjoyed a continual growt v in coal export-
ing from 1863. These figures were obtained from the annual
reports of the Departments of Commerce, then of the Department
Labor and Commerce, and previous to that of the Treasury
Tons of Coal Exported froa
29 , 079
1 Q 00
46 , 817
36, n 47
§ Figures not available.
Pepartment- It was necessary in order to compile them, to
eesrch the volumes for each year containing the reports of
the above departments and Involved considerable research work
in the Look stacks of the Congressional Library. Figures
previous to 1867 are, in so far as I. know, unattainable.
In the period presented, there have been wars,
industrial depressions, over productions, panics, and labor
disturbances, and while it is not my purpose to do a piece
of Interpretative economies, the figures bear mute evidences
of those periods. These conditions have caused corresponding
increases and decreases in the trade; but always in the normal
years followlnr, • It will be observed that Baltimore has contin-
ued its steady growth and a few more thousand of tons have been
added to its exports of coal.
Nor must It be thought that conditions in the United
States alone affect the tonage shipped. For example, It will be
noticed, 300,000were shipped in 1925 and 5,773,025 tons in
L926( That Is, 1Q times more coal in 1926 than in 1925). This
abnormal condition was caused by the labor strike in the coal
mines of Great Britian, eliminating Eritlans competition in
the world market.
Tt is worthy of note In passing that more coal would
^ave been shipped from Baltimore in this year had more facilit-
ies have been provided. (Baltimore has the best and most
nodern facilities in the world). 8£r- C. W. Hendley, of the
Hendley coal company, one of the largest coal exporters In
America, said he had eleven ships in the harbor at one time
waiting to be loaded, and hence was compelled to direct coal
through other ports particularly Mobile And New Orleans to care
for the trade.
FACILITIES OF THE PORT
Three of the leading railroaus in America MakB Baltimore
their shipping port for coal, the Pennsylvania, the 7,'estern
Maryland, and the Baltimore and Ohio. Each of these have spent
millions of dollars in developing and building plants to care
for coal shipped over their lines.
Goal formerly \.as handled as follows: the coal cars
were run up an inclined trestle and the coal dumped into chutes
which were let into the vessel, the coal running into the ship
by gravity. As coal tends to form a conical cylinder, it was
necessary to have men shoveled it back under hatches and to
distribute it uniformly over the vessel, this required the labor
of a large force of men and took considerable time to load a
normal size vessel.
With the growth of the trade, it became apparent to all
Curtis Bay, Mel., Docks of Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Coal pier, showing 60-inch rubber belts conveying coal to
movable coal loading towers. Capacity 7,000 tons of coal per hour loaded into vessels.
Awarded Gold Medal at Louisiana Purchase Uni-
versal Exposition, St. Louis, 1904
Awarded Gold Medal of Honor at Panama- Pacific
International Exposition, San Francisco, 1915
In January 1915, The Consolidation Coal Company issued 150,000 copies of four booklets
entitled "INDUSTRIAL COALS", "GAS COALS", "DOMESTIC COALS", and "SMITHING
The demand for these booklets has been steady and the issue having become exhausted,
the Company has published another edition under titles:
GAS AND BY-PRODUCT COALS
DOMESTIC AND SMITHING COALS
to meet the continuing demand for such publications.
The subject presented in this booklet is
Either of the other booklets named may be had on application to one of the Sales Offices.
It is hoped that the subject matter may prove of sufficient interest to give this booklet
a place in your files.
Any further information desired will be furnished by the Sales Office most convenient
Features of Service 9
Description of Mines 10
Export Coals 13
Preparation of Coals 14
Bunker Coals 15
Producer Practice 16
Boiler Practice 18
Locomotive Boiler Praci ice 20
Powdered Coal Practice 22
Cement Clinker Practice 23
Air Furnace Practice 24
Kiln Burning Practice. 27
Foundry Facings 28
Foundry Practice 28
Furnace Practice 30
Hot House Heating .30
Baking, Roasting and Heating Plants 31
ol serves that the volume of coal traffic had reached such
proportions that new means for transferring the coal from
cars to vessels must be developed. The different railroads
concerned accordingly placed their engineering staffs on the
problem and the following methods/employed.
The Baltimore and Ohio constructed the largest and
greatest coal pier in the world, costing three millions of
dollars. The coal is dumped into hoppers, not by being let out
of the bottom, but the car is revolved through ninty degrees
and the coal dumped out of the top. It is fed onto an endless
belt, made of rubber and running the entire lenght of the pier,
which dumps it on a crossfeed belt. This belt dumps it into
a chute with a revolving schuttle at the bottom which throws
the coal back under the hatches of a boat.
The Western Maryland Railroad has a car dimping
outfit. The railroad cars are dumped Into hoppers, rnd smaller
electrical operated cars cartthe coal from the hoppers to
the boats where it is dumped into the vessel. The Pennsylvania
Railroad enlarged its facilities also.
DESTINATION OF GOAL EXPORTED FROl* BALTIMORE
Pratically all coal exported from Baltimore is export-
ed to countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The great
coal exporting country of the world is Great Britian, and
slowly but surely we are gaining on then. Our coal is of better
quality than theirs and though at at present the larger part
of our coal used in foreign countries is used only for the
manufacturing of Illuminating gas because of its increased cost
nevertheless, It will undoubtly Lecoine used more and m^re
extensively for other purposes.
England has the business at present and controls it t
in various ways. For instance, the Argentine Railroads director
meetings are held in London, and on that board are English
gentlemen fincially interested in English coal mines. Has an
American Coal Company an opportunity to sell coal to the
Argentine Railroads? The answer is negative.
The accompanying figures of the destination of coal
from Ealtimore were furnished by the Bureau Of Mines.
Denmark & Faroe Is.
463 , 584
Irish Free State
273 , 446
Malta, Gozo,& Gyrus Is.
5, n 92
Costa Rico 2,Q Q
French West Indies 2,220 1,344 3,312 2,423
Argentina 32,061 50,454 11,853 178,816 35,556
Brazil 5,830 55,863 20,979
Chile 20,900 11,769 3871 3,516
Uruguay 6,000 11,304 6,002 16,304
Egypt 8,091 15,882 181,610 38,146
Algeria & Tunisia 15,351 23,449 30,538 37,014 6,553
Other Africa 20,65°
Canary Islands 31,272
Totals 1,459,432 5 q 8,755 290,887 5,773,025 350,327
QUALITY OF COAL AND ITS USES
"Several volumes," saya Mr. Thomas of the Consolid-
ation Coal Company, "might be written on Mi is subject."
It will be my purpose merely to mention the outstanding
coals and pass on.
Georges Creek Coal from the Georges Creek field in
ryland is the highest quality smokeless coal produced n
the United States. Its calorific value Is due to its high
percentage of combustible, 91| %. Where the object is to
get the largest amount of heating value into the smallest
space, as for instance, on a battleship destined for a
long cruise, this coal has no superior. In fact,, It has
been extensively used for steamship power by both Merchant
Marine and Wavy. But unfortunely, I am given to understand
that the vein is rapidly being exhausted and real Georges
Creek Coal will soon be a thing of the past.
"From the Fairmont district in northern '.Vest
Virginia, and from the Connellsville, Pittsburgh, and West-
moreland districts in Pennsylvania, coals are produced
containing a greater proportion of volative matter than
in the coals, mentioned above. These coals are especially
valuable for gas making and coking, and they re used In
in industrial steam plants, and locomotives," says the
bureau of Mines in their Bulletin No. 76 pp 11.
COKPARISION OF ATLANTIC PORTS
AS GOAL EXPORTING PORTS
Before closing this subject, it is fitting; that
the rank of Baltimore as a coal shipping center should be
ascertained. "Figures showing the shipments from leading,
Atlantic ports for several years previous as given by the
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. are as follows:
10, ^97, 506
Vron these data, it will immediately tie observed
that the order of shipping importance in amount of coal
shipped is, Hampton Roads, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and
The author wishes to acknowledge and to express
gratitude for aid received from the following in pre
paring this paper.
Mr. :i. C. Thomas
Consolidation Coal Company.
Mr. G. H. Pouder
Baltimore Association of Commerce
Mr. W. I. Bishop
Baltimore & Ohio Railrodd Co.
Mr. C. W. Hendley
■ idley Coal Company
3aker-7hitley Coal Company
Hall Bros. Coal Company
Rapid Goaling Transport Co.
Mr. John R. Bradley
Bureau of Foreign Ss Domestic Commerce
Bureau of Mines.