WILLIAM JASPER NICOLLS
M. Am. Soc. C. E.
Author of" The Story of American Coals" etc.
GEORGE W. JACOBS & CO.
BY WILLIAM JASPER NICOLLS
BY GEORGE W. JACOBS & COMPANY
Published, April, 1906.
" // was only the other day, so to speak, that
Nature turned a creature out of her workshop,
who by degrees acquired sufficient wits to make
a Jire, and then to discover that the black rock
would burn" PROFESSOR HUXLEY
CATECHISM of Coal is intended for that
great number of intelligent readers who have
no technical training, and yet who prefer to
seek knowledge by reading special subjects
rather than fiction. A large proportion of
these have neither the time nor the inclination
to peruse the voluminous geological and
statistical reports of the coal industry in the
United States, or to study the ponderous
volumes of gathered wisdom by technical
experts. Their time is usually fully occu-
pied with the cares of business and often
with the fatigue of manual labor, and their
hours for quiet reading or study are few and
most precious. For these, the following
plain questions and direct authoritative an-
swers have been designed with a realizing
sense of the readers' wants and aspirations.
The task conscientiously assumed by the
writer has been to verify all the answers by
referring to competent authorities. The
great number of these consulted renders it
impossible to credit each one, as the result
would be confusing and, in fact, impractica-
ble, since the consensus of opinions is given
and rarely that of an individual. It is as-
sumed that the reader knows theoretically
nothing about Coal, and the questions are so
arranged as to lead him gradually through
the various stages of its origin, development,
and uses until a full knowledge of the sub-
ject has been obtained. In justification of
the catechetical form used the writer refers
to the old educational catechisms used by
our forefather's in many of the best universi-
ties of Europe. No better manner has since
been devised for imparting a thorough
knowledge of a subject, especially to those
young students in our schools and colleges
who desire special instruction, or to those
who, from want of opportunity or otherwise,
have not received the necessary training for
systematic study or reading.
The writer needs no apology for his sub-
ject ; its importance can scarcely be over-
estimated. Coal is the basis of all energy
and power, the prime mover of the wheels of
industry. "With Coal, we have light, strength,
power, wealth, and civilization ; without
Coal, we^have darkness, weakness, poverty,
and barbarism. The most civilized nations
of the world are those consuming the most
Coal. At the head of these stands the
W. J. N.
ORIGIN ................... 13
GEOLOGY ................... 26
HISTORY ................... 3 s
GEOGRAPHY ........ . ......... 50
PRODUCTION ................ 60
CLASSIFICATION ............... 71
WATER TRANSPORTATION 140
ANTHRACITE RAIL SHIPMENTS 149
BITUMINOUS RAIL SHIPMENTS 161
1. What is coal ?
Fossil fuel ; a black, earthy substance
which is dug from the ground, and which
can be burned for fuel.
2. Of what does coal consist ?
Chemically, it consists of carbon, volatile
matter, sulphur, and ash, with a small
amount of water.
8. What is carbon ?
Carbon is one of the most common of the
elements. A diamond is pure carbon, and a
piece of charcoal is carbon united with a
small portion of oxygen.
4. What is meant "by u volatile matter " ?
The volatile matter consists of the gases,
viz., hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen.
The combustion of these gases is seen in the
flame when the coal is burning.
5. What is sulphur ?
One of the simple elements. It unites with
many of the metals. It is almost always to
be found in coal in the form of iron pyrites,
a brassylike substance occurring in layers
from, the thickness of paper to half an inch.
6. What constitutes ash ?
Ash is the inorganic matter of coal ; the
part that is not consumed in combustion.
It is the earthy matter in the drift of the coal
7. What was the coal period ?
The period of time commonly known as
the Carboniferous age, during which coal was
8. When is this supposed to have been?
Thousands of years ago. Ages before man
9. What is known of the Carboniferous age ?
That it was remarkable for the luxuriant
growth of vegetation of the fern variety and
such, plants as grow in water and swampy
places. It is supposed that this mass of
matted vegetation died down each year and
formed into a peaty-like mass, which after-
ward became coal.
10. Coal, then, was formed on the surface of
the ground; how has it since been buried ?
These great beds of decayed and rotting
vegetation became submerged by geological
changes of the earth's surface, so that the
water overflowed them, carrying large quan-
tities of sediment, which covered them over
or buried them.
11. How do we account for several seams of
coal, one over the other ?
We suppose that vegetation again grew
and flourished on the surface of the sedi-
mentary deposit, as weeds quickly cover
newly upturned soil, and that the process
was then repeated.
12. If coal was formed in low swampy
places, why do we find it near the tops of moun-
We have evidences that after the coal seams
were formed the crust of the earth became
disturbed by cooling, or probably by volcanic
upheavals, which disturbed the continuity
of the strata containing the coal seams, so
that the low, flat ground was elevated and
formed hills and mountains.
13. Was coal formed only in the Carbonif-
erous age ?
Coal was formed in all ages, but we do not
know that any other age presented so lux-
uriant a growth of vegetation and under
14- What proof is there that coal was
formed prior to the Carboniferous age ?
In America we find graphite in geological
strata as old as the globe itself, or what we
know of it.
15. What is graphite t
In a black-lead pencil, the substance which
is commonly called lead is graphite, and be-
longs to the carbon family. It comes next to
16. Of what does the carbon family consist ?
Beginning with the diamond, which is es-
sentially pure carbon, we have next the
graphite or plumbago used for stove polish,
then Anthracite coal, Bituminous coal, lig-
nite, and finally turf or peat, which is the
youngest of the family.
17. If, then, we find graphite in the older
formations, is that proof that coal also existed ?
Most geologists admit that graphite repre-
sents the carbon which formed part of the
woody tissue of plants that lived during those
remote times, so that this mineral represents
coal in the ultimate stages of carbonization.
18. Have we any other proof than the opin-
ions of geologists f
Coal has been found converted into
graphite, in the ground, by the intrusion of
volcanic rock, which hastened the work of
19. Where are some good examples of this
in the United States?
In the Anthracite coal mines of Ehode
Island the outcrops frequently yield plum->
bago, and occasionally nests of almost pure
graphite are found in the coal beds, which is
sold as black-lead.
20. What other examples exist of pre- Car-
boniferous coal ?
In Scotland, where coal occurs in the old
red sandstone formation.
21. How do we know that coal was formed
since the Carboniferous age ?
Coal of post-Carboniferous age is found in
Bavaria and in Germany, as also in the north-
ern Tyrol and in Belgium and Austria.
22. Give an example of more recent for-
Coal has been found of Miocene age in the
Arctic regions of Greenland within a few de-
grees of the North Pole.
23. Is coal forming at the present time ?
As the formation of coal has been going on
in all ages, ever since vegetable life appeared,
it is reasonable to suppose that in the peat
bogs, delta jungles, and mangrove swamps of
the present time the formation of coal fof
use in future ages may now be going on.
24. Give an example of probable coal for-
mation now going on ?
In the United States, at the mouth of the
Mississippi Biver, we have the conditions
required for future coal fields, swamps, peri-
odical inundations of water, rapid growth of
weeds and vegetation, which perishes and is
decomposed every winter.
25. Is coal a vegetable or mineral substance ?
As before demonstrated, coal is of vege-
table origin, which became mineralized on
the spot where it grew, and is now found
after countless years of time.
26. Why do we suppose that vegetation must
have been more profuse in the Carboniferous
age than now ?
It has been demonstrated by figures that all
the carbon contained in all our immense for-
ests would scarcely furnish a very thin seam
27. Did it require all the forests of the Car-
boniferous age to form coal ?
It appears not, as parts of a true forest,
petrified in place, have been found in the
middle of the coal itself, as well as of the
sandstone near the surface of the ground.
28. W here Juts this occurred f
An example of this was observed in the
mines of Treuil, at Saint fetienne, in France,
where a standing tree was found in the posi-
29. What does this prove ?
That the coal had been formed at the foot
of this tree in the same way as peat, and was
subsequently covered up, compressed, heated,
distilled, and mineralized into fossil carbon,
or coal, from other vegetation than the trees
of the forests, vegetation of rank and luxu-
50. Was the Carboniferous or coal period of
long duration f
Under such favorable conditions it seems
probable that the Carboniferous age need not
have been of long duration. At that time
the common horsetails and club-mosses of the
present day grew as large as our trees.
51. How do we know that f
By the impressions of the plants and flora
which are found in the rock strata. These
impressions were originally made in the soft
sandy material, which afterward hardened.
32. What are these impressions called f
They are called fossiliferous flora and or-
S3. Are these fossiliferous flora found in the
Occasionally small portions of leaves,
stems and the structures of woody fibre are
found in the coal itself, and the microscope
reveals the presence of organic remains.
84. Are these sufficiently numerous to prove
that coal is of vegetable origin ?
In the coal itself we find little proof of its
origin, owing to the chemical and mechanical
changes which have occurred in the original
35. Where do we get the evidence from or-
ganic remains ?
In the interstratified clays, shales and other
deposits we find plant remains in every state
of preservation, from delicate ferns to the
trunks of trees. These prove the vegetable
origin of coal.
36. Are these fossil remains purifications or
casts and moulds of the original flora ?
The impressions of vegetation occur in four
different conditions. Some consist of vege-
tables converted into carbonaceous clay, and
still invested with their bark reduced to char-
coal. Others exhibit impressions of the same
plant with the surface entire upon clay, slate,
or sandstone. Others are decorticated (barked
or husked) vegetables themselves, and lastly,
others are impressions of these decorticated
37. Name some of the fossiliferous flora ?
Among the most common varieties of vege-
table remains are the following : Sphenop-
teris, sigillaria, lepidodendron, neuropteris,
asterophyllites, and calamites.
88. Describe the sphenopteris 1
The sphenopteris is similar in appearance
to a fern, with branching, beautifully formed
leaves, their veins radiating from the base of
39. Is the sigillaria an important species of
Carboniferous flora ?
Probably more so than any other ; a great
deal of the coal seems to have been formed of
this tree, which measured from 3 to 5 feet in
diameter. The impressions of the sigillaria
are beautifully symmetrical, as though made
by a seal in soft wax.
40. What is remarkable in the lepidoden-
The trees of the lepidodendron are known
to have attained a growth of from 40 to 50
feet, which is remarkable when we consider
that they belong to the variety now called
club-mosses, the largest - tropical variety of
which does not now attain a height of more
than 3 feet.
41. Describe the neuropteris ?
The neuropteris is of the fern variety, and
has a broad leaf somewhat like a heart in
42. WJiat is peculiar of the asterophyllites ?
The asterophyllites are characterized by
the graceful arrangement of the leaflets in
the forms of stars, radiating from a central
43. To what plant has the catamites been
To the bamboo and equiesta, or common
" horsetails." They seem to have grown in
dense jungles or brakes.
44- What remarkable circumstance is mani-
fested in coal vegetation ?
Its uniform appearance over the greater
portion of the globe. The plants of the coal
age are alike in Europe, America, Australia,
and regions approaching the North Pole.
45. What do we argue from this circum-
That the climate of the globe must have
been nearly the same in these far distant
points at that period of the world's history.
46. What kind of a climate must it have
It must have been a warm climate with an
abundance of moisture or humidity. It is
also probable that the percentage of carbonic
acid in the atmosphere was much larger than
now in order to account for the inordinately
luxuriant growth of the plants which make
up the fossil fuel. This climate would not
have supported human life.
47. What is geology ?
Geology is an inquiry into the history and
development of the earth's crust and of the
several floras and faunas which have dotted
and peopled its surface.
48. What are geological systems f
They are the different periods in the world's
history which are distinguished from each
other by rock strata containing similar fossils
or organic remains.
49. What is the oldest system ?
50. How many systems are there ?
Fifteen in all, as follows : Archaean, Cam-
brian, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous,
Perinean, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous,
Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleis-
tocene and Eecent.
51. In what system do we find the coal and
In the Carboniferous principally, but they
have also been found in several of the others.
62. Do we find any proof of human life in
the fossils of the Carboniferous system ?
None whatever ; all scientists agree that no
human being existed in that period of the
53. Have we evidence of any living things f
The coal measures contain fossils and casts
or impressions of centipedes, spiders, lizards,
scorpions, crabs, and lobsters, also an insect
resembling a cockroach.- Many remains have
been found of the mollusca, or shell-bearing
animals, and also of fishes, many of great
size. The air at that period was probably
full of innumerable millions of infusoria in-
festing the swampy land.
54. How were the coal basins formed in
It is supposed that at one time vast seas
swept over the land, excepting the elevated
mountainous districts, which contained active
volcanoes. The action of the waters rounded
the fragments of volcanic rock and washed
them into great basins of conglomerate rock
55. How were these basins filled with coal ?
Upon these beds or basins was accumulated
the vegetable matter which, rotting and set-
tling for ages, became coal.
56. In what part of the world are these coal
Principally in the United States, Great
Britain, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium,
Eussia, Canada, Japan, Spain, New Zealand,
Sweden, and Italy.
57. Which of the foregoing countries contains
the largest coal basins f
The United States and Great Britain con-
tain, in area, more than all the others com-
58. How many principal coal basins are in
the United States?
There are six distinct basins.
59. Locate the largest basin ?
It extends west from the Allegheny Moun-
tains to the Missouri River, a distance of
about 1,500 miles, and south from the lakes
to the mouth of the Ohio Eiver, about 600
60. How does this coal basin compare with
those in Europe f
It is larger than any other known basin in
the world. It would cover half of Europe,
having an area of 900,000 square miles.
61. In how many States of the Union is coal
Twenty-eight States are now included in
the coal producers.
62. Name them ?
The coal-producing States include Ala-
bama, Arkansas, California, Colorado,
Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Indian Territory,
Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michi-
gan, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North
Carolina, North Dakota, 'Ohio, Oregon, Penn-
sylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia,
Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.
63. Were the coal basins once filled with
We suppose these great basins to have
been, at one time, the beds of vast inland
lakes or seas.
64' What proof have we that such was once
Geologists trace the movements of vast
bodies of water from the interior to the
oceans. They point to the gaps and breaks
in the great mountain ranges, traversing
America from northeast to southwest, as the
probable points through which these lakes
burst and were emptied into the sea.
65. What familiar example have we in evi-
dence of these movements ?
The Delaware Water Gap, as viewed from
the summit of Mount Pocouo. Here the
mountains resemble the breast of a great dam,
and the Gap shows the break through which
the pent-up waters rushed forth to the sea.
66. Is it possible that any of our present lakes
might burst their barriers ?
It has been suggested that Lake Erie might
eventually be drained by the retrograde
movement of Niagara Falls, which is gradu-
ally wearing away the restraining rock that
holds back the lake.
67. What progress has already been made ?
Niagara Falls has already receded some
7 or 8 miles.
68. At this rate how long would it take to
reach the lake ?
The rate of progress has been calculated at
about one foot in a year. This rate being
continued, it would take about 132,000 years,
the distance being something less than 25
miles. : j
69. Into how many periods are the geological
systems divided f
Into four periods, viz., Eozoic, Palaeozoic,
Mesozoic and Neozoic.
70. In which period is the Carboniferous or
coal system f
It is in the second or Palaeozoic period of
71. How is coal usually found ?
Coal is found in beds or seams, ranging in
thickness from an inch to 30 feet, and cov-
ering wide tracts of land.
72. What are the coal "measures" ?
Under that name are included all the vari-
ous strata of rock occurring during the period
of the coal formation.
73. How are the coal-beds separated ?
They are separated from each other by
beds of sandstone and compressed clay or
these coal-beds always continuous ?
Very often the coal occurs in groups of sev-
eral beds separated from each other by strata
known as " barren measures" of consider-
75. What is the" under clay > > ?
The underclay is the bed below the coal
seam. It is a sort of fossil soil, filled with
roots and rootlets, on which rests the coal.
76. What is the physical structure of coal ?
Coal consists of successive thin layers of
hard coal, sometimes bright and then dull,
interspersed at irregular intervals with a
dusty, fibrous substance, like charcoal, known
as ' l mother coal. ' ' These alternate with thin
partings or layers of dark shale or slate,
upon which are usually present marks and
impressions of the stems and leaves of
77. Of what does the < < roof > > consist ?
Above the coal is its roof of hardened
clay or sandstone, and this generally con-
tains many remains of plants and trees, also
fossil stumps of trees.
18. What are these fossil stumps called ?
In some places they are known to the coal
miners as " coal -pipes," and are dreaded by
them in consequence of the accidents which
occur from their suddenly falling after the
coal which supported them has been re-
79. What remarkable event in the worWs
history occurred in the Carboniferous period ?
The introduction into our world of the
earliest known vertebrate animals, which
could open their nostrils and literally
" breathe the breath of life."
80. How had all previous animals lived ?
All previous animals, except a few insects,
had respired in the water by means of gills
or similar apparatus.
81. What is history f
History is a continuous narrative of events ;
a chronicle or register of happenings in the
order of time ; a record.
82. When does the history of coal begin ?
The history of coal begins properly with
the first mention which we can find of it in
written or printed narrative.
88. What is the earliest mention made of
The first mention made of coal is contained
in the Bible, Prov. 26 : 21, " As coals are
to burning coals and wood to fire, so is a con-
tentious man to kindle strife."
84.. When and by whom was this written f
It was written by King Solomon about the
year 1016 B. c., and is supposed by many
authorities to refer to charcoal.
85. Was not Solomon familiar with coal f
King Solomon's empire contained Syria,
which abounds in coal, fossils, and Bitumi-
nous pits, and it is reasonable to suppose that
the coal which is now found in the rocks
about Herinon and Lebanon was not unknown
to the Jewish king.
86. What is bitumen f
Generally speaking, bitumen is a mineral
oil combined with other various substances.
87. What are some of the properties of bi-
Among the properties of bitumen we have
naphtha, petroleum, mineral tar, and asphalt.
Coal is also supposed to contain some bitu-
88. Where is the next mention of coal in the
The next is contained in Isaiah 47 : 14,
" There shall not be coal to warm at."
89. When was this written f
This was written about 750 B. c. and prob-
ably 100 years before the next biblical men-
tion of coal, which occurs in Lamentations
4:8, " Their visage is blacker than a coal."
90. Have we any mention of coal in ancient
times besides those made in the Bible ?
A description of coal occurs in the writings
91. Who was Theophrastus ?
Theophrastus was a Greek orator and phi-
losopher, and a friend of Aristotle.
92. How did he describe coal ?
He wrote: " Those substances that are
called coals and are broken for use are
earthy, but they kindle and burn like
93. Where did he say they were to be found ?
He described them as occurring in "Ly-
guria, and in Elis, over in the mountains
94- How long ago was this written ?
About 2,200 years ago, or over 300 years
before Christ. This is the first mention of
coal made by other than sacred writers.
95. Have we any mention of coal in the New
The word "coals" is used by John the
Apostle in his Gospel, 18th chapter and 18th
verse, " And the servants and officers stood
there, who had made a fire of coals, for it was
96. When was this written ?
Probably about the year 60 A. D.
97. Save we any present evidences of coal
being used in ancient times ?
On several occasions tools and cinders have
been found in England near the ancient
Eoman wall, which seem to prove that the
Britons used coal prior to 54 B. c., or the
time of the Eoman invasion.
98. What is the first actual record of the use
of coal in England ?
The first record is in the form of a receipt,
which was given by the Abbey of Petersboro
in 852 A. D. for " twelve cartloads of coal."
The first record of actual mining operations
is contained in the books of the Bishop of
Durham in the year 1180.
99. Did the use of coal then become general f
The use of coal must have been very grad-
ual, for more than a hundred years later a
Venetian traveler wrote to his countrymen
about " a kind of black stone used like fire-
wood," and they did not believe him.
100. When was the first shipment of coal
made to London ?
In the year 1240, but it was not until nearly
400 years later that the discovery was made
that coal could be used in a blast-furnace for
smelting iron ore.
101. When was coal first discovered in
The first discovery of coal in America was
made in 1679 by Father Hennepin, a French
Jesuit missionary. In his journal he notes
the traces of Bituminous coal above Fort
Crecolier, on the Illinois Eiver, near the
present town of Ottawa.
102. When was coal first mined in America ?
Coal was first mined in America in 1750 in
the Virginia Bituminous coal fields, which
were opened and worked on the James Biver,
103. Was this an American enterprise ?
The Virginia mines were owned and oper-
ated by an English company, who for some
time enjoyed the exclusive coastwise trade of
the United States.
104- Was this trade very large ?
Not much coal was produced at first. The
output was so expensively mined and the cost
so great that few individuals used it in the
coast cities, but burned wood instead.
105. Are the mines still in operation ?
Small operations are still carried on at the
Gayton mines in Henrico County and the
Midlothian mines in Chesterfield County,
near Bichmond, Virginia.
106. What peculiar features do these Vir-
ginia coal fields possess f
With one exception they are the only coal
fields in the United States which are situated
at or near the Atlantic seaboard.
107. Where are the other Atlantic seaboard
mines located ?
In the State of Rhode Island.
108. What is the nature of the coal found
In Ehode Island is found a hard Anthracite
coal, with occasional beds of plumbago, and
pure graphite, commonly known as black-
109. Are the Ehode Island mines in opera-
Many efforts have been made to work these
coals in competition with the great Pennsyl-
vania coal beds, but practically without suc-
cess. They are not now in operation.
110. When was Anthracite coal first discov-
ered in America ?
Anthracite coal was first discovered in
Ehode Island in 1760. In 1766 it was first
found in the Wyoming Valley, in Pennsyl-
vania, by James Tilghman, of Philadelphia,
who sent a small sample of it to William
Penn, in London. It was known in 1770
that Anthracite coal could be had near the
towns of Mahanoy and Shamokin, in Penn-
sylvania, and in 1790 its presence was discov-
ered near Mauch Chunk, in the Lehigh region
111. When was the first shipment of Anthra-
cite coal made in the United States f
During the Eevolutionary War, in 1776,
coal was taken to Carlisle for the United
States Army. It was taken to Harrisburg,
the present capital of Pennsylvania, in boats,
or arks, and from there hauled in wagons to
112. What other shipment was made by
In 1800 William Morris took a wagon load
of Anthracite coal from Tamaqua to Phila-
delphia, a distance of nearly 100 miles, but
was unable to sell it.
113. Why could he not sell it f
The coal could not be made to burn, and
was condemned as nothing but "black
stones" and unfit for use.
11 If. How was coal first shipped by water?
It was loaded on rudely constructed boats
called u arks' 7 and floated down the rivers,
in the direction of the current, to its destina-
115. What were these arks like ?
They were made of rough timbers, about
90 feet long by 16 feet wide and 4 feet in
depth. Each end terminated in a sharp
point, with a single oar, some 30 feet long,
requiring two men to work it. It usually
took four men seven days to navigate an ark
from the Anthracite mines of Pennsylvania
to the Atlantic seaboard, the cost of the trip
being about $50.
116. How much did an ark cost ?
The total cost of an ark was $70, and as it
could not be brought back up stream or
against the current it had to be sold with the
coal for about $15.
117. What was the cost of transporting coal
by this system ?
About $5. 00 per ton.
118. How does this price compare with the
present price of transportation by railroads ?
It was nearly five times greater.
119. At what price was Anthracite coal sold
in those days ?
Anthracite coal was sold in Philadelphia
and Baltimore at from $10 to $12 per ton.
120. What was the capacity of an arTc ?
An ark held about 60 tons of run-of-mine
121. What is meant by i l run-of-mine J ' coal ?
Coal as it is dug in the mines, lump and
fine coal all together, without any prepara-
tion or screening, is called run of mine.
122. When was the first ark-load of Clear-
field semi- Bituminous coal shipped ?
In 1804 William Boyd shipped the first
ark-load of Clearfield coal down the Susque-
hanna Eiver to Columbia, in Pennsylvania,
a distance of about 260 miles. This was fol-
lowed by other shipments at irregular in-
128. Was this system of transportation a safe
and easy one ?
On the contrary, it was very dangerous
and risky, on account of the rapid currents
and submerged rocks in the beds of the
124. W hat proportion of accidents occurred
to these coal arks ?
Only two -thirds of the arks which started
down the rivers ever reached their destina-
tion, one-third generally going to pieces on
the bars and rocks.
125. What other attempt of transporting coal
by wagons followed that of Mr. Morris ?
An attempt was made" in 1812 by Colonel
George Shoemaker, of Pottsville, to haul coal
by wagons and horses to Philadelphia. He
succeeded in delivering nine wagon-loads of
126. Was his venture a success ?
The public was not familiar with "hard
coal," having used nothing but Bituminous,
and Colonel Shoemaker was regarded as an
impostor for attempting to sell " black
stones ' J as coal. He had some difficulty in
getting out of the city to avoid arrest !
127. What became of the nine wagon-loads
of Anthracite coal ?
Of the nine, two loads were sold, and the
other seven loads he gave away.
128. How was it ascertained that Colonel
Shoemaker's coal would burn ?
A whole night was spent in the effort to
make the coal burn, when the men quit their
work in despair, but left the furnace door
shut. One of the workmen returning some
time afterward found everything red-hot.
129. When was the first cargo of Anthracite
coal shipped "outside the Capes" ?
In 1823 the first cargo of Anthracite coal
was shipped around Cape Cod by vessel, con-
signed to the Boston Iron Works.
130. When icas the first shipment of Bitu-
minous coal made from a Pennsylvania mint to
the seaboard ?
In 1828 an ark -load of Bituminous coal
from Karthaus, in Clear-field County, Pa.,
was taken down the Susquehanna Kiver to
Port Deposit, at the head of Chesapeake Bay,
and was then reloaded into a sailing vessel
and carried to Philadelphia.
131. When wan the first shipment of Bitumi-
nous coal made from a Maryland mine to the
In 1842 the first shipment of Bituminous
coal from the Cumberland region, in Mary-
land, was made by railroad to Baltimore,
over the Baltimore & Ohio Eailroad.
132. What was the cost of transporting An-
thracite coal by wagons and horses to J'hUtidvl-
From $25 to $30 per ton, which was so
great as to make it impracticable.
133. What other systems of transportation
came into use ?
The introduction of steam power, at about
the year 1812, rendered some of our rivers
navigable up stream as well as down, and
about this time the construction of canals was
begun in various States, notably in Pennsyl-
vania, Maryland, and Virginia.
What is the first recorded movement of
coal "by rail 77 ?
In 1812, at Leeds, in England, an engine,
made by Blenkinsop, hauled 33 coal- wagons,
on a railroad, at a speed of 31 miles per
135. When was the first attempt made to
haul coal with locomotives in the United States ?
In 1829 the first application of steam to
coal transportation was made by Horatio
Allen, at Honesdale, for the Delaware and
Hudson Canal Company. His locomotive,
called the u Stourbridge Lion, 77 and weigh-
ing seven tons, was imported from England.
It ran at a speed of 10 miles per hour.
136. How many miles of railroad were in
operation in the United States in the year
About 40 miles altogether.
137. How many miles are now in operation ?
Over 203,000 miles, or six times that of any
other country in the world.
138. Who invented the railroad ?
To the coal operators in the North of Eng-
land is unquestionably due the invention of
139. Why is the invention due to them ?
They first contrived the double parallel line
of rails fixed to the ground and furnished
with flanges to prevent the wheels of the
wagons from slipping aside when hauling
140. What were these contrivances called ?
These early railroads were called " tram-
ways," and they are the origin of all the rail
transportation systems in the world.
IJ^l. How do the American coal fields com-
pare with the transatlantic fields ?
In area the American coal fields rank first
of all known coal fields in the world.
142. How do they compare with those of
Great Britain ?
The American fields are 37 times greater
than the coal fields of Great Britain, accord-
ing to estimates made by Professor Jevons,
an eminent English scientist.
143. What is meant by " the geography of
American coals " ?
The geography of American coals is a de-
scription of the coal fields of America and
144. Which State is the most important of
the coal producers ?
Pennsylvania is the largest coal producing
State in the Union.
145. Which is the most important coalfield
in the United States ?
The Anthracite regions of Pennsylvania
are of the first importance in the American
146. Where are they located ?
Geographically the Anthracite fields are
located about the middle of the eastern por-
tion of the State, and include the counties of
Susquehanna, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Carbon,
Schuylkill, Columbia, Northumberland and
147. What is the area of this field ?
The Anthracite regions of Pennsylvania
are comparatively small, embracing only
about 480 square miles.
148. How much did the Proprietary Gov-
ernment pay for this strip of coal land ?
It was purchased for 500, or, in American
money, about $2, 500.
149- Did the purchase prove to be a profitable
From that investment we have realized
nearly $5,000,000,000 the value of the coal
mined, at tide-watersince operations first
150. Are there any other Anthracite coal
fields in the United States *
There are some fields of Anthracite coal in
Colorado, New Mexico and Virginia, but
they are small, and thus far have not pro-
duced much coal.
151. How are the Anthracite coal fields of
Pennsylvania divided ?
For trade purposes they are divided into
three regions viz., the Wyoming, Schuyl-
kill and Lehigh.
152. Of the three regions named, which is the
most important ?
The Wyoming region is by far the most
important, producing, as it does, over 50 per
cent, of the entire output of Anthracite coal.
153. Which region is the next in impor-
The next in size and production is the
Schuylkill region, with 35 per cent, of the
entire output, while the Lehigh region comes
last with the remaining 15 per cent, of pro-
154' Where are the Anthracite fields of Col-
orado situated f
In Colorado the only Anthracite coal mined
comes from the Grand River field, in the ex-
treme western part of the State, which in-
cludes the counties of Eio Blanco, Garfield,
Mesa, Delta, Pitkin and Gunnison.
155. Where are the Anthracite fields of New
Mexico situated ?
In New Mexico the Anthracite territory is
in Santa Fe County.
156. What curious coal formation here oc-
In some parts of New Mexico both Anthra-
cite and Bituminous coal occur in the same
157. What is the cause of this occurrence ?
It is supposed that the heat of the porphy-
ritic rock which here penetrates the coal
measures caused the transformation of Bi-
tuminous coal into Anthracite.
158. How do the Bituminous coal fields of
the United States compare in area with the
The territory in which Bituminous coal is
found in the United States is more than 400
times as extensive as the Anthracite fields.
159. How are the Bituminous coal fields of
the United States divided ?
They are divided into seven regions, as fol-
lows : The Triassic, Appalachian, Northern,
Central, Western, Eocky Mountain and Pa-
160. Which of these divisions is the most
The Appalachian region is the most impor-
tant of the seven great Bituminous divisions
of the United States.
161. Where is it situated ?
It extends from the northern part of Penn-
sylvania in a southwesterly direction, follow-
ing the great Appalachian chain of moun-
tains, to the central part of Alabama.
162. What is the area of this field ?
Its area is about 62,690 square miles, cover-
ing nearly all of western Pennsylvania, the
southeastern part of Ohio, the western part
of Maryland, the southwestern corner of Vir-
ginia, nearly all of West Virginia, the eastern
part of Kentucky, a portion of eastern Ten-
nessee, the northwestern corner of Georgia,
and nearly all northern Alabama.
163. What is the length and breadth of the
Appalachian Bituminous field?
Its length is a little over 900 miles, and it
ranges in width from 30 to 180 miles.
164. Which is the next in importance of the
seven grand divisions of the Bituminous coal
The second region in importance and pro-
ducing capacity is the central field, which in-
cludes all of Indiana and Illinois and the
western part of Kentucky, with an area of
47,850 square miles.
165. Which is the third Bituminous field
in importance and product ?
The western region, embracing all the coal
areas west of the Mississippi River, south of
the forty-third parallel, and east of the Eocky
Mountains, including Iowa, Missouri, Ne-
braska, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas and Indian
Territory, in area about 25,000 square miles.
166. What does the Eocky Mountain Bitu-
minous field include ?
The Eocky Mountain region includes the
coal areas contained in Colorado, Idaho,
Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah
and Wyoming, estimated at about 25,000
167. What does the Pacific coast field em-
The Pacific coast field embraces all the Bi-
tuminous areas in the three States bordering
on the Pacific Ocean, California, Oregon
and Washington. Of the three States in-
cluded in this field, Washington comes first
in the quantity of coal produced, Oregon
next, and California last. The coal produc-
ing area has been estimated at 10,000 square
168. Where is the Northern field ?
This is altogether in the State of Michigan,
covering an area of 6, 700 square miles, and
including nearly all the central part of the
169. W here are the principal operations in
the Northern field ?
The principal operations are carried on
near the city of Saginaw, in Saginaw County,
170. What does the Triassic region com-
The Triassic region comprises what is
known as the Kichmond basin, in Chesterfield
and Henrico counties, Virginia, and the Deep
Eiver and Dan Eiver fields in North Caro-
171. W hat is peculiar in the coal formations
of this region ?
As the name indicates, the coal formations
here are of the Triassic geological period, or
more recent than those of the Carboniferous
age. Here also is found coal which in its
formation differs materially from all other
coal formations in this country, and which is
perhaps the oldest coal in existence, or the
first creations of the Carboniferous age.
172. Which State in the Union produces the
greatest amount of Bituminous coal ?
Pennsylvania, which produces each year
about twice as much Bituminous coal as it
173. In which State does the great Appalach-
ian coal field cover the most area ?
In West Virginia the total coal area em-
braces about 16,000 square miles, or 60 per
cent, more than Pennsylvania, and more than
80 per cent, of the total Bituminous area of
Pennsylvania and Ohio combined.
174- Which is the second State in impor-
tame of the coal producers ?
Illinois ranks second in coal production,
but is first in coal area, which is about four
times as large as the Bituminous areas in
Pennsylvania, more than twice as large as
that of West Virginia, and more than half
as large as the entire Appalachian coal field.
175. How does West Virginia rank amongst
the coal producing States f
West Virginia ranks the third in impor-
tance amongst the coal producing States, hav-
ing a Bituminous area of about 24,000 square
176. Which are the principal Bituminous
coal producing States in the Union ?
These four States : Pennsylvania, Illinois,
West Virginia and Ohio. Together they
produce more than twice as much coal as all
of the other States combined.
177. What is the total area of the Bitumi-
nous coal fields in the United States f
In some parts of the Western, Eocky Moun-
tain, and Pacific coast fields the areas are as
yet unknown, but the latest developments
show a Bituminous area of nearly 200,000
178. What is the coal production of the
The present annual total output from the
coal mines of the United States is about
350,000,000 tons, of 2,000 pounds to each
179. What does this include ?
This includes all the coal sent to market,
either by shipment from the mines to distant
points, that which is sold locally, and also
the coal consumed by the mine employees and
by the mine operators in locomotives, under
stationary boilers, etc., in working the mines,
and technically known as u colliery consump-
tion. ' > It also includes the coal manufactured
180. How much coal is used in colliery con-
sumption and locally near the mines ?
About 10,000,000 tons, of 2,000 pounds
each, are used annually for colliery consump-
tion, and 12,000,000 for local trade.
181. How much of this annual production is
Anthracite coal ?
The annual production of Pennsylvania
Anthracite coal, which practically includes
all the Anthracite coal produced in the
United States, is about 65,000,000 tons of
182. What is the value of this coal ?
The value of Pennsylvania Anthracite coal
is about $130,000,000, or an average of $2.00
per ton of 2,000 pounds at the mines.
183. How many men are employed in pro-
ducing the Pennsylvania Anthracite coal ?
The number of men employed in, and
about the Anthracite mines is about 145,000.
184' How many days in the year are these
men employed ?
The Anthracite miners average 175 work-
ing days, or about two-thirds of the time.
185. Of the total production of Anthracite
coal, how much is mined outside of Pennsyl-
Only 60,000 tons of 2,000 pounds each,
which is mined in Colorado and New
186. What is the total production of Bitumi-
nous coal in the United States ?
The total production of Bituminous coal is
about 285,000,000 tons of 2,000 pounds each
187. What does this embrace ?
It embraces all the Bituminous, semi -Bi-
tuminous, gas-coals, canuel, block, lignite
and brown coals.
188. What is the value of this coal ?
The present value of the total Bituminous
production of the United States is about
$285,000,000, or an average of about $1.00
per ton of 2, 000 pounds, at the mines. .
189. How many men are employed in pro-
ducing this coal ?
The number of men employed in producing
the Bituminous tonnage is about 350,000.
190. How many days in the year are these
men employed ?
The Bituminous miners average 225 work-
ing days, or about three-fourths of the
191. Which is the most important of the
coal-producing States ?
Pennsylvania comes first, with about 30
per cent, of the total Bituminous product ;
but including her Anthracite product Penn-
sylvania produces 51 per cent, of the total
192. Which State is the second in the pro-
duction of coal ?
Illinois comes second, with 9 per cent, of
the total coal output.
193. Which State is the third in coal pro-
West Virginia is the third in production,
with 8 per cent, of the total.
194. Which State is the fourth in importance
of the coal producers ?
Ohio is the fourth in production, with 7
per cent, of the total tonnage of the United
195. Name the other coal- producing States as
they rank in production ?
Alabama is the fifth State in the produc-
tion of coal 5 then comes Indiana, Colorado,
Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee, Maryland, Wyo-
ming, Missouri, Indian Territory, Virginia,
Washington, Arkansas, Montana, Utah, New
Mexico, Michigan, Texas, Georgia and
North Carolina in the order named.
196. Is any coal produced outside of these
A small annual production comes from
California, North Dakota, Oregon and Idaho,
but the total amount is comparatively small.
197. What is the average production of An-
thracite coal per man per ivorking day in the
United States ?
The average number of tons produced per
working day by each man employed in all
capacities in the Anthracite fields of the
United States is shown by statistics to be
about two net tons.
198. What is the average production of Bi-
tuminous coal per man per working day in the
United States ?
The average number of tons produced per
working day by each man employed in the
Bituminous fields of the United States is
shown by statistics to average about three net
199. How much of the coal production of the
United States is manufactured into coke ?
Of the total coal production of the United
States about 39,400,000 tons is manufactured
200. In what year was Anthracite coal first
produced in Pennsylvania- and what was the
total tonnage ?
In 1820 the total Anthracite production of
Pennsylvania was 365 tons, which was shipped
from the Lehigh region.
201. Where is the coal production of the
United States sold ?
Almost the entire production of American
coal is sold and consumed at home, although
a small percentage is exported to other coun-
tries, principally by rail over the interna-
tional bridges and by lake and sea to the
202. What other exports of American coal
are made by sea ?
Other small tonnages are exported by sea
to the West Indies, to Central and South
America, and elsewhere.
203. What is the total amount of these ex-
ports annually ?
The total amount of coal exported annually
from the United States to other countries is
now about 8,000,000 tons.
204. Are there any imports of coal made
from foreign countries to the United States ?
A small amount of coal is added to the pro-
duction in the United States by imports,
principally from Australia and British Co-
lumbia to San Francisco, from Great Britain
to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and from
Nova Scotia to Atlantic coast points.
205. What is the total amount of these im-
ports annually ?
The total amount of foreign coal imported
annually to the United States is now about
206. Is there any duty or tariff' on these im-
ported coals f
The United States Government has had a
tariff on imported coals since 1824, excepting
on Anthracite coal, which has been free of
duty since 1870, and on coal from the British
possessions in North America, which under
the reciprocity treaty was admitted free of
duty during the period from June, 1854, to
207. How has the tariff on imported coals
varied since 1824 ?
From 1824 to 1843 the tariff was $1.68 per
long ton ( 2,240 pounds ).
From 1843 to 1846 the tariff was $1.75 per
From 1846 to 1857, 30 per cent, ad valorem
From 1857 to 1861, 24 per cent, ad valorem
on all foreign coals.
During 1861 Bituminous and shale paid
$1.00 and all others 50 cents per ton.
From 1862 to 1864, Bituminous and shale,
$1.10 per ton ; all others, 60 cents per ton.
From 1864 to 1872, Bituminous and shale,
$1. 25 per ton ; all others, 40 cents per ton.
From 1872 to 1894, Bituminous and shale,
75 cents per ton ; slack or culm, 40 cents.
From 1894 to 1897, Bituminous and shale,
40 cents per ton ; slack or culm, 15 cents.
208. What is the present duty on imported
By act of Congress, approved July 24,
1897, the duty on imported coal was fixed at
67 cents per long ton " on all coals contain-
ing less than 92 per cent, of fixed carbon, and
shale" j and on coal slack or culm passed
through a half-inch screen, 15 cents per long
ton. ( The collection of duty was suspended
209. How much coal is produced annually in
the world ?
The total production of coal in the world is
something over 950,000,000 tons each year.
210. Which is the greatest coal-producing
country in the world ?
At the head of all coal-producing countries
is the United States, with an annual tonnage
of over 350,000,000 net tons.
211. Which country ranks second in coal
Great Britain is the second in tonnage with
250,000,000 tons annually.
212. Why must the United States always
rank as first in coal production ?
Owing to the vast extent of American coal
fields and the cheapness of production. New
coal regions are constantly being developed,
while the smaller fields of the old world, cir-
cumscribed and long worked, are becoming
more expensive in operation each year.
213. Which country ranks third in coal pro-
Germany is the third in tonnage of the coal-
producing countries, having an annual out-
put of nearly 170,000,000 tons.
214- Which country ranks fourth in ton-
Austria- Hungary produces nearly 43,000,-
000 tons of coal annually, and ranks as
fourth in tonnage.
215. Name the fifth in rank of the coal pro-
ducing countries ?
France ranks as the fifth in importance of
the world's coal producers with 36,000,000
216. Give the names of the other coal-pro-
ducing countries with their relative importance
and annual tonnage ?
Belgium ranks as sixth with over 25,000,-
000 tons; Eussia as seventh with 17,000,000
tons; Japan as eighth with 8,000,000 tons;
Canada as ninth with 6,000,000 tons; India
and New South Wales 6,000,000 tons each ;
Spain, 3,000,000 tons ; and New Zealand,
Sweden, Italy, Transvaal, Queensland, Vic-
toria, Natal, Cape Colony, and Tasmania with
tonnages ranging from 1,000,000 to 40,000
217. What percentage of the whole world's
coal production is mined in the United States ?
About 34 per cent, of all the world 7 s coal
is produced in the United States.
218. How do we classify coal ?
In the family of the carbons, which varies
in composition from the fattest or most highly
volatile and Bituminous substance to the
leanest and least combustible.
219. How are the American coals classed ?
American coals are divided into two
kinds, namely, Anthracite and Bituminous.
These are again subdivided into many vari-
Of the two kinds, which is more rich
in carbon ?
Of the two kinds of mineral coal, Anthra-
cite contains the higher percentage of car-
221. Describe Anthracite coal ?
Anthracite coal, the most condensed of
mineral fuel, is hard and varies in color from
a glistening black to dark lead-gray. It is
clean, ignites with difficulty, bums with a
short bluish flame, without smoke, and has
very little illuminating power. When burn-
ing it throws off a penetrating sulphurous
odor, but gives an intense, concentrated heat.
222. Of what does Anthracite coal consist ?
The constituents of Anthracite coal are
carbon, water and earthy matter in acci-
dental and varying mixtures. Anthracite is
the condensed coke of Bituminous coal.
223. What is the usual percentage of carbon
contained in Anthracite coal ?
The percentage of carbon in Pennsylvania
Anthracite ranges from 85 per cent, to 92
per cent. In the Anthracite of South Wales
the carbon has been found to reach as high
as 95 per cent. , and in a Eussian variety 94
224- What is the average percentage of ash ?
The percentage of ash in Anthracite coal
ranges from 4 per cent, to 8 per cent.
225. Into what two classes are the Anthracite
coals divided ?
According to the color of their ashes, pro-
duced in combustion, the Anthracites are di-
vided into two classes, known as "red ash"
and "white ash."
226. What are the characteristics of Anthra-
cite " red ash " coals ?
The Anthracite red ash coals contain a
considerable proportion of oxide of iron,
which gives them a reddish color. They are
generally more easily kindled and a more
free-burning coal than the white ash, but from
the liability to clinker, or from cinders,
which melt and adhere to the walls of the
grate or furnace, they are not so much es-
teemed for purposes which require consider-
able draught as the white ash variety, which
sheds its ashes freely. For burning in open
grates or for domestic use, with a moderate
draft, the red ash coal is preferred.
227. Describe the physical characteristics of
Anthracite " white ash" coals?
The Anthracite white ash coals are harder
than the red ash and are more suited to carry
the burden of ore in a blast-furnace or for
any use requiring a strong draught for com-
bustion, as in large heating furnaces or under
boilers having a forced artificial draft.
228. How is the relative value of fuels de-
The relative value of fuels is determined
by the quantities of water evaporated by a
certain weight of each fuel.
229. What do these evaporative tests show ?
Coals tested in this way show that the
richer a coal is in fixed carbon the greater is
its heating power.
230. Under this test which coal would class
higher in value ?
Anthracites would class higher in value
than the Bituminous coals, weight for weight,
owing to the higher percentage of fixed car-
bon which they contain.
231. How much water will one pound of
Pennsylvania Anthracite coal evaporate ?
It has been shown by laboratory experi-
ments that one pound of Pennsylvania An-
thracite coal will evaporate 15.56 pounds of
232. How much water will one pound of Bi-
tuminous coal evaporate ?
A pound of the best Scotch coal by the
same experimental tests evaporated only 7.74
pounds of water, and of the best English Bi-
tuminous only 9.07 pounds.
233. Are these laboratory tests conclusive
proofs of the relative value of the two kinds of
They are not, as these results, it is well
known, are not sustained in actual practice
234. What is the generally accepted theory
of the actual relative values of fuels ?
It has been proven that the heat value of
fuel is proportional to the quantity of oxygen
which enters into the combination, whatever
may be the nature of the combustible. As
hydrogen and the gaseous products of its
combination with carbon consume much
larger proportions of oxygen than the same
weight of solid carbon, the presence of these
increases the heating power of the fuel.
235. By this rule which coal would class the
higher in value ?
The heavy gas coals would class higher in
value than the Anthracites, weight for weight,
owing to the higher percentages of gaseous
matter and volatile substances which they
236. Is this rule sustained in actual practice ?
It is not, owing to the difficulty of obtain-
ing perfect combustion.
All experiments made with the purpose of
ascertaining the relative value of fuels should
be made in the particular apparatus especially
designed for the best combustion of each kind
of fuel. When this is done it is found that
each kind of coal is adapted for some particu-
lar use in preference to the other, and that
no marked superiority is peculiar to either.
237. Describe Bituminous coal ?
Bituminous coal, unlike Anthracite, is
usually soft, friable, and easily crushed or
broken into small cubas or fibrous-like pieces ;
like Anthracite, it varies in color from a
bright, shiny black to dull gray. It ignites
easily and burns with a long, reddish, flame,
interspersed with vivid jets of bright, highly
illuminating power, and gives an agreeable
heat, diffused over the entire mass.
238. Of what does Bituminous coal consist ?
Bituminous coal consists of carbon, volatile
matter, water and ash ; it differs from An-
thracite in its higher percentage of volatile
gases and its lower percentage of carbon.
239. What is the usual percentage of volatile
matter in Bituminous coal %
The percentage of volatile matter in Bi-
tuminous coal varies greatly, from 15 to 18
per cent., as in the Cumberland, Maryland,
and Clearfield, Pennsylvania, coals, to 35 per
cent., and even 45 per cent., as in the West
Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana coals.
240. How do we distinguish the volatile mat-
ter in coal ?
In the combustion of Bituminous coal the
volatile matter it contains is seen in the flame
which it produces.
241. What percentage of carbon is found in
Bituminous coal ?
The percentage of carbon contained in Bi-
tuminous coal varies from 50 per cent, to 80
per cent. The higher the carbon the less will
be the volatile matter, and, conversely, the
higher the volatile matter, the less will be the
242. What constitutes the energy of coal ?
The energy of all coals is in the combined
carbon and volatile matters which they con-
tain. These two added together constitute
the strength or body of all fuels, varying as
their combustion is more or less perfect.
243. Then a large percentage of carbon in
coal does not indicate the most energy ?
Not necessarily so. If such was the case,
many of the poorer grades of Eussian coal
would be found superior to our heavy gas
coals in steaming properties which is not the
case in practice.
244. Does a large percentage of -volatile mat-
ter in coal indicate superior strength or energy ?
Not always. Many of our Western coals,
ranging the highest in heavy hydrocarbons or
volatile combustible gases, give the poorest
results in effective energy or steam-raising
245. What do we learn from these examples ?
We learn that a coal may be high or low in
volatile matter or fixed carbon in its chemical
analysis and give entirely different results in
practice than such determinations would in-
. Of what use is a chemical analysis of
A chemical analysis of coal will determine
the amount of impurities which it contains,
such as ash, sulphur, phosphorus, or other
harmful constituents. It also, in a great
measure, determines for what uses the coal in
question is best suited. For example, a coal
high in volatile matter and carbon and low in
ash would indicate a powerful fuel with great
effective energy, while it might also contain
a high percentage of sulphur, rendering it
unfit for the manufacture of iron ; on the
other hand, a coal may be comparatively free
from sulphur, high in carbon, and so low in
the heavy volatile matter and density as to be
entirely unsuitable for heavy steaming or for
combustion under forced or artificial draughts.
Into what two classes is Bituminous coal
generally divided ?
According to the percentages of volatile
matter which they may contain, Bituminous
coals are generally divided into two classes,
known as steaming coals and gas coals.
These are also frequently designated as Bi-
tuminous and semi-Bituminous, and are again
subdivided as "block coal," " cannel coal,"
"smithing coal," "coking coal," etc.
248. Name some of the best known semi- Bi-
tuminous steaming coals ?
Among the semi -Bituminous coals of Penn-
sylvania are those known as "Clearfield,"
1 i Broad Top, " " Eey uoldsville, " " Alle-
gheny," "Meyersdale," "Mercer," and
"Dagus"; of Maryland, the "George's
Creek," Cumberland, and "Pocahontas" of
249. Where are the principal beds of gas
coal in the United States f
The principal beds of gas coal in the United
States are in the country adjacent to Pitts-
burg, Pennsylvania, and southeasterly along
the Alleghany range in West Virginia.
250. Which is the most important of the
coking coals ?
The principal bed of coking coal is also
found in Pennsylvania, in the neighborhood
of Connellsville, and in West Virginia.
251. What is the principal kind of coal
found in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois ?
That which is classed as* Bituminous. The
" block" coal found in a part of Indiana,
having a peculiar fracture into cubical blocks,
is of special value for furnaces.
Describe " block " coal ?
Block coal has a laminated structure and
is composed of alternate layers of dull black
coal and mineral charcoal. It splits readily
into sheets, but with difficulty is broken in
the opposite direction. It swells very little
in burning, does not change form, and never
cokes or runs together. It is pure and free
253. What original causes produced the dif-
ference in the various coals ?
The mixed and ever- varying deposits of
carbon and clay of an original vegetation.
In the Carboniferous age the coal vegetation
was dense or otherwise, producing the differ-
ent kinds of coal under various conditions.
How is coal discovered ?
The discoveries of coal are usually made by
systematic prospecting in the rocks which are
known to be of the coal-forming period. Ac-
cidental discoveries of coal have been made
by persons ignorant of geology, but the prin-
cipal coal fields of America have been devel-
oped by the trained prospector.
255. What is a prospector ?
A prospector is one who explores a country
in search for anything, but usually for min-
erals. A person who by education or ex-
perience is qualified to search for coal is
called a coal-prospector.
256. What is the most common evidence on
the surface of coal beneath ?
The outcrop of coal seams which by acci-
dent or natural causes have become exposed
on the surface of the ground. Often, how-
ever, the cover of alluvial matter is so great
as completely to conceal the underlying seams
257. Of what use is this covering of nature ?
In this alluvial covering is the soil given
us for cultivation ; but apart from that, were
the coal seams denuded and exposed to the
elements, the coal would rapidly deteriorate
and the mining operations be frequently
stopped by heavy rains or snow. The surface
or covering provides shelter for the mines
and natural channels by which all surface
water is carried to the adjacent rivers.
258. Which is the proper term, a " coal
vein " or " coal seam " ?
Originally a deposit of coal in the ground
was usually called a coal vein, but this was
before the orderly continuity of the coal de-
posits was known or understood. The word
" vein" as applied to minerals occurring in
veins which radiate from the centre, like gold
or silver, is correct, but coal never is found in
this manner, but always as a thin sheet, bed,
or stratum, and enclosed in parallel strata of
rocks ; it should therefore be called a
259. Are the coal seams uniformly level ?
Not always. In fact, the case seldom occurs
where the beds of coal do not vary from a
slight rise or fall to a considerable angle of
inclination j but in whatever position they
may happen to be found, each particular
seam of coal will be continuous, level, or
rolling, as the case may be, but extending
over the entire coal field and exhibiting the
same general characteristics, excepting at
such points where its continuity is broken by
natural or accidental causes.
260. How does a prospector search for coal ?
In his search for coal the prospector ex-
amines carefully the surface and the exposed
edges of rock strata on the banks of streams,
rivers, and gullies. He also considers the
position of the rocks, their probable displace-
ment by drift or glacial action, the positions
of detached boulders, and the causes of their
probable removal from more distant localities.
He examines old wells, the river-beds at ex-
treme low water, all railroad and canal cut-
tings and quarries, as well as collections of
local geological specimens.
261. Should any of these specimens contain
the Carboniferous flora, what would that indi-
The coal-prospector would know that the
rock containing the geological fragments be-
longed to the typical coal measures, and
therefore he would have good prospects of
finding coal in the neighborhood from whence
the specimen came.
262. What is the usual first indication of
The first indication of coal when found
near the surface is the " black smut" ; or, if
search is made in ravines or beds of rivers
and streams, the prospector looks for small
bits of coal, like small black pebbles, contin-
uing his search up stream until such frag-
ments disappear, at which point the coal crop
is close at hand.
263. How is the coal seam located ?
Selecting the most likely spot, a small
square excavation is made on the hillside, as
if digging a well, and when the seam of coal
is reached an open drift or ditch is dug from
the excavation of sufficient grade to drain
away all accumulating water.
264. Supposing the surface to be very abrupt
and precipitous, how would we proceed ?
In that case the preliminary excavations
would be made directly into the coal seam by
a small drift or tunnel.
265. How are the positions of the Bituminous
coal seams usually seen on the surface?
The positions of the various Bituminous
coal seams are plainly indicated in the
" benches" or terraces of the hillside, which
usually occur at the outcrop.
266. How are these benches formed ?
Coal benches are caused by the process of
erosion, which works more rapidly and easily
on the soft coal outcroppings than upon the
enclosing rocks, thus producing the steps,
terraces, or benches in the hillside.
267. What good indication of coal can be
found in water ?
Where a river or stream deposits a light
yellowish covering along the banks and over
the stones and other objects in its course, we
know that the water contains iron and that
it probably originates in a bed of coal.
268. What other means besides patient
searching has been employed to discover coal ?
There are a great many recorded instances
of the discovery of coal by means of the
virgula dimnatorum, or divining rod, which
are more curious than instructive. It was said
that coal was thus discovered in France in
the latter part of the twelfth century.
269. Can a prospector always depend on sur-
face indications to locate a coal seam ?
It is only under certain conditions that the
coal seams can be located by the topograph-
ical or surface indications. The great amount
of drift composed of soil or alluvial covering
often completely hides the coal outcroppings
and the position of the coal strata from view.
270. When such is the case, how must we
When no surface indications can be ob-
tained, after thorough search has been made,
we must ascertain what is contained in the
ground by boring or drilling holes from the
surface. These are called " prospect holes."
271. Where should such drillings be made?
In selecting spots for drilling, the pros-
pector should first locate on the surface the
probable course of the underneath tunnel or
entry to the best of his knowledge and judg-
ment. On this line, at measured distances,
which are accurately noted in a record book,
the points are marked as suitable spots for
272. What is the most simple form of drill-
The most simple form of boring is with a
" bit," or iron chisel, similar to that used by
stone-masons for drilling holes in stone, and
used in the same manner, alternately raised
and dropped as the hole is driven deeper,
and turned partly around with each drop, so
as to cut a round hole and prevent the tool
from being wedged fast in the rock.
273. How is the " bit " raised after each
In drilling with the bit and rods a spring-
pole sometimes a young growing tree bent
over is used to lift the bit after each drop.
The alternating motion up and down is done
by hand power, or a stirrup is attached for
the driller to use his feet ; hence the expres-
sion, " kicking down" a hole.
274- How do we proceed as the hole becomes
As the work progresses sections of iron or
wooden rods are fastened to the chisel until
the required depth has been reached.
275. How is the nature of the strata through
which the drill is progressing ascertained ?
When some depth has been reached by the
"bit" and rods they are withdrawn, and the
broken bits of rock are taken from the hole
by means of a " sludger."
276. What is a sludger ?
A sludger is simply a short length of iron
pipe fitted at the bottom end with a foot-
valve or traps, so that the churning of the
sludger up and down will gather up the
pieces of rock inside the pipe, which the
valve preventing them from falling out are
drawn to the surface and there carefully ex-
amined for indications of coal. For this pur-
pose it is necessary that the hole be kept wet
by pouring water into it as the work ad-
277. How are the rods and bit withdrawn
from the hole ?
The rods and bit soon become too heavy to
be withdrawn from the hole by hand. It is
then necessary to withdraw them by means
of a rope attached to a pulley and derrick.
278. To what depth can a hole be bored by the
bit and hand power ?
Holes have been driven by this system to a
depth of 900 feet, but ordinarily it is not
advantageous to a depth of more than 50 to
75 feet. Should the coal seam lie deeper, it
would then be necessary to use a power drill.
279. What is a power drill ?
A power drill is one worked by other than
manual labor, as steam, electricity, or com-
pressed air. Usually it is made like a hollow
cylinder, and is furnished at its base or cut-
ting end with a row of teeth like a saw, or
with four or six bits, or generally with small
pieces of black diamonds or carbons, in
which case it is called a diamond drill.
280. What advantage does the power drill
possess over the bit and rods ?
By this system of drilling a more perfect
specimen of the strata is obtained, as it cuts
a solid "core" or cylinder out of the rock,
which can be brought to the surface by a
spring grapnel, and can there be carefully
examined and recorded. It has the addi-
tional advantage of being able to drill holes
in any direction from vertical to horizontal,
like a common auger.
281. Describe the " core " usually found
ivhen drilling for coal ?
When boring for coal the drill first passes
through the soil or clay, and then through
the overlying strata of limestone, sandstone,
etc., until when the coal measures are reached
it penetrates the black shales, and often mi-
nute, thin seams of coal called " riders."
282. When the u rider J1 has been discovered ,
is the prospector sure of success ?
Not always, as there may be nothing else
in the property ; but usually the " rider " is
found in close proximity to the coal seam
itself, and the probabilities are that the drill
will soon drop into the soft, yielding bed of
coal, and the prospector's task will be fin-
283. The prospector having found the coal
j what is the first step in its development f
The first step in developing a seam of coal
is to ascertain the best location for an open-
ing into it. This must be done with rare
good judgment, as on this depends all the
future working of the property.
28 Jf. By whom should this work be done ?
To the trained judgment of a competent
mining engineer should be left the location
of the first or initial opening of a coal seam,
and only men of technical knowledge and
experience should be employed for this pur-
285. What are the different methods em-
ployed for developing a coal seam ?
In the United States we employ four meth-
ods of opening a coal seam namely, the
drift, the slope, the tunnel, and the shaft,
which are adopted according to the nature of
the surface and the position of the coal seams.
286. What is a drift mine or opening ?
A drift opening is very simple. It consists
of a small opening, about 6 feet high and 8
feet wide, "drifted" or driven into the coal
seam from the outcropping and making a
small tunnel in the coal itself.
287. Where should a drift opening begin ?
The point selected for beginning a drift
opening should be at the lowest part of the
outcrop, so that any water met with in the
mine will drain out of it, and also that the
coal can be easily hauled on a down grade
from the interior to the tipple, or loading
288. What is the cheapest mode of opening a
coal seam ?
A property opened by "drifting" at the
lowest part of the outcrop and progressing
into a hill at a slightly ascending uniform
grade is the cheapest and most favorable way
in which a coal seam can be opened.
289. What is this mode or system called ?
When a coal seam is opened in this way
the coal is "taken on the rise," as it is called
290. What is the reverse of this system
Where the grade of the drift is slightly de-
scending as the work progresses the coal is
said to be " worked on the dip."
2&1. Why is the first method better ?
In the first instance the drift is always dry
and free from water, as it runs out of itself,
while in the latter case the water is always
ahead of the workings and just where it is
the most troublesome at the "face" or end
of the drift or tunnel.
292. Why is the drift opening not universally
Circumstances are rare where the coal
seams are so favorably located as to furnish
opportunities for drift openings. They are
not usually found in such advantageous posi-
293. What is a tunnel mine or opening f
A tunnel opening is a drift through inter-
vening rock measures to the coal beyond.
To illustrate a tunnel opening one must sup-
pose the coal seam, instead of lying flat and
parallel to the horizon, to be inclined from
the outcrop high up on a hillside and pitch-
ing downward into and through the hill.
The outcrop being too high, or possibly not
exposed, a tunnel is driven into the side of
the hill through the rock at water level until
the coal is reached ; the coal is then mined
and hauled out to the tipple through the
294- What circumstance determines the de-
sirability of using the tunnel opening ?
The length of the tunnel required to reach
the coal would determine the desirability of
this mode of opening. For if the distance
through the rock were too great the cost of
opening would be very great also, and the
distance necessary for hauling the coal, if
very long, would add too much to the cost of
What is a dope mine or opening ?
Where the coal seam crops out at the sur-
face and is at an angle, the most common way
of opening the seam is by a slope, which is
exactly similar to a drift, the main gangway
or entry being driven into the coal itself, but
is not level, the drift following the dip of the
coal downward or in a sloping direction into
the hill ; hence the term, a slope mine or
296. How is the coal mined in a slope open-
When the principal drift has reached a
suitable distance down and into the coal
seam, gangways or cross headings are driven,
at right angles with the main opening, along
the " strike " of the seam, and the mining of
coal begins at this point.
297. What is the " dip " and u strike " of a
coal seam ?
The "dip" of a coal seam is its angle of
inclination measured from a horizontal line.
The " strike " is the direction of any horizon-
tal line along or across the seam. It is al-
ways at right angles to the "dip." An ex-
cellent illustration of the dip and strike of a
coal seam can be had by folding a vsheet of note-
paper so that one part is horizontal and the
other hangs down. The angle which the
hanging leaf makes with the other is the
" dip," and the line where the two leaves are
connected is the "strike."
298. At what angle of inclination in the coal
seam is it best to open it with a slope ?
Where the dip of the coal seam inclines
from the horizontal more than 15 or 20 de-
grees it is best to work the seam by a slope.
299. What is a shaft mine or opening ?
Where the coal seam is found in a flat
country and lying horizontally some distance
or, as is often the case, below water level, the
opening is made by "shafting" ; that is,
sinking a shaft or hole from the surface to
the coal seam below. A mine thus developed
is called a shaft mine.
300. What, is the advantage of a shaft mine
over the other methods of development ?
The advantage in opening a seam of coal
by a shaft is that it frequently permits the
operator to penetrate the heart of the seam
at once and to extend his workings in every
direction. There is no "crop coal " to work
through, as in the drift or slope openings.
301. How is a shaft opening made ?
In the United States the most common way
is to begin by sinking a square or rectangular
hole through the surface earth until the bed-
rock is reached. This surface earth does not
often exceed a depth of over 20 feet, and
must be kept from caving in during the
progress of the work and thereafter by stout
timbers framed together or by a stone curb-
ing, as in a well. When the solid rock has
been reached, this timber or stone curbing
sets firmly on it, and no further timbering is
necessary until the sinking is completed and
the coal has been reached.
302. What is the proper size for a shaft ?
The size of a shaft depends entirely on the
use for which it is intended. The width is
seldom over 12 feet ; it is regulated by the
length of the small mine cars in use in the
mines ; the length by the number of com-
partments intended to be used in its opera-
tion ; the depth depends, of course, on the
position of the coal seam.
303. What is the size and number of com-
partments used in a shaft ?
A compartment is usually from 6 to 8 feet
broad, so that the surface opening for a shaft
with 2 compartments, the smallest in use,
would measure 12 feet wide by 18 or 20 feet
in length j a surface opening for 6 compart-
ments, an unusually large one, would meas-
ure 12 feet wide by 40 or 50 feet in length.
304. Is the size of a shaft opening the same
for its entire depth ?
The first sinking of the shaft through the
surface soil and earth is made from 4 to 8 feet
longer than the size of the shaft in the rock,
in order to give room for the timber or stone
curbing along its sides.
305. How is the shaft sinking done ?
The excavating through the earth is done
by a windlass, or the earth is shoveled on
stages or platforms and then carted or wheeled
away. When the rock is reached, holes are
drilled into it, either by hand or power drills,
and the rock is removed by blasting with
powder or other explosives.
806. How is the coal worked after it has been
opened by a shaft ?
When the coal has been reached at the bot-
tom of a shaft, a "sump" is excavated on
the dip or lower side in the coal. This sump
catches all the water, which from it is pumped
out to the surface. After the sump has been
excavated, working gangways are driven
right and left into the seam, and from them
are turned the "rooms" in which the miners
work the coal.
307. What is the ordinary depth of a coal
shaft in the United States ?
In this country a shaft is seldom sunk over
300 or 400 feet in depth. The deepest shaft
we have is in Pottsville, in the Anthracite
region about 1,600 feet.
SOS. How do these shafts compare with those
In the European coal fields much deeper
shafts are sunk than in the United States to
reach coal seams not nearly so thick. It is
not unusual to sink shafts there from 1,000 to
3,000 feet in depth.
309. What is the average time required to
sink a shaft ?
The time required to sink a shaft under
ordinary conditions has been estimated at
200 to 300 feet per year, including timbering.
310. What is the cost of sinking a shaft
through hard rock ?
The cost of sinking a shaft through hard
rock is placed at $5.00 to $8.00 per cubic
yard for rectangular shafts of an average
cross-section, and from 400 to 800 feet deep.
The cost increases rapidly with the depth,
and for the shafts more than 800 feet deep the
cost per cubic yard may reach $10.00.
311. What is the cost of sinking a shaft
through shale and sandstone ?
Under ordinary conditions, a shaft sunk
through shale and soft sandstone would cost,
on an average, from $2.00 to $5.00 per cubic
yard for shafts from 500 to 800 feet in depth.
812. How many men are employed in operat-
ing the coal mines of the United States ?
The production of coal in the United States
at present requires about 500,000 men, who
are employed in operating the mines.
313. How are these divided between the An-
thracite and the Bituminous mines?
Of this number 150,000 are employed in
the production of Anthracite, while the
remaining 350,000 are scattered over the
other coal-producing States, engaged in the
mining of the various Bituminous fuels.
314- Are women and children employed in
the coal mines ?
Such was the case in England and France
for years; and in Scotland, within the past
fifty years, women and children were em-
ployed to carry coals on their backs from the
mines to the surface. Now, women no longer
work in the mines in England or France, but
are still so employed in Belgium. In the
United States, women have never worked in
the mines, and the employment of children
under -ground is, in most of the coal States,
prohibited by law.
315. How were the earlier mines of ihe
United States operated ?
The early coal tonnages in the United
States were produced by very crude and
simple methods. When the coal outcropped
on the hillside it was dug out with pick and
shovel, or, if shafting was necessary, a rude
crank and windlass was all the machinery
316. How do we operate now ?
To-day the "main entry" in a coal-mine
is laid out with the precision of a main ave-
nue in one of our cities by competent tech-
nical experts, and from it at right angles are
driven the "headings" like so many cross
streets, lined on each side with the "rooms"
or daily workshops of the miners.
817. How much coal can a miner produce in
A miner can produce from 5 to 8 tons of
coal daily depending upon the thickness of
the seam, the nature of the roof, the condi-
tion of the mines, and various other circum-
stances, such as water, gas, etc.
318. What are the tools used by a Bituminous
His tools consist of several picks, a shovel,
an auger, tamping-bar and needle, a small
hat lamp and can of oil, and also a can of
319. How does he mine the coal ?
With his pick he digs away a space at the
bottom of the seam, to accomplish which he
must lie down on the floor of the mine while
he works his arms, " undercutting " the coal.
This undercut slopes gradually downward,
until he has undermined a space clear across
the room, as far as he can reach under the
coal with his pick. This done, he takes his
long crank auger, places a small piece of
board across his breast against which to rest
the end of the crank, and bores a hole into
the top of the coal at an upward angle, taking
care not to bore deeper than the undercut.
Next he makes a cartridge by wrapping a
piece of paper about a round stick the size
of a broom-handle, which he withdraws, and
the paper shell thus made is filled with blast-
ing-powder according to the desired size,
usually six or seven inches in length. The
cartridge is then stuck on the point of the
tamping needle (which is a slender pointed
rod of iron, five or six feet long) and forced
into the hole with the tamping-bar, which is
a heavy iron rod, with a head at one end
through which a groove runs to fit the needle.
The miner then tamps in the cartridge with
damp coal-dust as solidly as possible. The
needle is then withdrawn, leaving a round
hole leading to the powder in the cartridge.
A lighted squib is thrust into the hole, and
the miner seeks a place of safety. The squib
is about the size of a slate-pencil, and the
moment it begins to burn it rushes forward
to the powder, which it explodes, blasting
down the coal.
320. How much coal will a blast dislodge ?
A single shot will sometimes dislodge a ton
or two of coal, while often it has no effect at
all, and the work must be done over j this is
called a " blind shot."
321. What is done with the coal after blast-
When the coal is knocked down, the miner
carefully examines and shovels it into a small
mine car, holding from one to two tons,
which he shoves from his room to the head-
ing j there the drivers attach the mules,
couple the cars together in strings and haul
them to the bottom of the shaft, or, if a drift
working, out of the mine to the colliery or
tipple, where the coal is dumped into the
large railroad cars, in which it is shipped to
322. How is a miner paid for his work ?
In this country a miner is always paid
by the ton or wagon. He does the work by
contract, furnishes his own tools and material,
and, of course, must keep them in order. His
contract is to blast down the coal, put it in
the mine cars, and push the cars from his
room to the entry. All other work is paid
for by the operator.
323. What other work is there to do ?
The main headings must be timbered and
ditched, iron or steel rails must be laid for
the mine cars, room must be made for the
mules to walk ; and for this purpose the
" bottom " of hard fire-clay must be taken
up, or the "roof" of harder rock must be
taken down, air courses must be driven, and
rooms turned or opened and ventilation pro-
vided. All this is called "dead work," and
is paid for by the yard or day's work by the
324. What other expenses are paid by the
The operator must also purchase the land
on which the seam is located, or pay a roy-
alty per ton to the land-owner. He must pay
all the expenses of opening the seam, and for
all the buildings, cars, mules, and machinery
necessary for conveying the coal from the
main entry underground to the consumer.
When the miner conveys the coal to the main
entry he is done with it.
825. What is the most necessary thing to
consider in working a mine ?
Ventilation, by which is meant a proper
supply of air from the surface to the miners
826. Why is the air in the mines not suffi-
cient for this purpose ?
The air in a mine is never the same natu-
rally as that on the surface, owing to the ad-
mixture of certain gases which issue from
the coal and rock as the work progresses.
327. How is air admitted to the mines nat-
In the mines a natural current of air passes
down the slope or shaft, or into the drift mouth,
and thence along the various entries and
cross-cuts, as water is conveyed through
pipes, sometimes sluggishly and then more
rapidly, according to the energy applied in
its transmission from the surface. In nat-
ural ventilation this energy is nothing more
nor less than the difference in temperature
between the surface and the interior of the
328. How does this difference in temperature
produce a movement of the air underground ?
All gases, including the air, which is a
mixture of gases, expand as they become
heated, and become lighter as they grow
warmer. If, therefore, we have a tempera-
ture high on the surface and low underground,
or vice versa, the tendency of the warm air
is to rise, being lighter, and of the cold air
to displace it, being heavier. This action on
the surface we call "wind," but underground
it is called an "air current." In the ex-
tremes of summer and winter seasons we
have a difference in temperature between the
air in the workings and the air on the surface,
sometimes as much as "50 or 60 degrees.
These differences cause a lively movement of
air through the mines.
3%9. Is natural ventilation sufficient ?
It might be, if there were no other influ-
ences at work vitiating the air of mines, such
as occluded gases.
330. }\Hiat are occluded gases ?
The formation of coal included the growth
and decay of vast quantities of vegetable
matter, covered in course of time with de-
posits of mud, sand and gravel. This decay
or putrefaction, continuing under the heavy
mass of covering, produces an enormous
amount of gases, which, having no means of
escape, are imprisoned in the coal-seams,
awaiting the miner's pick and drill to set
331. Under what names are these gases com-
monly known ?
These gases are commonly known as
"marsh-gas" and " fire-damp," and, weigh-
ing about half as much as the atmosphere,
are usually found in the holes and fissures of
the mine roof; when liberated and mixed
with a certain proportion of air they become
What is carbonic oxide gas ?
Carbonic oxide gas is the result of imper-
fect combustion. It is often called " white-
damp," or " after-damp," because it is al-
ways present in the mines after an explosion
from fire-damp. It has no color, taste, or
smell, beyond the faint fragrance of violets.
333. Why is carbonic oxide gas particularly
Unlike other gases, its proximity cannot
be detected by the ordinary method of test-
ing with lamps, and only one-half of one per
cent, of this insidious gas in the atmosphere
is sufficient to cause death a death which
conies instantly and without warning of any
334. Where can carbonic oxide gas be
It can be seen burning, in combination with
oxygen, at any time by observing the little
blue flames dancing over a fire of red hot
335. What is carbonic acid gas?
Carbonic acid gas is occluded from the coal
seam, and is also produced by the miners 7
burning lamps and the exhalations of men
and mules in the mines. Being heavier than
air, it is always found in a layer along the
336. Is carbonic acid gas dangerous ?
It is not particularly dangerous, unless the
warnings of its presence are ignored and one
should deliberately remain in it.
337. In that case what would happen ?
In that case one would die of suffocation,
as a person will in drowning. For this reason
it is called " choke-damp," because it chokes
or suffocates its victim.
338. How is the presence of carbonic acid
gas detected ?
The presence of carbonic acid gas in the
air can be detected by the waning flame of a
lamp. If a lighted lamp is plunged into the
pure gas it will be instantly extinguished.
339. What percentage of carbonic acid gas
in the air is necessary to cause death?
It is not known what percentage of this
gas, mixed with the atmosphere, is necessary
to cause death ; 10 to 15 per cent, of it can
be present in the air we breathe without seri-
ous inconvenience, beyond a dull headache
or nausea ; and in experiments made with
animals as high as 30 per cent, has been used
without causing death. This gas is more
frequently found in old workings.
340. What other gas is generally found in old
Sulphureted hydrogen is another gas met
with in old workings.
341 ' How is its presence detected ?
The disagreeable smell of rotten eggs is
sufficient evidence, in the mines, of its prox-
342. What percentage of sulphureted hydro-
gen in the air will cause death ?
About 3 per cent, of this gas mixed with
the atmosphere is all that is necessary to cause
343. How is an operator to prevent the con-
tamination of the air in the mines ?
An operator is powerless to prevent the in-
trusion of gases into the mines, or in many
cases to detect their presence. All that he
can do is to neutralize their ill effects by
furnishing a generous supply of pure air to
the mines from the surface.
344' How is this accomplished ?
We accomplish this by means of artificial
ventilation, and increasing the current of air
passing through the mines by means of a
furnace or a fan.
345. How is artificial ventilation produced
with a furnace ?
The operation is very simple. All mines
are provided with a shaft sunk from the sur-
face to the entries or gangways below, called
an air shaft ; this may be either a separate
opening or part of the main hoisting shaft
partitioned off for that purpose. A fire is
maintained near the bottom of the air shaft,
and the heated column of air in the shaft,
being lighter, rises and, the outer air tak-
ing its place, produces the necessary ventila-
tion through the various rooms in the mines.
846. Give a familiar example of furnace
A familiar example of furnace ventilation
may be observed in any dwelling having an
open fireplace, the chimney corresponding
to the air-shaft, or " up- take," and an open
door in the hall-way to the drift-mouth, or
other mine opening. The doors of the vari-
ous rooms represent fairly well the "trap-
doors " in the mines, by which the current
of air is " stopped off" from various parts
of the mines as desired.
347. How is artificial ventilation produced
with a fan ?
By this method a current of air is forced
down the air shaft and into the workings by
the rapid revolutions of a machine run by an
engine, which is constructed in many different
patterns, but all having the same general re-
semblance to a paddle-wheel or propeller.
Sometimes the operation is reversed, the ma-
chinery being so arranged as to exhaust or
draw the air up the air shaft, and with it the
3J t 8. What is the average fatality among our
miners by gas explosions and otherwise ?
Statistics show that for every 100,000 tons
of coal mined in our country one poor miner
is killed by accident.
349. What is meant by the term l i haulage " ?
The miner having filled his small car with
coal from his room in the mines, and pulled
or pushed it into the main entry, his contract
is finished, and the operator must now take
the car and haul it to the surface. The vari
ous methods in use for this purpose are in-
cluded in the general term of haulage.
350. What is the principal thing to avoid in
The most important thing to avoid in haul-
age is the rehandling of the coal, that is,
from one car into another, or to a common
receptacle or heap, and thence again into
wagons or cars.
351. Why is it necessary to avoid rehand-
Because rehandling can be done only with
labor, and labor is expensive.
352. Is this the only objection to rehandling ?
The expense is not the only objection to re-
handling. Coal is friable and easily broken,
and each transfer produces slack, and de-
teriorates the quality to such an extent that
many of the softer coals are rendered unmar-
353. How was haulage done in the old times ?
In the old times the coal was carried from
the mines to the surface on the shoulders of
men and women.
354- What system of haulage followed this
in use ?
This was followed by a system of hauling
in which small sledges or wagons were pulled
by boys. The chain used for hauling the
wagon passed between the boy's legs, and was
then hooked into an iron ring which was at-
tached to a leather belt around his waist. In
this manner the boys pulled the wagons along
the gangways, using both hands and feet,
like four-footed animals.
355. How is haulage done now ?
Since the introduction of horses into the
European mines, the heavy part of the haul-
ing is done by them, and the manual labor is
confined to pulling the wagons from the rooms
to the main gangway, where they are made
up into trains or "trips" and hauled to the
foot of the shaft, or, in the case of drift
mines, to the surface, by horses. This is the
case with us to-day, excepting that we gen-
erally employ mules instead of horses.
356. Why are mules preferred to horses f
In the darkness, under ground, a mule is
more sure-footed and less liable to stumble
over the cross-ties and uneven places than a
horse. A mule is also less susceptible to
sickness from hardships encountered in mine
haulage, such as water, bad air, and constant
drafts in the gangways. In certain places
small mules can be used where, from his
greater size, a horse could not enter.
857. What notable contrivance followed the
introduction of horses ?
With the introduction of horses into the
English mines came also the iron tramway,
or railway. These were the first railways
358. How were they constructed f
The custom was to lay two rails of timber,
plated with iron, exactly straight and paral-
lel, on which ran heavy wagons drawn by
horses, or, in situations where the road was
inclined, the loaded wagons were fitted with
brakes, and were let down the inclines by
gravity, the horses pulling them back when
359. How are our mine roads constructed ?
All. of our mines are equipped with steel
rails of the T pattern, of a section weighing
from 16 to 40 pounds per yard, and are laid
to a guage of 3 or 82 feet apart on cross-tim-
bers, called "sills." They are connected at
the points with two iron straps, one on each
side of the rail, and bolted through like
splices. These straps are called i < fish- bars. '
360. Describe a mine car ?
A mine car is a small four-wheeled wagon,
made of wood, iron, or steel, to hold from
one to two tons of coal. They are made in
every variety of style and shape, some with
flaring sides and others with straight sides.
On some mine cars the wheels revolve loosely
on a fixed axle, as in an ordinary road
wagon ; on others the wheels are fixed to the
axles, which revolve in journal boxes, as in a
steam railroad car. The usual weight of a
mine car, when empty, is about one ton.
361. What is the average useful effect of one
mule in haulage ?
The average useful effect of one mule has
been calculated by practice at from 20 to 50
tons hauled one mile per day. On roads of
average grade it would probably be about
forty tons. If the car weighs one ton and
carries two tons of coal, the useful effect in
tons of coal is 20 tons hauled one mile per day
by each mule.
362. How do the mules haul a " trip " of
In hauling a i l trip ' ' of mine cars the mules
are hitched tandem, one ahead of the other,
three, four, or five together, the foremost
mule, carrying a small miner's lamp attached
to its head or hung to its collar, leading the
others through the dark mine entries, seldom
making a wrong turn or misstep. The driver
sits on the front car.
363. Are locomotives used in the mines ?
Sometimes small mine locomotives, weigh-
ing from 6 to 10 tons, are used in place of
mules ; but they can be worked only in mines
that are free from gases and where there is
plenty of air with quick ventilation. The
danger from fire has always been urged
against their use.
364. What other modes of haulage are there
by locomotives ?
If a locomotive is used the objectionable
fire-box and boiler can be replaced by a com-
pressed air receiver, or the haulage can be
done by electric motors similar in operation
to the familiar " trolley car."
365. How can haulage be done mechanically
without locomotives ?
There are various mechanical devices for
hauling coal. The most common in use are
as follows :
1st. Self-acting planes.
2d. Direct haulage.
4th. Endless chaiu.
366. Describe a u self -acting plane " ?
Self-acting planes are simply inclined
roads of sufficient grade for the loaded mine
cars attached to one end of a rope to run
by gravity down hill and haul up the same
number of empty cars, which are fastened to
the other end of the same rope. At the head
of the incline, or at the top of the hill, a
" sheave, " pulley-wheel, or drum is fixed,
around which the rope is wound.
367. What is " direct haulage " *
Direct haulage is a mechanical arrange-
ment by which the empty wagons running
down hill into the workings with sufficient
energy to pull a haulage-rope in with them
are then hauled out loaded.
368. Describe the " tail-rope " system of
A tail-rope is used where, the hill or in-
cline not being sufficiently steep, there is not
enough energy in the moving empty wagons
to pull in the haulage-rope. In this case, a
second or tail-rope of smaller diameter is
used to pull the empty wagons and the at-
tached haulage-rope into the workings.
369. How is the " endless chain " operated ?
As its name implies, an endless chain
passes from the engine along one side of the
road around a pulley at the far end and back
again on the other side of the road. The
empty wagons are attached to one side of the
chain by various kinds of clips or hooks, and
are hauled into the mine. The loaded wagons
are attached to the other side of the chain
and are hauled out of the mine. This system
is also called the u endless rope," when a
rope is used instead of a chain.
370. Owe a familiar example of " endless
rope " haulage ?
A familiar example of this system could be
seen some years ago operating the cable cars
in our larger cities, the rope in this case
being under the roadway instead of at the
371. After the coal has been hauled to the
bottom of a shaft, how is it raised to the sur-
Many inventions were tried before we ar-
rived at our present perfection in hoisting
coal from the mines by means of great wind-
ing engines, which raise and lower the mine
cars with certainty and precision.
372. How was "hoisting" done in the old
The oldest form of lifting coal to the sur-
face was by means of a " horse- whim." This
method of hoisting was employed as far back
as the Middle Ages.
373. Describe a " horse-whim " f
It consisted essentially of a wooden frame-
work over the shaft, on which were fixed two
wooden rollers or pulleys. From one of these
rollers hung a rope, to the end of which was
attached the loaded corfe or basket of coal ;
the rope passed over this roller and around
an upright drum with three or four turns and
thence over the other roller, and was attached
to the empty corfe or basket. When the up-
right drum was made to revolve, by means
of an extended arm to which was hitched a
horse, the empty basket was lowered and
the loaded one was raised to the surface.
374. What was the principal objection to
this mode of hoisting ?
The loaded basket or bucket, ascending,
swung at the end of a vibrating rope, sway-
ing back and forth in its passage up the cir-
cular well or shaft, while the descending
empty basket also hung loosely suspended at
the other end of the rope, and frequently
they came together in the middle of the shaft
with disastrous results.
375. How was this danger remedied ?
To prevent this danger, the shafts were
made square and fitted with cages having
conductors at the sides. Upon these cages
the loaded mine cars are wheeled and raised
bodily, with their contents, to the surface,
the empty car in its opposite cage descend-
ing simultaneously and without the possi-
bility of a collision.
376. Give a familiar example of a modern
hoisting apparatus f
An every-day example of this invention
can be observed in its highest state of per-
fection in the passenger " elevators" of our
hotels and tall office buildings. The speed
at which these hoists are run was never con-
sidered possible by the engineers of the
377. How is coal weighed at the mines ?
In drift mining, when the coal has been
hauled to the surface by mules or, through a
shaft, slope, tunnel, or otherwise, by machin-
ery to an elevated platform called a u tipple,"
the car and its contents are carefully weighed
on a platform scales by a " weigh-boss."
378. What is a check-weighman ?
A check-weighman is a man chosen by the
miners and in their employ, receiving for his
compensation one or two cents per ton on all
coal mined and weighed over the scales. It
is his business to see that the miners receive
due credit for all the coal that they send out,
and for this purpose he assists or checks the
weigh-boss at the scales.
379. How does the weigh-boss know whom to
credit with each car of coal ?
To facilitate the matter, each miner, or
sometimes two or three miners, will " work a
number," that is, a number, 1, 2, 3, 4,
etc. is given them, and all coal sent out on
each number is so credited in the scale-house.
380. How is this arranged ?
The number given to each miner is branded
on small pieces of wood, or is stamped on
small brass checks, like baggage checks ;
these the miners get at the scale-house every
morning and take them into the mines ;
when a wagon is loaded, the miner sticks the
numbered bit of wood into an iron staple
placed on the side of the mine car, or hangs
the brass check on a hook provided for the
purpose. When the car reaches the scales,
the weigh-boss or check-weighman removes
the bit of wood or brass, and credits the coal
on a tally-sheet to the number he finds upon
it. This tally-sheet is hung up in the scale-
house, and the numbered checks are carefully
piled in little heaps for the inspection of the
miners in the evening.
381. After the coal has been weighed, what
becomes of it ?
After the coal has been weighed, the mine
car is pushed to the " tipple," and its con-
tents tipped over into the large railroad car
which stands on the siding underneath the
platform. The dumping of the contents of
the mine car is easily done by means of a
swinging gate on the end, held in place by a
catch ; when this catch is raised the gate
swings open and allows the coal to fall into
a chute, and thence into the railroad car
382. Is this simple form of loading suited
to all kinds of coal ?
This method of loading is suited only for
shipments of coal which have had no prep-
aration, or what is called " run of mine."
883. What coals are shipped in this way ?
The semi -Bituminous coals of Pennsyl-
vania, Maryland and Virginia, including the
Clearfield, Cumberland, and Flat Top, the
Puuxsutawney, Blossburg, and Alleghany
coals, and many others used for steaming and
384' How is Bituminous, coal " prepared " ?
It happens with Bituminous or gas coals
that the customer requires a more clean and
lumpy coal than "run of mine," in which
case it is necessary to have it screened. Coal
so prepared is known in the market as
"lump," "three-quarter," "nut," and
385. How is lump coal prepared f
This is done by putting into the bottom of
the chute long iron bars, set an inch and a
half apart, in place of the solid iron plates,
thus making a screen 15 to 18 feet long.
When the coal is dumped from the mine
cars directly on these bars, the fine coal falls
through the openings, and the lumps pass
down over the bars into an iron platform
suspended from the scales, where it is
weighed and then loaded into the railroad
car beneath ; this is called "lump " coal.
886. What is "nut" coal?
The coal which has dropped between the
bars set an inch and a half apart is caught on
a second set of irons, which are placed only
three-quarters of an inch apart, and while the
finer coal drops between these bars, the lumps
pass down over them. The coal passing over
the bars is caught and weighed, and then
loaded into the railroad car beneath. This
is called "nut" coal.
887. What is " slack " coal ?
In the operation described in the previous
answer for making nut coal, the fine coal
which passes between or through the bars set
three-quarters of an inch apart is called
388. What is " three-quarter " coal ?
Three-quarter coal is simply a mixture of
"lump" and "nut."
389. How are the miners paid for coals thus
In fixing the rate to be paid the miners for
this kind of coal, a price is made only on the
coal that passes over the screens, and is
therefore proportionately higher per ton than
the rate paid for mining the semi-Bituminous
coals, where run of mine is shipped entirely.
390. How are the different sizes of coal
loaded into railroad cars ?
The railroad tracks underneath the tipple
are arranged so that the railroad cars in-
tended for the different kinds of coal can be
loaded by " dropping them, down" a slight
grade, one by one, into the proper position,
a locomotive having first pushed the required
number of empty cars to the head of the grade
above the tipple.
391. How is coal loaded into river boats f
Where river transportation is available,
the tipples are made to facilitate the loading
of the coal directly into the barges or boats,
which are towed into position under the over-
hanging chute, and are then sent down the
river, whole fleets of them, as on the Monon-
gahela Eiver, near Pittsburg, in Pennsyl-
vania, towed by large, flat-bottomed steam-
392. What preparation is necessary for An-
thracite coal ?
Anthracite coal, after being raised to the
surface, is prepared for the market with more
thoroughness than either the Bituminous or
semi-Bituminous coals. It is necessary that
it be broken into various sizes, and that all
slate, dirt, fine coal, and impurities be care-
fully removed before it is shipped.
393. How is this done ?
This is done by erecting a large structure
called a " breaker. " Through this building
passes the coal, where it is screened over
bars, then hand-picked, crushed between
rollers, run through separating cylindrical
screens and chutes for another picking, and
sometimes is washed in running water.
394. How is the coal made to pass through
the breaker ?
To accomplish this, the loaded mine cars
are hoisted to the top of the breaker, some-
times 150 feet high, where they are emptied,
and the coal finds its way by gravity through
inclined troughs and over screens to the rail-
road car beneath.
395. Describe the process of preparing An-
thracite coal ?
When a mine car comes from the mine, it
goes directly to the dump, and the coal is
dumped upon a set of inclined bars or into a
chute or pocket, from which it is slowly fed
under a gate and allowed to slide down over
the bars. These bars are placed from three
to six inches apart, and separate the coal into
two portions that are to be separately treated.
The portion passing through the bars is con-
veyed to a screen which separates the fine
coal, called "pea," " buck wheat," etc. This
screen is called a "dirt" or " mud- screen."
The " broken" and "egg" sizes coming
from the mud-screen are picked free from
slate and sent direct to the pockets for ship-
ment, or sent to the " pony-rolls" or "mon-
key-rolls" to be broken down into "stove"
and " nut " sizes. That portion passing over
the main screen-bars runs out upon the
"platform," which is a flat or slightly in-
clined floor covered with iron plates, and is
cleaned by the platform men. The slate and
rock are picked out and sent down the rock
chute, the good "lump" coal goes to the
lump chute, and the "rough" coal to the
"crusher rolls," to be crushed and again
screened and separated into domestic sizes.
896, Into what sizes is Anthracite coal pre-
Anthracite coal is generally prepared as
Lump . . . over bars about 7 inches apart.
Steamboat / through bars about 7 inches apart.
' \ over bars about 5 inches apart.
Broken -i tlirou g n a mesn 3 inches apart.
| over a mesh 2f inches apart.
E f through a mesh 2f inches.
' \ over a mesh 2 inches.
J through a mesh 2 inches.
' ] over a mesh 1 inches,
f through a mesh l inches.
\ over a mesh f inch,
p f through a mesh f inch.
' \ over a mesh \ inch.
397: In what other manner is coal prepared
for the consumer ?
For the utilization of very small coal,
several processes have "been invented, by
which the fine coal, or slack, is reduced to
powder and burned in that form, or is made
into briquettes by pressure or otherwise.
398. Describe the Wegener apparatus for
burning powdered coal ?
The Wegener apparatus is exceedingly
simple. Coal, ground to pass through a
sieve of 60 meshes to the linear inch, is
tipped into a hopper at the top, whence it
falls upon a grating, by which it is retained.
This grating is subject to a continual knock-
ing action, which keeps the coal-dust falling
through it in a cloud. The knocking is done
by a wheel with vanes in it ; the air enters
here under the influence of the chimney
draught, and passing through the wheel,
puts it in rotation. The shaft of the wheel
is continued upward to the grating, where it
operates the knocker 150 to 250 times a min-
ute. The strength of the knock, and conse-
quently the amount of coal passing, can be
varied by means of a screw and a spring.
The coal-dust in falling meets a rising air-
current, and both are diverted through a side
pipe into the furnace, the interior of which
is lined with fire-brick for a length of 10 or
12 feet, and has, in addition, two fire-brick
bridges. There is no grate, and there are
no fire-doors, the combustion being watched
through peep-holes. The cost of preparing
a ton of coal by grinding to powder is about
399. How is coal made into briquettes ?
The most common way is first to dry the
fine coal-dirt carefully, and then mix it with
a very small quantity of pitch ; a machine,
by pressure, forms the pasty mixture into
briquettes, from the size of an ordinary brick
down to a ball the size of an egg.
400. What is meant by water transportation
of coal f
As the term implies, the carrying of coal
from one place to another by means of boats,
arks, or other vessels floated on the surface
of the rivers, canals, or any body of water.
401. What was the first system of water
transportation in use in this country ?
The first transportation of coal by water
was done by means of wooden arks, which
were loaded with coal at the mines, and then
floated down stream with the current of the
402. What were the objections to this system
of transportation ?
The river-beds were shallow and full of
rocks, so that the arks laden with coal were
frequently wrecked, and then it was found
that the descent of a river was as nothing
when compared with the labor of returning
up the stream.
403. How were these objections met ?
A system by which boats could move in
any desired direction with safety was intro-
duced in the shape of numerous costly canals,
which were built in different parts of our
404. How were the rivers rendered navigable
up-stream as well as down ?
By the introduction of steam, which
changed the whole condition of river traffic ;
under its powerful impulse steamboats were
soon plying on the Ohio and Mississippi
Eivers, both up-stream and down.
4Q5. About what time did this occur ?
In 1811 the Enterprise, a keel boat made
at Marietta, but fitted up at Pittsburg with
an engine and a stern-wheel, under an ar-
rangement with Eobert Fulton, left Pittsburg
on its trial trip, and afterward ran between
New Orleans and Natchez until 1814, when
it was wrecked.
408. What was the size of the Enter-
The Enterprise was between 300 and 400
tons' burden, and cost $40,000.
407. Who of our foremost Americans first
advocated the building of canals ?
Washington, we are told, took a deep in-
terest in the construction of canals, and
largely through his instrumentality a charter
was obtained from the States of Virginia and
Maryland, and also valuable grants of laud
and money, for the purpose of building the
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, connecting the
waters of the Chesapeake and the Ohio Eiver.
Of this company Washington was the first
408. When was this canal built ?
Work on it was commenced in 1828, and
in 1850 it was completed for a length of 180
miles of the line, leading from Cumberland,
Md., to Georgetown, D. C. It is still used
for the transportation of Cumberland coal.
409. For what purpose was the Union Canal
The Union Canal was intended to improve
the navigation of the Schuylkill Eiver, but
afterward was made part of a project for
uniting the waters of the Susquehanna and
410. When was it first proposed?
The scheme was first proposed in 1760, but
nothing was done until 30 years later, in 1790,
when a company was formed with $400,000
capital, under the name of Schuylkill & Sus-
quehanna Navigation Co.
411. W hat other canal scheme formed part
of the Union Canal system ?
A canal was projected at the same time
connecting the waters of the Delaware and
Schuylkill Eivers, so that produce coming
down the latter from the West could be car-
ried over and landed at the wharves of the
merchants of Philadelphia.
412. What was the name of this company ?
It was called the Delaware & Schuylkill
Canal Co., and was chartered in 1792, with a
capital of $400,000.
413. What famous American was at the
head of these organizations ?
Robert Morris, the famous financier of the
Revolution, was made president, and was at
the head of the organizations.
414' Was the company successful ?
Unfortunately, they were overwhelmed
with disaster, and were compelled to suspend
operations after an outlay of $440,000, an im-
mense sum in those days.
415. What became of the projected canals ?
In 1811 the Legislature passed an act to in-
corporate the " Union Canal Company of
Pennsylvania," which new company was a
union of the old "Schuylkill & Susque-
hanna" and the " Delaware & Schuylkill "
Canal Companies. The old companies were
dissolved and a new company formed of the
stockholders of the old corporations, whose
relative rights were adjusted in the new dis-
tribution of the capital.
416. How were funds provided to continue
The mode of raising funds to continue op-
erations on the Union Canal was furnished
by the passage of an act in 1819 authorizing
a lottery or series of lotteries, and giving the
company a monopoly of the right of conduct-
ing lotteries in Pennsylvania. The State was
also pledged to pay any deficiency of interest,
up to 6 per cent., which the lotteries could
417. Was this mode of financiering peculiar
to Pennsylvania ?
It was not. It seems to have been a fa-
vorite resource with other States for the ac-
complishment of similar schemes, notably in
New York, Virginia, Connecticut, Ehode
Island, Delaware, Maryland, and North Car-
olina. Pennsylvania, however, at that time
was considered the great mart for nearly all
the lotteries of the United States.
418. When was the Union Canal finished ?
Work on the Union Canal was resumed in
1821 and finished in 1827, thirty-seven years
after the commencement of construction and
sixty-five years after the first survey.
419. Describe the route of the Union Canal f
The Union Canal was nearly 80 miles long,
from Middletown, on the Susquehanna Eiver,
to a point on the Schuylkill Eiver, a short
distance below Eeading, and was adapted to
the use of boats of 25 to 30 tons' burden.
At Middletown it was connected with the
Pennsylvania Canal, leading by various con-
nections to Pittsburg and Erie, to Tioga in
the north, and to the Bald Eagle on the West
Branch of the Susquehanna. At Beading it
was connected with the works of the Schuyl-
kill Navigation Co. leading to Philadelphia.
420. What was the cost of the Union Canal ?
In 1828 the cost of the Union Canal was
estimated at $1,600,000.
421. Name some of the other famous canals
built for coal transportation ?
Of the other famous canals built for that
purpose, there were the Delaware & Hudson,
the Erie in New York, and the Delaware &
Baritan in New Jersey.
422. What was the cost of transporting coal
by canal f
In 1838 the cost of transporting Cumberland
coal from the mines to tidewater, Georgetown,
D. 0., by canal, was about $4.00 per ton.
428. What was the cost of mining the coal?
In the same year the cost of mining Cum-
berland coal was put at $1.00 per ton.
424. What was the price at tidewater ?
In those times the price obtained for Cum-
berland coal f. o. b. in Baltimore was $6.00
per ton, and of Allegheny coal in Philadel-
phia, $7.00 per ton.
J$5. At what price are these coals sold to-
The ordinary price for these coals, trans-
ported from the mines to tidewater by rail-
road, would be at present $2. 75 per ton for
Cumberland coal at Baltimore, and $2.50 for
Clearfield coal at Philadelphia.
426. When loas the Schuylkill Navigation
Canal built ?
In 1817 work was commenced on the canal
of the Schuylkill Navigation Co., but it was
not until 1825 that Anthracite coal began to
form the principal part of its tonnage.
427. How was Lehigh Anthracite coal first
transported by canal ?
Lehigh Anthracite coal found its way to
market by means of the canal of the Lehigh
Navigation Co., and the lateral channels, the
Morris Canal and the Delaware & Earitan
428. How did the Lackawanna coals reach
the market ?
In those early days of canal navigation the
coals of the Lackawanna region were trans-
ported to New York, by rail 18 miles, thence
by the Delaware & Hudson Canal, 108 miles,
and then by river navigation 91 miles, or a
total of 217 miles.
429. What is the route of the Delaware &
Hudson Canal ?
From Honesdale, on the Lackawaxen Eiver
in Pennsylvania, to Eondout, on the Hudson
Eiver, New York. This line was abandoned
430. How was the coal transported on the
Ohio and Mississippi Eiver s ?
Until 1850 all the coal shipped westward
from Pittsburg was floated down the Ohio
Eiver in large flat-bottomed boats with the
spring and fall freshets, each boat holding
about 15,000 bushels. The boats were usu-
ally lashed in pairs, and were sold and broken
up when their destination was reached. In
1850 steam tugs were introduced on the
ANTHRACITE BAIL SHIPMENTS
431. What advantage has a railroad over a
canal for coal shipments ?
Besides that of quicker despatch, railroads
are advantageous in districts where canals,
for want of water, would be impracticable.
This advantage is often felt in mining dis-
tricts, and sometimes by the general trade,
where it is necessary to cross dividing ridges
at a level too high to obtain water for canal
432. When were the first railroads built in
the United States for coal transportation ?
About the year 1825 short lines of railroad
for coal transportation were constructed in
our country as feeders to the various canals.
In that year the Schuylkill Canal was opened
to Mount Carbon, then a suburb of Pottsville,
in the Anthracite coal regions of Pennsyl-
vania, and Abraham Potts built a railroad
extending half a mile in length for carrying
coal to the canal, which previously had been
hauled in wagons.
433. How was this railroad constructed f
The railroad was made of wooden rails,
laid on wooden sills, and was operated by
horses ; a dozen or more small cars, holding
li tons of coal each, were usually coupled to-
gether and drawn in trains to their desti-
434. What are the principal railroads of the
Anthracite regions ?
The railroads which transport almost all
of the Anthracite coal are the Philadelphia
& Beading, the Lehigh Valley, the Central of
New Jersey, the Delaware, Lackawanna &
Western, the Delaware & Hudson, the Penn-
sylvania, the Erie, the New York, Ontario &
Western, the Delaware, Susquehanna &
Schuylkill, and the New York, Susquehanna
& Western, their relative tonnages being in
the order given.
435. What is the route of the Philadelphia
& Reading Railway ?
The Philadelphia & Eeading Bailway was
built as an outlet for the Anthracite coals of
the Schuylkill region in Pennsylvania to tide-
water on the Delaware Eiver near Philadel-
phia. Its route is along the Schuylkill Eiver,
from Pottsville, where branches in the coal
field connect with the main line, to Philadel -
phia, distant 94 miles.
436. When was it first opened for traffic ?
On January 1st, 1842, the first locomotive
and train passed over the whole line between
Pottsville and Philadelphia.
437. How was the event celebrated ?
The event marked an epoch in railroad
shipments, and was celebrated with military
display. The train consisted of 75 passenger
coaches, containing about 2,000 persons. In
the rear a coal train followed, consisting of
52 cars, loaded with 180 tons of Anthracite
coal, which had been mined the same day in
the Pottsville region.
438. What was the cost of building the Phil-
adelphia & Reading Railway ?
The entire capital invested in the railroad
at this time was a little over $16,000,000.
4S9. What was considered good work for a
locomotive in those days f
A locomotive that could draw 200 gross
tons about four present-day cars, on a
level road, at a speed of from 10 to 12 miles
an hour, was considered satisfactory.
440. What was the capacity of coal cars in
those days as compared with the present ?
They were very much smaller, some hold-
ing but five tons of coal, and were mounted
on four wheels. The capacity of an eight-
wheeled wooden coal car to-day is about 30
tons. There are steel cars in service carrying
50 tons and upward.
441- What equipment is used by the Beading
Railway for coal transportation ?
In 1904 the Reading Eailway Company
owned 940 locomotives, and about 25,000
eight-wheeled coal cars, in addition to other
442. What percentage of the Anthracite ton-
nage is carried by the Heading Eailway ?
The Philadelphia & Beading Eailway now
transports 20 per cent, of the total Anthra-
cite shipments, or about 11,000,000 tons an-
443. What was the origin of the Lehigh
Valley Railroad ?
In 1847 the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill
& Susquehanna Kailroad Co. was chartered.
The broad scope of its title came from the
four rivers of Pennsylvania, and its route was
intended to connect the waters of these rivers.
It has since been merged into the Lehigh
444- What percentage of the Pennsylvania
Anthracite is carried by it ?
The Lehigh Valley Eailroad is credited
with carrying 16.60 per cent, of the total An-
thracite tonnage, or about 9,600,000 tons
What coal car equipment is used by
the Lehigh Valley Eailroad ?
To carry this coal from the mines to the
customer requires 13,600 coal cars.
44' What special privilege is contained in
the charter of the Delaware, Lackawanna &
Western Railroad Co. ?
This company, having a charter antedating
the present constitution of the State of Penn-
sylvania, is one of the few railroad companies
privileged to carry on coal mining and sell-
ing together with transportation.
447 '. What was the origin of this company ?
This was originally the Ligett's Gap Eail-
road Co., incorporated April 7, 1832 ; char-
tered March 19, 1849 ; name changed by
special act of Legislature, approved April
14, 1851, to Lackawanna & Western ; consoli-
dated April 30, 1853, with the Delaware &
Cobb's Gap Eailroad Co. (chartered Decem-
ber 4, 1850), and name changed to "The
Delaware, Lackawanua & Western Rail-
'448. What percentage of Anthracite tonnage
is carried by this company f
The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western
Eailroad carries 16.30 per cent, of the An-
thracite tonnage, amounting to about 9,600,-
000 tons annually.
449. When did the Lehigh Coal & Naviga-
tion Co. first begin business ?
This company first began business in 1820
by sending forward the first shipment of An-
thracite coal ever made in the United States.
It is one of the old pioneers in the coal de-
velopment of this country.
450. Of what does it consist ?
It controls the Lehigh & Susquehanna Bail-
road, a leased line of the Central Eailroad of
N. J-., and the Lehigh Canal, and also owns
coal lands in the Lehigh region.
451. What percentage of the Anthracite
trade is done by this system ?
The Central Eailroad of New Jersey carries
12.54 per cent, of the Anthracite tonnage,
amounting to 7,200,000 tons, annually.
452. What is the coal-car equipment of the
Central Eailroad of New Jersey ?
It now requires 18,500 coal cars to carry
the tonnage of the Central Eailroad of New
Jersey over its system in the States of New
Jersey and Pennsylvania.
453. What was the origin of the Pennsyl-
vania Railroad ?
In 1850 the State of Pennsylvania owned
about 750 miles of canals and 120 miles of
railroads, which for various reasons were
transferred to the Pennsylvania Railroad Co.,
at that time building a railroad from Harris-
burg to Pittsburg. Under this transfer the
Pennsylvania Eailroad Co. acquired the " old
State Road," from Philadelphia to Columbia.
It also secured the Harrisburg & Lancaster
Railroad intersecting the old Columbia Rail-
road at Lancaster. This gave the Pennsyl-
vania Railroad its present " mainline" from
the Delaware River at Philadelphia, across
the State of Pennsylvania, to the Ohio River
454- What percentage of the Anthracite ton-
nage is carried by the Pennsylvania Railroad ?
This company carries about 4,800,000 tons
of Anthracite coal annually, or 8. 90 per cent.
455. Give some account of the Delaware &
Hudson Co. ?
This company was chartered in 1823, ten
years before the Reading, and was the first
railroad in this country to use a locomotive.
Its canal has been abandoned for five years.
The total length of railroad belonging to this
company is 688 miles.
456. What percentage of Anthracite does it
The Delaware & Hudson Co. carries 5,275,-
000 tons of Anthracite annually, or 9.23 per
cent, of the total tonnage.
457. What was the origin of the Erie Rail-
The "New York & Erie Eailroad " was
chartered in 1832, and construction com-
menced in 1836 for a railroad of 6-feet gauge.
It was opened to Port Jervis and Bingham-
ton in 1848, to Elmira in 1849, to Hornells-
ville in 1850, and to Dunkirk in 1851. In
1861 the road was reorganized under the
name, "Erie Eailway Co.," and in 1878 a
third rail was laid, giving the standard
guage (4' 8i"), from Jersey City to Buffalo,
when the company was again reorganized as
the "New York, Lake Erie & Western Eail-
road." In 1895 the company was once more
reorganized as the " Erie Kailroad Co."
458. What percentage of Anthracite coal is
carried by the Erie Railroad ?
The Erie Eailroad carries about 5,700,000
tons of Anthracite per annum, including that
of the Pennsylvania Coal Co. and New York,
Susquehanna & Western Co., or a total of
9.96 per cent.
459. Describe the Delaware, Susquehanna &
Schuylkill Railroad 1
This railroad was built almost exclusively
for the transportation of Anthracite coal.
Its main line of track is from Drifton to
Gowen, in Pennsylvania.
460. What is its percentage of Anthracite
This railroad transports about 1,500,000
tons of Anthracite, or 2.70 per cent, of the
461. What is included in the New York,
Susquehanna & Western Railroad ?
This line extends from Jersey City to a
point near Stroudsburg, Pa., where it con-
nects with an affiliated line, the Wilkes-Barre
& Eastern, extending to mines in the Wyom-
ing Valley. A branch extends from the
main line to Middletown, N. Y., and the Hud-
son Eiver Eailroad & Terminal Co., with
which it was consolidated in 1893, extends
from another point on the main line to coal
shipping piers and freight sheds on the Hud-
son Eiver at Edgewater. Total mileage about
230. This line is now owned by the Erie
Eailroad Co. and its coal tonnage is included
in that company's.
462. What percentage of Anthracite coal
goes over this railroad ?
About 1,500,000 tons annually, now in-
cluded in Erie Eailroad tonnage.
463. When was the New York, Ontario &
Western Railway organized ?
The New York, Ontario & Western Eail-
way was organized in 1879 as successor to the
New York & Oswego Midland Eailroad. It
carries Anthracite coal from the Pennsylvania
fields near Carbondale and Scranton to
Oswego on Lake Ontario and via its connec-
tion at Hancock, N. Y., to Cornwall on the
Hudson Eiver, and to Weehawken in New
464. What is its percentage of the Anthra-
cite tonnage ?
About 2,600,000 tons, or 4.60 per cent, of
the whole. This company has been acquired
by the New York, New Haven, and Hartford
465. What interest has the Anthracite-car-
rying railroads in the mines ?
Ninety-five per cent, of all the Anthracite
coal lands in the United States is owned or
controlled by these great transporting rail-
roads, operating principally in the State of
Pennsylvania. A large amount of tonnage
carried is bought from individuals at a price
based on a percentage of the tidewater rate
BITUMINOUS BAIL SHIPMENTS
466. Is Pennsylvania Anthracite competitive
with foreign coals ?
No Anthracite coal, at home or abroad, has
been found to compare with that of the Penn-
sylvania mines, either in quantity or quality.
It can therefore be said to have no competi-
tion with any other Anthracite coal, and for
this reason no tariff is necessary to protect
467. Can this be said of American Bitumi-
nous coals ?
On the contrary American Bituminous
coals shipped by rail to points on the Atlan-
tic coast-line are directly competitive with
foreign Bituminous coals shipped by water to
the same points.
468. What prevents foreign Bituminous
coals from supplanting those of American
mines at these points ?
The Tariff Act approved July 24, 1897,
which imposed a duty of 67 cents per ton on
all coals containing less than 92 per cent, of
fixed carbon, a qualification which includes
all Bituminous coals. This, added to the
fact that at present American coals, owing to
their proximity to the surface and the greater
thickness and continuity of the seams, can be
mined cheaper than those of other countries,
prevents the latter from supplanting the prod-
uct of our mines at Atlantic coast points.
469. What is the average price of English
Bituminous coals at the mines ?
In England the average price received on
the Bituminous coal tonnage, the second to
the largest in the world, is about $2.00 per
ton at the mines.
470. What is the average price of American
Bituminous coals at the mines ?
The average price received in America on
the Bituminous coal tonnage, the largest in
the world, is about $1.00 per ton at the mines.
471. If American coals are sold at half the
price of English coals at the mines, why is the
tariff necessary ?
The price given in both cases is that re-
ceived for the coals loaded in cars at the
mines. In England, however, the mines are
at or very near the seacoast, while the near-
est American Bituminous mines to the sea-
board are distant several hundred miles. To
the price of American coals at the mines,
therefore, must be added the cost of railroad
transportation to the Atlantic seaports, in
order to compare both prices at those points.
472. How much should this railroad trans-
portation cost ?
No railroad at present can carry coal prof-
itably for so great a distance at less than
$1.50 per ton ; with this amount, added to
the average price of $1.00 received for Amer-
ican Bituminous coals at the mines, the aver-
age price at the nearest tidewater point would
be $2. 50 per ton.
473. What other transportation expenses are
added to American Bituminous coals ?
In America railroads under one manage-
ment do not run direct from the Bituminous
mines to all the coast cities. Transfers must
be made, and connections with different sys-
terns of railroads, or, as is most frequently
the case, the coal must be transferred at the
nearest tidewater point into vessels, for which
another charge is made, to convey the coal
by sea to points along the Atlantic coast-
line, any one of which could be reached di-
rectly by vessels or steamers from England or
her colonies in Canada by the payment of
water transportation alone.
474- Sow much would this water transporta-
tion cost ?
At certain times a nominal sum only, as
English vessels frequently come to the United
States in ballast, and English coal could be
used for this purpose. The water transporta-
tion on Canadian coals to our northern sea-
ports is also sufficiently small to permit their
entry free of duty in competition with Amer-
ican coals, paying both railroad and water
475. What are the principal Bituminous-
carrying railroads on the Atlantic seaboard ?
The Bituminous- carry ing railroads are the
Pennsylvania, the Baltimore & Ohio, the
Norfolk & Western, the Chesapeake & Ohio,
and the Philadelphia & Reading, with their
476. What proportion of tidewater Bitumi-
nous coal is carried by the Pennsylvania Rail-
About 45 per cent, of the Bituminous ton-
nage coming to the Atlantic seaboard at
Philadelphia, Penna., South Amboy and
Harsimus, N. J., and Baltimore, Md., are
shipped over the lines of the Pennsylvania
477. What is the Bituminous tidewater ton-
nage of the Norfolk & Western Railroad ?
This railroad transports to Norfolk an-
nually about 11 per cent, of the tidewater
Bituminous tonnage at Lambert's Point,
which is on Hampton Roads at the mouth
of the James River in Virginia.
478. What is the Bituminous tidewater busi-
ness of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad ?
The oldest of the Bituminous coal carriers,
the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, now ships
about 20 per cent, of all the seaboard tonnage
from Locust Point and Curtis Bay, on the
Chesapeake, at Baltimore ; Philadelphia ;
and St. George, Staten Island, in New York
479. What is the tidewater tonnage of the
Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad ?
About 14 per cent., which reaches the At-
lantic seaboard at Newport News, on Hamp-
ton Eoads, Virginia.
480. What proportion of the tidewater Bi-
tuminous tonnage is carried by the Philadelphia
& Reading Railway ?
The remaining 11 per cent, of the Bitumi-
nous seaboard tonnage is carried by the Phil-
adelphia & Beading Eailway to Port Eich-
mond, Philadelphia ; Port Eeading, on Staten
Island Sound, New Jersey ; or Port Liberty,
on New York Bay.
481. What is the total amount of Bituminous
coal carried to Atlantic shipping ports annually ?
The total amount of Bituminous coal now
handled over the various shipping piers on
the Atlantic seaboard is estimated at about
482. How much of the Bituminous regions
in the United States are owned by the coal-carry-
The lands in the American Bituminous fields
are owned almost entirely by individuals, the
transporting railroads having little interest
in or control over them.
483. How much Bituminous coal is there re-
maining in these lands ?
It is impossible to estimate the amount of
coal unmined in the Bituminous fields of
America j any figures given would be the
merest guesswork. It is apparently inex-
484' How much Anthr'acite coal is still un-
It has been estimated that about 5, 000, 000, -
000 tons of Anthracite coal still remain un-
mined in the Pennsylvania fields. This
amount, at the present rate of production,
will last less than one hundred years.
485. Are the other American Bituminous
coals, excepting those coming to the Atlantic sea-
board, competitive with foreign coals ?
The Bituminous coals transported westward
from our interior mines by rail, and south by
boats on the great rivers Ohio and Mississippi,
are strictly for domestic use and in DO way
competitive with any foreign product. Some
imported coals are brought to our Pacific
Coast in competition with our mines in Cali-
fornia, Oregon and Washington.
486. What is the capacity of a railroad coal
Eailroad coal cars are of every style and
pattern, from the four-wheel " jimmies,"
carrying about five tons each, to the eight-
wheel " hopper gondola," with a capacity of
60,000 to 100,000 pounds (30 to 50 tons)
487. What is a four-wheel " jimmie " : ?
A four-wheel " jimmie" is a railroad car
made of wood. They were the first cars
made for the transportation of Anthracite
coal, and have now almost disappeared from
488. What other kind of cars are used for
coal shipments 1
There are iron cars with four, six or eight
wheels, with drop or hopper bottoms, flat or
platform cars with side-boards, such as are
commonly used for shipments to the Lakes,
returning laden with ore or other tonnage.
The most common form of coal car for ship-
ment of coal to tidewater is the hopper-bot-
tom gondola of 100,000 pounds (50 tons) ca-
pacity, made of steel and having eight
wheels ; these cars are equipped with air-
brakes and patent couplers.
489. What is an li individual " coal car f
An " individual" coal car is one owned or
leased by a coal operator, and not by the
transporting railroad company. These cars
have painted on their sides the names, initials,
or some chosen trade-mark or emblem of their
owners, and are run for their exclusive ben-
efit. They are generally used between the
mines and the coast-wise shipping ports of
the various railroads.
490. How is the coal discharged from hopper
cars into vessels at tidewater ?
Arriving at tidewater, these cars are first
weighed and then run out on a pier or wharf,
and the coal is dumped, by means of the
drop -bottoms, into the holds of vessels wait-
ing to receive it. The vessel, having thus re-
ceived her cargo of coal, is cleared for the
various cities or towns along our Atlantic
coast or for foreign ports.
491. How is coal discharged from flat cars
into vessels ?
In some cases, at lake ports, the loaded car
is run into a large iron cylinder, into which
it is firmly clamped. The cylinder is then
rolled up an inclined plane causing the car to
turn over, when the coal rolls out into a
chute, and from thence into the vessel's
492. W hat is a coal barge ?
Although coal can be moved by sailing
vessels at very low rates, they sometimes fail
to move promptly, and the service is often
broken by trade conditions or the whims and
personal fancies of their individual owners
and captains. For these and other reasons
large operators use coal barges towed by
steamers, called colliers, or powerful sea-go-
ing tugs, for conveying their coal to coast-
wise or foreign destinations.
493. How are coal barges constructed ?
Coal barges are built on the lines of a ship,
in order to make them ride and handle easily
in a sea. They usually have three or four
masts, with sufficient sail to make the nearest
port should they break away from the towing
steamer or tug.
494- What is the capacity of a coal barge?
Each barge carries from 1,500 to 2, 000 tons
of coal. The towing steamer or collier can
also carry about the same amount of coal.
A loaded steamer usually tows one loaded
coal barge, and a tug will tow two or three
495. What is " bunker coal " ?
Bunker coal is a term applied to the supply
of coal consumed by the ocean steamers plying
between our ports and all parts of the world.
It is the coal put into a steamer's bunkers
for its own consumption, or into the bunkers
of tugs, ferry-boats, or other steam water-
496. How much coal will an ocean steamer
carry in her bunkers ?
One of the larger ocean steamers will take
from 2,000 to 3,000 tons of Bituminous coal to
fill her bunkers. In consuming this coal
about 100 furnaces are used for the boilers.
These boilers frequently have a capacity of
497. How is an ocean steamer " bunkered "
in American ports ?
Boats or flat barges of from 200 to 350
tons' capacity are towed alongside the
steamer, and then, by means of booms and
tackle operated by a small donkey-engine,
steel buckets are lowered to the barge, filled
with coal, and hoisted to the port- holes.
Through these the coal is passed to the ship's
bunkers. Sometimes self-discharging steam
barges are used, which convey the coal up
an incline, and thence through chutes in the
steamer's ports by endless carriers or con-
498. How are steamers " bunkered " in the
West Indies f
In the "West Indies steamers are coaled by
negro women, who carry on their heads
baskets of coal containing about 100 pounds
499. What is heat ?
This question has never received any satis-
factory answer, but it was most generally be-
lieved to be a substance of itself, and identical
with light. During the eighteenth century
the supposed principle of heat or inflamma-
bility was called phlogiston ; later this prin-
ciple was called caloric. To-day heat is called
energy, not matter, and depends upon motion.
500. What is the usual effect produced on
bodies by heat ?
It causes them to expand, or to occupy
more space. If the heat be increased, solid
bodies will become liquid, and liquid bodies
will become aeriform, or rise in vapor.
501. Can all solid bodies be made fluid with
sufficient heat ?
That is an established principle, and has
been proven in nearly all cases by actual
502. What effect is produced by diminishing
the heat of a body f
Bodies so treated lose in bulk, or are con-
densed, and if the process be continued, aeri-
form bodies become fluid, and fluid bodies
become solid j thus, cold changes the vapor
into dew or rain, and water into ice.
503. Does ice occupy less space than water ?
No ; in the act of freezing, water expands.
This is caused by the particles of water crys-
tallizing separately, leaving many intervals
or hollow spaces between them.
504. To what degree of heat may water be
In an open vessel it may be raised to 212
degrees and no higher. A continued increase
of heat has no effect other than to convert the
water into steam, which will be of the same
degree of heat, 212 degrees.
505. To what degree of heat may steam be
raised in a close vessel ?
In a close vessel the temperature of steam
may be raised to any extent, and is limited
only by the strength of the vessel containing
506. When, by the application of heat, a solid
body is being reduced to liquid, will the temper-
ature continue to rise ?
At a certain point in the process the tem-
perature as marked by the thermometer be-
comes stationary, and although the heat be
continually applied, no rise in the tempera-
ture will be observed until the whole of the
solid has become liquid.
507. What is the " point of liquefaction," or
" fusing point " ?
The point at which a body begins to fuse
or melt ; it is different in different sub-
508. What is meant by " latent heat " ?
The quantity of heat absorbed by the body
in melting and unaccounted for, as far as the
thermometer is concerned, is called latent
509. Give an example of latent heat ?
If, for example, a quantity of snow at the
temperature of zero, with a thermometer in
it, be placed in a vessel on the fire, the tem-
perature will be observed to rise to 32 de-
grees ; the snow will then immediately begin
to be converted into water, and the thermom-
eter will remain stationary at 32 degrees
until the whole of the snow is melted. But
if the same heat be applied to a vessel con-
taining water only, it is soon heated to a high
degree and is made to boil.
510. What then becomes of all the heat that
is applied to the vessel containing snow, which
neither increases the heat of the snow or water f
It is all absorbed or rendered insensible in
the conversion of the solid body into a liquid ;
and the heat so absorbed or rendered latent
daring the process, being that which is neces-
sary to produce liquefaction, is hence called
also the " heat of liquefaction," and amounts
to no less than 140 degrees, that is, although
snow or ice may be of the same temperature
as water, yet the water actually contains 140
degrees of heat more than the solid snow or
511. What happens after the snow is melted ?
As soon as the whole of the snow is melted,
the temperature of the water will begin to
rise, and will continue to do so until it reaches
212 degrees, when the boiling point of water
has been attained and it becomes vapor.
512. Then water cannot be heated beyond the
boiling point ?
It may be so, if the water be contained in
a close vessel, from which the steam can have
no escape ; but while steam is rapidly escap-
ing, the water remains at 212 degrees, and
the steam at 212 degrees also.
513. What is the amount of heat absorbed ?
The heat which is absorbed, called the
"heat of vaporization," being that which is
required to maintain water in the state of
vapor or steam, amounts to no less than 1,000
degrees of temperature, that is, although
water may be at 212 degrees and steam may
be at 212 degrees, yet the steam contains a
larger amount of heat than water, such as is
represented by 1,000 degrees on the scale of
514. How is the force or pressure of steam
The pressure of steam is measured by the
force it exerts on one square inch of surface.
At 212 degrees of temperature the pressure
of steam is equal to one atmosphere, or 15
pounds on every square inch of surface ; at
250 degrees the steam pressure is equal to two
atmospheres, or 30 pounds on the square
inch j at 275 degrees the pressure is that of
three atmospheres, or 45 pounds on the
square inch, and so on. This is called the
* ' absolute steam pressure. ' '
515. What is the " effective steam pressure " ?
The atmosphere exerts a pressure of 15
pounds per square inch of surface. For ef-
fective energy this amount must first be over-
come. Steam, therefore, at 212 degrees
would just balance the atmosphere and have
no effective pressure. If, besides this, the
steam would raise a weight of 15 pounds,
then its absolute pressure would be 30
pounds, and its effective pressure would be
516. How is the pressure of steam measured
in stationary and locomotive engines ?
In general, the pressure of steam in station-
ary and locomotive engines is measured by
its ' l effective steam pressure. ' ' The pressure
of the atmosphere is not considered in gradu-
ating the gauges.
517. How is heat communicated from one
part of a body to another ?
If it be a solid body, it is communicated
from one particle to that next in contact, and
518. How is this illustrated ?
This may be illustrated by putting the end
of a poker in the fire, and observing how the
heat gradually extends from the part which
is in the fire to the other end.
519. How is heat communicated to fluids ?
If it be from above, the heat is communi-
cated slowly from one particle to another ;
but if from below, there is a constant internal
motion, the heated particles rising to the sur-
face and the colder coming to the bottom,
until the whole is raised to the boiling point.
520. Are all bodies good conductors of heat ?
No j there is a great difference. Porous
bodies having large vacuities, such as cork,
cloth, bran, and straw, are bad conductors of
521. What is a unit of heat ?
A unit of heat is the quantity of heat re-
quired to raise the temperature of one pound
of water from 39 degrees to 40 degrees Fahren-
522. What is the mechanical equivalent of a
unit of heat ?
The mechanical equivalent of a unit of heat
is 772 foot-pounds.
523. What is a foot-pound ?
A foot-pound, or the unit of work, is the
energy exerted in raising or lifting one pound
in weight one foot high in one minute.
What is meant by a" horse-power " ?
A horse-power is equal to 33,000 pounds
in weight raised or lifted one foot high in
525. What working energy is contained in
one pound of coal ?
A pound of coal contains 14,500 units of
heat. The working energy is equal, there-
fore, to the product of 14,500 units of heat
multiplied by 772 foot-pounds, or 11,194,000
pounds in weight raised one foot high in one
minute. This amount of work cannot, how-
ever, be obtained in practice.
526. What is fire?
According to old writers, fire is one of the
four primary conditions of matter, or an ele-
mentary substance which has the property
of devouring other bodies, the other three
elements being air, earth and water. In the
ordinary sense, fire is understood to mean
matter in a state of combustion.
527. What is combustion ?
By combustion is meant the phenomenon
called burning. In coal it is a union of
the elements constituting the fuel with the
oxygen of the air.
528. How is it produced f
By the application of heat, originating in
the following general divisions :
1st. The sun.
2d. Lightning, electricity.
3d. Chemical combinations.
4th. Friction or collision.
529. How is energy produced by combustion ?
When coal is heated to the point of igni-
tion, the oxygen of the air unites with the
carbon and hydrogen in the coal, and the re-
sult is combustion. It is nothing more than
a chemical change, producing energy in the
form of heat ; a piece of iron slowly rusting
is undergoing a similar change.
530. What are the ordinary combustibles
used in producing heat f
Ordinary combustibles include coal, wood,
charcoal, natural gas, oil, coke and turf.
531. How do these rate in efficiency ?
Wood is the least efficient of the combus-
tibles, on account of the great amount of
water it contains that must be converted into
steam, while coal is the most efficient. Dry
wood, when burned, evolves, on an average,
3,600 heat units, and Bituminous coal an av-
erage of 7,500 heat units.
532. What is the cause of spontaneous com-
bustion of coal ?
The cause has never been fully understood.
In general it may be said to be caused by :
1st. The continuous application of a mod-
erate heat to a large, closely-packed coal pile,
such as the heat caused by the proximity of
steam pipes or hot-air flues, or the heat of
the sun in summer. Coal in small quantities
and in a cool place never ignites sponta-
2d. The decomposition of iron pyrites
contained in the coal and its oxidation when
exposed to the action of oxygen and moisture.
3d. The absorption by the coal of the ox-
ygen in the air, after it has been mined and
broken into fragments above ground. The
absorption of the oxygen raises the tempera-
ture of the coal, perhaps not sufficiently high
to cause combustion, but the oxygen becom-
ing chemically active in the centre of a
coal pile, a sufficient amount of air may be
supplied to cause spontaneous combustion.
583. Are low grade or poor coals more likely
to ignite spontaneously than the high-grade
It has not been so proved from the various
instances of spontaneous combustion investi-
gated. From them it appears that by far the
greater number happened in coals free from
iron pyrites and comparatively free from
slate, and known as thoroughly high-grade
584. What is steam ?
Steam is water changed by heat into a gas.
If we heat water to a temperature of 212 de-
grees, we produce steam, which escapes in
the bubbles of the process called "boiling."
535. Is steam visible ?
It is not. The cloud which can be seen es-
caping from an engine or locomotive consists
of small particles of water or vapor, and is
the result of condensation of the steam in
contact with the colder atmosphere.
536. How is power produced by steam ?
537. What is meant by steam expansion?
In all gases a repulsion is exerted between
the particles, so that any gas, however small
in quantity, will always fill the vessel in
which it is held. Steam possesses this same
property, and if placed in any vessel, the
particles in endeavoring to separate from each
other will exert a force on all its sides. This
force is called steam pressure.
538. How is this pressure utilized ?
In mechanical contrivances called steam
engines, where the steam is admitted to an
enclosed cylinder, and by its expansive force
is made to move a piston back and forth, and
with it the connected machinery.
539. How much water will a pound of coal
evaporate in ordinary practice ?
The quantity of water which is converted
into steam by a pound of coal varies with
the quality of the coal and the construction
and condition of the boiler. It will average
from six to eight pounds of water for each
pound of coal.
540. In an ordinary locomotive, how much
coal is burned per hour ?
For a small -sized locomotive, say of 30
tons' weight, it is necessary to burn from 500
to 2,000 pounds of coal per hour to generate
the required amount of steam and to evap-
orate from 6,000 to 12,000 pounds of water.
541. How far will a ton of coal run a loco-
Circumstances will make a great variation
in this calculation, but a rough average run
by an ordinary locomotive would be from 35
to 50 miles with one ton of good Bituminous
54%* Which is the best coal for steaming ?
Circumstances again will cause a wide va-
riation in the steaming power of coals. For
small boilers where the fire-box is small and
the draft poor or natural, a white-ash coal,
high in carbon and low in volatile gases,
will give the best results. For larger boilers
with plenty of grate-surface and a draft good
or artificial, a coal lower in carbon and higher
in volatile matter can be used with more
economy, as the combustion will not be so
rapid, owing to the greater "body" in the
543. What is meant by the " body" of coal ?
Body is the term generally used to indicate
the fatty, inflammable property in coals,
which is the basis of the phenomenon called
combustion. A coal having no body is said
to be " dry " or " flashy, " owing to its rapid
544- What is the difference between Bitumi-
nous and semi- Bituminous coals ?
When a coal contains as much as 18 per
cent, of volatile matter, it is called semi -Bi-
tuminous, and when the volatile matter is as
high as 30 per cent, or over, it is called Bi-
tuminous, although there is no bitumen in
the composition of either. The oily matter
which sometimes exudes from burning coal
closely resembles that substance, but it is not
545. What is bitumen f
Bitumen is a mineral pitch in various de-
grees of density from naptha to asphalt.
546. What is the " mother " of coal ?
In examining a piece of bright coal it some-
times occurs that the fragment contains thin
layers of a dull black substance, which the
observer almost invariably pronounces slate.
More frequently this substance is the
" mother" of coal, is often as highly com-
bustible as charcoal, and its presence gener-
ally indicates a high-grade coal.
547. How can the il mother " be distinguished
from slate ?
It can generally be distinguished from slate
by scraping with the point of a knife. Slate
is hard and gritty j the "mother " is soft and
548. Theoretically, which kind of coal would
be the most powerful " steamer " ?
Theoretically, Anthracite would be as
much better than the Bituminous coal as it
exceeds that fuel in fixed carbon. But this is
not the case. Either from the difficulty of
combustion or the inefficiency of the mechan-
ical appliances at present in use for generating
steam, the excess of carbon in Anthracite is
not utilized, and, generally speaking, a ton
of Bituminous coal will generate as much, if
not more, steam as an equal ton of Anthra-
549. When was coal first used for locomotive
fuel in the United States ?
Some years ago wood was the fuel in gen
eral use for locomotives in the United States.
In 1849 only a small proportion of the loco-
motives on the Beading Railway were burn-
ing Anthracite coal. On the -Baltimore &
Ohio Eailroad Anthracite coal had been used
on the very earliest of their locomotives, but
these had vertical boilers, and when attempts
were made to use Anthracite on locomotives
with horizontal boilers, various obstacles had
to be met and overcome.
550. What objections were raised to coal as
locomotive fuel ?
It was claimed by experts that a coal fire
produced destructive effects upon the inside
sheets of the fire-box, blistering and burning
them away. It was also said to occasion the
melting of the grate-bars and the destruction
of the boiler-tubes, together with the accumu-
lation and igniting of fine coal in the smoke-
551. How much coal is now burned annually
by locomotives in the United States ?
The locomotive or " supply " coal now
used annually in the United States amounts
to over 100,000,000 tons, and is the largest
single item of expense in the operation of our
552. What is the cost of locomotive coal ?
The cost of coal consumed by a locomotive
has been estimated to average about two
cents per mile of run.
553. Which is the best fuel for locomotives?
On this subject there is much diversity of
opinion. There is no doubt that Bituminous
is the most economical, owing to its extremely
low cost and its more easy and perfect com-
bustion. A Bituminous coal fire is easily
managed by a fireman, and if the better
grades are used there is very little waste
from ashes or clinkers. An Anthracite fire
requires much care, burns with a fierce heat,
and generates more ashes and clinkers. Its
cost is from 20 to 30 per cent, higher suf-
ficient to class it as a luxury suitable only
for passenger trains, where the smoke from
the Bituminous coal might be an objection-
able feature. No such objection exists for
freight locomotives, and the use of Bitumi-
nous coal for this purpose is almost universal.
554- Which is the best fuel for steamships ?
Bituminous coal is considered the best,
being used almost exclusively on all ocean
steamers plying between our ports and all
parts of the world.
555. Is the consumption of Anthracite coal
greater than that of Bituminous coal in the
United States ?
In no State of the Union is the consump-
tion of Anthracite coal greater than that of
Bituminous. In some five or six of them the
consumption of both coals is nearly equal.
In every other State the consumption of Bi-
tuminous coal is far greater than that of An-
556. What is the proper method of firing a
boiler with coal ?
If Anthracite coal is used, it should be
spread evenly over the entire grate in a thin
layer, of sufficient thickness, however, to
prevent the strong blast from lifting the coal
off the grates. If Bituminous is used, this
system can also be applied for the poorer
grades, but if a good non-clinkering coal is
supplied it is better first to wet the coal
slightly and then bank it in the back part of
the furnace, partially filling the doorway and
sloping down toward the front of the grate,
where the layer of coal is thin and in an
active state of incandescence. This bank of
coal is then pushed forward over the burning
coals and a new charge is banked at the door
557. What thickness of coal should be in the
The mass of coal in combustion should
never exceed eight inches in thickness, and
in most cases six inches will be sufficient.
Any excess over this amount is waste.
558. What is * ' smokeless " Bituminous coal ?
There is no such fuel known. All coals in
combustion produce more or less smoke, but
the quantity thrown off burning coals can in
a measure be regulated by the supply of air
admitted to the fire. A free admission of air
over the fire will produce active combustion
of the smoke and gases in all Bituminous
coals, and in many cases renders them prac-
tically, but not entirely, smokeless. The pre-
vention of smoke is the result of good firing,
and experience will determine the amount of
air which can advantageously be admitted
above the fire surface.
559. When was coal first used for smelting
iron in furnaces ?
Probably about 1740, in the Colebrook-
dale Works, in Shropshire, England, where
iron was smelted with charred pit-coal or
560. What cause first led to the use of coal
for smelting iron ?
Coal was first used for metallurgical pur-
poses not of choice, but of necessity. The
time had arrived in the British iron trade
when the enormous amount of wood required
for the iron furnaces was not procurable.
Not only had the grown timber been gener-
ally wasted, but there had been an unthrifty
neglect in not planting young trees, so that
there was a great scarcity of wood, not
only for industrial purposes, but also for do-
661. Which coal was first used in the United
States for smelting iron ?
A few attempts were made to use coke
made from Bituminous coals, but Anthracite
was the first to be used largely in American
blast furnaces, and for many years after its
adaptability to the smelting of iron ore was
established it was in greater demand for this
purpose than Bituminous coal, coked or un-
562. Is this the case at present ?
No. In recent years the relative popular-
ity of Anthracite and Bituminous coals for
blast-furnace use has been exactly reversed.
563. What difficulties prevented the immedi-
ate introduction of Anthracite into the Ameri-
can furnaces ?
The natural difficulties in the way of the
successful introduction of Anthracite coal into
our blast furnaces were increased by the fact
that up to that time, when we began our ex-
periments in its use, no other country had
succeeded in using it as a furnace fuel.
564- Had any other attempts been made ?
Extensive experiments in smelting with
Anthracite coal were made in 1828, at Vizille,
on the borders of France and Switzerland.
Here the attempt was made to use Anthracite
coal in a blast furnace, either alone or in
connection with other fuel.
565. With what results ?
It was found that as long as the proportion
of Anthracite did not exceed one-fifth of the
whole fuel, the furnaces continued to work
as usual and the iron remained gray j but
beyond this limit the pig became white, the
furnace chilled and was in danger of chok-
ing. The experiments were abandoned in
despair of rendering by this means the man-
ufacture of iron profitable, and the outlay of
one or two hundred thousand francs was
charged to profit and loss account.
566. What caused these failures 1
Principally the inferior quality of Anthra-
cite coal used, and also the fact that the hot
blast for furnaces was not then known.
567. What is a " hot blast *
The hot blast is one of the important im-
provements of modern iron-making, by
which a great economy of fuel is effected. A
great variety of ovens for heating the furnace
blast have been invented, but their essential
principle is the same. It consists in passing
the air through tubes or passages of iron or
fire-clay that are heated by a flame or hot air
surrounding them. The heat is usually ob-
tained by utilizing the waste inflammable
gases that formerly blazed away from the top
of the blast furnace.
568. How do we obtain ordinary malleable
iron from pig-iron ?
In order to obtain ordinary malleable iron
from pig-iron, we remove the bulk of the im-
purities contained in the pig by a process
known as " puddling,' 7 and hammering or
569. How did the old iron masters accomplish
The old iron masters simply melted the
crude iron in a refining furnace or "finery,"
and then subjected it to the action of a blast,
which sufficiently oxidized the silicon and
570. What is silicon?
Silicon is a non-metallic chemical element
and is the base of silex, or silica, which is
one of the principal earths. The principal
kinds of stone of which silex is the chief
component part are quartz, sandstone or
freestone, sand flint, rock crystal, granite,
agate and many precious stones. It is used
for forming mortar, porcelain, and is melted
to form glass.
571. Relate some of the earlier attempts to
use Anthracite for smelting iron in the United
One of the earliest attempts to use Anthra-
cite for smelting iron was made at Mauch
Chunk, Pa., in 1819, by the Lehigh Coal &
Navigation Co. , but was abandoned. In 1825
the smelting of iron by either Anthracite or
Bituminous coal or coke was practically un-
known in the United States. In three years,
from 1838 to 1841, 11 Anthracite furnaces
were built in this country.
572. Where were they located ?
The 11 Anthracite furnaces were located at
Mauch Chunk, Phoenix ville, Catasauqua,
Danville, and Shamokin, in Pennsylvania,
and at Stanhope, in New Jersey.
573. What was the capacity of these
The total annual production of pig-iron
from the 11 Anthracite furnaces in operation
at that time could not have exceeded 20,000
574- How many Anthracite furnaces are
now in the United States ?
There are but few furnaces using Anthra-
cite, even in connection with coke.
575. What is their capacity ?
The total annual production of pig-iron
from the Anthracite and the Anthracite-and-
coke furnaces now in operation is about
576. Relate some of the earlier attempts to
use Bituminous coal in American furnaces ?
The first Bituminous furnace built in the
United States was at Bear Creek, in Arm-
strong County, Pa. This was in 1819. It
was not successful. After two or three tons
of coke iron had been made, the furnace
chilled. It was then put in operation with
charcoal. In 1835 a good quality of iron
was made in the Mary Ann furnace, in Hunt-
ingdon County, Pa., with coke made from
Broad Top coal. This was probably the first
successful effort made in this country to use
Bituminous coal in blast furnaces.
During the years 1835-36 blast furnaces
were erected at Karthaus and Farrandsville,
on the west branch of the Susquehanna
River, in Pennsylvania, for the manufacture
of iron by coke, but both were unsuccessful.
In 1839 a coke furnace was in operation at
Lonacouing, in Maryland, making 10 tons of
pig-iron daily, and burning the coke from 50
tons of coal. Near Frostburg, in Maryland,
were two large furnaces on the Welsh plan
for using coke or Bituminous coal.
577. What encouragement was offered Amer-
ican iron workers ?
In 1835 the Franklin Institute, of Phila-
delphia, offered a gold medal to the person
who manufactured in the United States the
greatest quantity of iron from the ore during
that year, using no other fuel than Bitumi-
nous coal or coke, the quantity to be not less
than 20 tons. In 1836 the Pennsylvania
Legislature passed an act for the encourage-
ment of the manufacture of iron by mineral
578. Did these efforts exert an appreciable
influence on the manufacture of iron ?
Scarcely any. Many experiments were
made with coke and Bituminous coal for blast-
furnace use, but they were generally attended
with loss. In 1849 there was not one coke
furnace in blast in the United States.
579. When did the results indicate the suc-
cessful use of coke in American furnaces ?
In 1856 there were 21 blast furnaces in
Pennsylvania and 3 in Maryland, which were
using coke, or were adapted to its use, and
their total production in that year was over
44,000 tons of pig-iron. After 1856 the use
of this fuel in the blast furnaces increased in
Pennsylvania and was extended to other
States, but it was not until after 1865 that its
use for this purpose increased rapidly,
amounting during that year to 100, 000 tons,
in 1880 to over 2,000,000 tons, and in 1890
to over 10,000,000 tons.
580. How many Bituminous and coke fur-
naces are now in the United States ?
A recent table showed 247 blast furnaces
in this country using Bituminous coal and
581. Where were they located $
Of the Bituminous and coke furnaces in
the United States, 78 were in Pennsylvania,
47 in Ohio, 37 in Alabama, 23 in Virginia,
17 in Illinois, 12 in Tennessee, 6 in Kentucky,
5 in Maryland, 4 each in West Virginia and
Wisconsin, 3 each in New York, Missouri,
and Colorado, 2 each in North Carolina and
Georgia, and one in Minnesota.
582. What is their combined capacity ?
The total annual production of pig-iron
from the Bituminous furnaces now in opera-
tion is over 18,000,000 tons.
688. What is gas ?
Gas is a term we apply to all aeriform, in-
visible, elastic fluids. The air we breathe is
composed of two gases, oxygen and nitrogen.
The term is generally used to describe a mix-
ture of particular gases for illuminating pur-
584- How is gas produced ?
Gas is sometimes produced naturally, as
those gases issuing from decayed vegetable
or animal matter, or those issuing from vol-
canoes and the atmosphere ; others are pro-
duced by chemical manipulation, as in the
process called destructive distillation.
585. What is destructive distillation ?
Destructive distillation is the process of
heating an organic compound in a closed
vessel, without access of air, and collecting
586. What substances will produce illumi-
nating gas by the process of destructive distilla-
By distilling fats, oils, wood, peats, bones,
resins, wax, tallow, or any animal or vege-
table substance, gas is expelled and the origi-
nal nature of the material is destroyed. By
submitting coal to this process, gas, such as
used for lighting, is produced.
587. Why is coal almost universally em-
ployed for this purpose ?
Coal is almost universally employed for
this purpose on account of its price, the fa-
cility with which it is distilled, and the quan-
tity and quality of the coke derived therefrom
after the gas is expelled. Formerly the pro-
duction of gas from resins, fats, and oils was
common, but, on account of the greater cost
of the gas produced as compared with that
obtained from coal, such processes have been
588. Give a simple demonstration of the
manufacture of coal gas ?
If we put some powdered coal into the bowl
of a common clay tobacco-pipe, plaster over
the opening with moistened clay, and then
insert the bowl in a fire, allowing the stem to
project from between the grate-bars, we will
have commenced the process of destructive
distillation. In a few minutes a stream of gas
will issue from the stem. On applying a
light it will burn with a bright flame, and we
have made coal gas on a small scale.
589. How is it made on a large scale t
In a gas-works the tobacco-pipe bowl is re-
placed by large cast-iron or earthen vessels,
called retorts ; these are embedded in ovens,
and exposed to the action of a furnace, and
so kept continually red-hot; they are par-
tially filled with coal and hermetically closed,
when the heat decomposes the coal and ex-
pels the gas, which passes from the retorts
through several vessels for condensing the
vapors in combination and extracting im-
purities. When the gas is purified it passes
to the gasometer, ready for distribution.
590. By this process how much gas can be
obtained from a ton of gas coal ?
In this way a ton of good gas coal will yielc}
about 10,000 cubic feet of illuminating gas ;
but a vast improvement on this process is
obtained by taking the coal used in the first
operation, which has now become coke, heat-
ing it to incandescence, and forcing steam
through the mass.
591. How much gas would thus be pro-
By this means about 30,000 more feet of
gas are obtained from the ton of coal, not in-
cluding such coal as is used for the fires pro-
ducing the heat.
592. What is this gas called ?
The gas produced by this process, in which
steam is used, is called water gas, since it is
the decomposition of the water that releases
the hydrogen forming the gas. Carbon, when
highly heated, has so much affinity for oxy-
gen that it will decompose steam in order to
combine with the oxygen that forms a part of
the steam. This is the principle that makes
water gas possible. Either Anthracite coal
or coke may be used to secure the necessary
593. How is the brilliancy of this gas in-
A vapor made from crude oil is commonly
added iu small quantities to give greater il-
luminating power to water gas.
594- What is gas coal ?
All Bituminous coal will produce gas, but,
generally speaking, the gas coals of the
United States are those containing from 30
to 40 per cent, of volatile matters, that is,
hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. The excess
of hydrogen in these coals renders them par-
ticularly suitable for the production of car-
buretted hydrogen, or, as it is commonly
called, "gas." Hence the term now com-
monly used, "gas coals."
595. Who first used coal for destructive dis>
Coal was first submitted to destructive dis-
tillation by a German named Johann Joachin
Becher, in the year 1680. He secured a
i i patent for a new way of making pitch and
tarre out of pit-coale never before found or
used by any other."
596. When was illuminating gas first ob-
tained from coal ?
Gas was first obtained from coal by Dr.
Hales in 1726, who, filling a bladder with it,
and puncturing a small hole therein, lighted
the issuing gas. This, however, was merely
a scientific experiment.
597. When was coal gas first used for light-
The discoverer of the practical application
of coal gas for lighting purposes was Mur-
dock, a Scotchman, who in 1792 first lighted
his house and offices with it.
598. When was the first -gas company char-
The first gas company in the world for the
production of gas as an article of commerce
was chartered in London in 1813, under the
title of " The Gaslight & Coke Co.",
599. Was the introduction of coal gas at-
tended with any difficulties ?
The opposition against the introduction of
coal gas was violent in the extreme. Great
men, authors, and scientists spoke and wrote
against it. Such men as Napoleon, Sir Wal-
ter Scott, and Sir Humphry Davy thought
the scheme of lighting dwellings with gas a
reckless and foolish one, and it took great
perseverance and courage to overcome the
existing prejudice against its use. The pub-
lic, however, soon became reconciled to it,
and in 1814 London was first lighted with gas
made from coal.
600. Was water gas knoivn in those days ?
Not commercially, but a gas of similar
properties was obtained by causing steam to
pass through a tube filled with red-hot char-
601. When was the first attempt made to in-
troduce gas into the United States f
The first attempt to introduce gas into this
country was made at Baltimore in 1816. The
company first organized, which is the oldest
in this country, constructed works for the
manufacture of tar gas, but was unsuccessful,
and it was not until about 1821 that gas was
successfully introduced in Baltimore.
602. What other attempts were made ?
Boston next introduced it in 1822, and con-
tinues to work under its first charter. New
York followed, commencing operations in
1823, but did not get into successful operation
until 1827. Philadelphia introduced coal gas
608. What gas coals were used at this time in
the United States?
Up to 1842 the Virginia coals, mined in
the neighborhood of Eichmond, and im-
ported English coals were the principal gas
coals used in this country, and until 1850
constituted the chief supply to the gas-works
of Philadelphia and other American cities.
About six years later the gas coals of west-
ern Pennsylvania began to be used in Phila-
delphia, to the practical exclusion of both
the foreign and the Virginia coals.
604' Where are the principal beds of gas
coal in the United States ?
The principal beds of gas coal in the
United States are in the country adjacent to
Pittsburg, Pa., and southeasterly across the
line in West Virginia.
605. When were these coals first used for
gas- making ?
The Pittsburg gas coals were first brought
to market over the lines of the Pennsylvania
Railroad about 1856. These were followed
later by the shipments of Youghiogheny gas
coals and West Virginia gas coals eastward
over the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to tide-
water, and thence by vessels to the various
606. Did these first attempts at gas-making
with American coals meet with any opposition ?
The prejudice then existing against these
coals was so formidable that it seemed im-
possible to overcome. The famous Newcastle
coals of England and the Pictou Provincial
coals were considered by gas experts to be
the only coals suitable for gas-making, and it
was only after repeated trials and experi-
ments that the American product was recog-
nized as equal in every way to the best Eng-
lish coals, and superior to the Provincial.
To-day the Pennsylvania and West Virginia
gas coals are the standards of excellence as
gas producers of the world.
607. What is cannel coal ?
Cannel coal is supposed to be the product
of vegetable matter, as other coals, but
of fine particles of vegetation mixed with
carbon and deposited in small lakes or la-
goons. It generally occurs in " pockets,"
and yields a very high percentage of volatile
matter, and also ash. It is frequently used
in gas-making as an enricher.
608. In the distillation of gas coal, what
component parts are collected ?
The so-called Bituminous part is melted out
in the form of tar. There is disengaged at
the same time a large quantity of aqueous
fluid, contaminated with apportion of oil and
various ammoniacal salts. A large quantity
of carburetted hydrogen and other inflamma-
ble gases make their appearance, and the fixed
base of the coal remains behind in the retorts
in the form of a carbonaceous substance
609. How much coke remains from a ton of
distilled gas coal f
The amount varies with different coals,
ranging from 1,500 to 1,700 pounds for each
gross ton of coal used.
610. What is charcoal ?
Charcoal is coal made by charring wood.
Formerly charcoal was the name for charred
sea-coal or mineral coal, and the word is
popularly used for the carbonaceous residue
of vegetable, animal or mineral substances
when they have undergone smothered com-
611. What is meant by u smothered com-
bustion " ?
Wood consists of carbon, hydrogen and
oxygen, the last two being in the proportion
to form water. When wood is heated in the
open air it burns completely away, with the
exception of a small white ash j but if the
supply of air be limited, then the combustion
is " smothered," and only the more volatile
matters burn away, while most of the carbon
remains in the form of wood-charcoal.
612. Supposing that this process be applied
to Bituminous coal, what would be the result?
Bituminous coal consists also of carbon,
hydrogen and oxygen. When it is heated
in the open air it burns away, leaving but a
small quantity of ash ; but if we limit the
amount of air, as in a coke oven, during com-
bustion, then only the volatile gases are con-
sumed, while a large proportion of the carbon
remains in the form of coke.
613. What, then, is coke ?
Coke is a form of fuel obtained by the
heating of Bituminous coal in confined
spaces, whereby its more volatile constituents
are consumed or burned away.
614. How is the process of coking in mounds
Coking is done either in heaps, or mounds,
or in coke ovens. If done in mounds, the
coal is piled up in round stacks around a
wide open chimney or column, the lumps in
the centre, and the slack or fine coal outside,
the whole being covered with wet coke dust,
except at certain air-holes. The mound is
ignited at the top, and burns gradually down
and outward, giving off at first much smoke
and vapor. When the fire ceases to be
smoky, the process of coking is concluded,
all openings are covered over to exclude air
and extinguish combustion, and the cooling
of the mound is done by drenching it with
water ; these mounds used to be called
615. How does this differ from the process
of making coke in ovens ?
The principle of making coke in coke
ovens is the same, but the process is much
quicker and more economical, and the result-
ing coke is better in quality than that made
616. When was the process of coke-making
first known ?
The process of coke-making is very old.
As early as 2, 000 years ago coke was an ar-
ticle of commerce in the Chinese province of
617. What is known of early efforts in
coking coal ?
A. patent was issued as early as 1557, in
Germany, for a process that was called the
1 1 desulphurizing of coal. ' J In 1590 a license
was issued for cleaning coal and freeing it
from its disagreeable smell, and further
patents followed in 1620 and 1627 for smelt-
ing iron with coke, and rendering coal as
useful and agreeable as charcoal for domestic
purposes. Again, a further patent was issued
in 1633 to several parties for " charking "
coal and smelting iron.
618. What is meant by " charking " ?
The verb " chark " means "to burn to a
black cinder, " whereas the meaning of
"char" was defined, "to burn wood to
a black cinder." Coal thus prepared was
called "coak," and wood so heated was
619. When was coke first made in ovens ?
In 1769 the fact was announced by one of
the technical writers that coke was made in
England, "not only in piles, but in closed
furnaces." A short time afterward the iron
masters of Liege adopted with success that
system of coking. At the same time coking
ID ovens was carried on in the villages around
London, the coke being prepared for the use
of malsters and for other purposes. In 1781
the application of coke for the smelting of
iron had become general in England, and
coke ovens were in operation at Newcastle-
on-Tyne and at Cambridge.
What are the constituent parts of coke ?
The constituent parts of coke are princi-
pally carbon and ash, the latter being the in-
organic matter of the coal. An analysis of
coke would show about 90 per cent, of fixed
carbon and the balance of ash.
621. What is the position of coke as a fuel ?
The excess of carbon in coke ranks it as
capable of great heating power, and the small
amount of combustible gases renders it slow
to ignite and free from smoke during combus-
622. What are the impurities in coke f
The impurities in coke are the sulphur and
phosphorus which it may contain,
623. Describe the general appearance of
In external appearance coke may be light
gray and bright, or, as it is generally termed,
u silvery," or of a metallic lustre, or it may
be dull and black, or iridescent. It is gen-
erally rough-surfaced, but sometimes, espe-
cially that portion of a charge near oven walls,
is smooth and glossy, like polished graphite.
Sometimes hair-like threads are found cling-
ing to the larger lumps.
6@4- Describe the physical structure of coke ?
In its physical structure coke may be
porous and light, or compact, dense, and
heavy. It may be hard and capable of sus-
taining a high crushing and compressive
strain or load, or it may be soft and brittle,
with a low crushing point and compressive
strength. Its " ring" or sound when struck
is in some samples almost metallic, and in
others it is dull and heavy. Its degree of
combustibility and ease of ignition, also, are
625. What do we mean by " dense " and
" 7iard " coke ?
All coke is more or less cellular in its
structure. The less the cell space the denser
the coke, the greater the cell space the more
porous that is, " dense" and "porous" are
opposite conditions. "Hard" is a term
properly applied to the cell walls of the coke,
and coke is "hard" or "soft" as the cell
walls are hard or soft. Coke may therefore
be dense and not hard that is, its cell space
may be small and the cell walls weak j or it
may be porous and hard that is, its cell
space may be large and the cell walls hard
626. What is the typical coke for blast-fur-
nace use f
Physically the typical coke for blast-fur-
nace use should be bright, silvery, hard and
porous, with a metallic ring.
627. Does a chemical analysis indicate the
value of coke ?
Not always. An analysis of coke may
show a very high percentage of carbon and
very low of ash and impurities ; but if the
coke is soft and brittle its value as a furnace
fuel is very small ; whereas a coke lower in
carbon and higher in ash, if it is physically
a hard coke, or one with hard cell walls,
would be much superior to the one in which
the cell walls are brittle and weak.
628. When was coke first made in the United
The manufacture of coke in the United
States is of very recent date, the census of
1850 showing a total amount in value of only
$15,000. Prior to this small quantities of
coke were made for smelting iron in Pennsyl-
629. Relate the process of coke-making in the
United States *
In 1870 the manufacture of coke in Ohio
was begun, and in 1880 coke was manufac-
tured in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Illi-
nois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee
and West Virginia, nine States in all.
630. From what coal seams is most of the coal
taken for coking in the United States ?
By far the largest part of the coal used for
coking in the United States comes from three
coal seams the Pittsburg seam in Pennsyl-
vania, the Pottsville conglomerate in the New
Eiver and Flat Top districts of Virginia and
West Virginia, and the Pratt seam of Ala-
631. From what coal is ConnellsviUe coke
The coal used in making ConnellsviUe coke
is from the Pittsburg seam, locally known as
the u ConnellsviUe " seam. The run-of-mine
coal is put directly into the ovens, of the form
known as the " bee-hive" pattern, without
any preparation or screening, and is con-
verted into coke.
632. Describe the process of charging the
coal in bee-hive ovens ?
The coal is brought to the ovens in iron
cars called "larries," which discharge their
contents through a circular opening in the
tops of the ovens by means of chutes attached
to the larries. This is called " charging"
the ovens, and a charge is about six tons of
coal. A coke oven has two openings the
circular opening in the top or crown, and
another in the side, called the door. After
charging, the door is bricked up and plas-
tered with clay, leaving a small opening at
the top of the bricks.
633. How is combustion first produced in the
When coke ovens are first "lighted," fires
are made in them of wood, and afterward of
coal or coke. These fires are merely pre-
liminary, and are made to heat the ovens.
When they have been sufficiently heated the
fires are drawn and the ovens carefully
cleaned of ashes. The charges of coking
coal are now put in the "ovens, and soon
ignite from the heat retained from the pre-
vious fires, the distillation of gases begins,
and these gases pass off through the holes in
the tops of the ovens.
634. How is the coke drawn from the ovens ?
The coal is allowed to burn in the ovens
for 48 hours, at the end of which time it is
thoroughly coked ; this is ascertained by
looking into the oven over the top of the
door. A man then tears away the brick door
and, inserting the nozzle of a hose, drenches
the heated mass with water until it is
quenched. The coke is then allowed to
stand until the water is all driven off as
vapor, after which it is drawn out on the
ground by laborers using long iron scrapers.
From the ground the coke is forked into the
railroad cars and shipped to its destination.
685. How is combustion in the ovens con-
The heat retained in an oven from the pre-
vious charge, together with that obtained
from the alternate ovens which are in blast
the coke being drawn from every other oven
is sufficient to continue combustion after
each charge is made.
636. What method is pursued in charging
coke ovens ?
An oven charged, say on Monday, would
be ready to draw on Wednesday; an oven
charged on Tuesday would be drawn on
637. What is meant by " 72-hour " coke ?
Owing to the suspension of labor on Sun-
day, an oven charged on Friday must neces-
sarily go over to Monday, so that all charges
made on Friday and drawn on Monday must
be in the ovens 72 hours, and the coke result-
ing is called 72-hour coke.
638. Is "72-hour" coke better than "48-
hour " coke f
All other conditions being equal, 72-hour
coke does not differ from 48-hour coke, either
in analysis or physical structure. A Friday
oven is always charged with an increased
amount of coal, which necessitates longer
burning ; the resultant coke is therefore no
better than the coke from the smaller charges
of the other days in the week. When the
gases have been expelled from the coal the
ovens are sealed, with a lid over the top
opening, and no additional burning will im-
prove the quality of the coke.
639. How does the charge of coal burn in a
coke oven ?
The charge of coal begins to burn and coke
from the top downward, as in charcoal or
coke piles in the open air. Should sufficient
air be admitted to the ovens, the coal would
be consumed to ashes.
640. What are " black ends " in coke ?
Black ends are caused by cold oven floors
or insufficient burning, whereby the process
of coking is arrested before that part of the
coal is converted which rests upon the floor
of the oven. Black ends should not be con-
fused with " smoked ends," the latter being
simply a discoloration of the coke with
smoke, which in no way impairs its quality.
641. What is " crushed " coke ?
Coke which is broken and screened into
various sizes, like Anthracite coal, for do-
mestic use is called crushed coke. One ton
of coke so prepared is equal in bulk to about
two tons of Anthracite. Owing to its free-
dom from gas and clinkers, together with its
large percentage of heat units, crushed coke
is a typical domestic fuel.
642 What is the difference between "fur-
nace " and "foundry " coke ?
There is no essential difference, both com-
ing from the same ovens, and frequently from
the same charges. Operators, however,
make a difference in the price for their
trouble and labor in selecting coke for
foundry use, sometimes having it hand-picked
for that purpose.
643. What is the annual coke production of
the United States ?
At present coke is made in 25 States of the
Union at the rate of about 26, 000, 000 net
tons annually from about 80,000 ovens.
644. What is meant by the word u by-prod-
uct " ? ,
A by-product is a secondary or additional
product something produced, as in a man-
ufacturing process, in addition to the prin-
645. What are the by-products of coke ?
In the coking process the by-products
which are frequently collected and utilized
are the gas, tar and ammonia.
646. How are these by-products collected ?
These by-products are collected by burning
the coal in a peculiar kind of coke oven
other than the bee-hive pattern. These
special ovens are called u flue ovens."
647. What is the principle of a flue oven ?
The essential principle of a flue or retort
oven is the coking of the coal in retorts or
air-tight chambers, as in a gas works. The
coal in the ordinary bee-hive oven is burned
from the inside, while that in a flue oven is
burned from gas on the outside.
648. Describe the construction of flue ovens ?
The Semet-Solvay flue ovens are con-
structed in a rectangular form, the retorts be-
ing above the foundations of the ovens.
The ovens are charged at the top by larries,
and the coal is burned 24 hours, or one-half
the time required by the common bee-hive
ovens. On each side of the ovens are three
horizontal flues ruoning the entire length
and containing gas, which heats the ovens.
The flues are made of tile and are not more
than two inches thick, so "that the heat can
easily be conveyed through.
649. How are the ovens operated ?
The gas in the horizontal flues that are
used to heat the ovens is taken from the other
ovens that have been burned ; one oven is
drawn every two hours, and the waste heat
is saved in boilers which are placed between
two rows of ovens. The gas from the ovens
goes to the by-product house, and is there
washed and scrubbed and the by-products
obtained. In every ton of coal there is esti-
mated to be 10,000 cubic feet of gas ; of this
amount 7,000 feet are used for heating the
ovens and the remainder is saved and used
for fuel or illuminating purposes.
650. How is the coke drawn from the ovens f
These ovens can be opened at both ends,
and the coke pushed out by an engine run-
ning along the end of the ovens. The coke
thus forced out is drenched with water and
cooled as in the bee-hive process.
651. How does the cost of a flue oven com-
pare with a bee-hive ?
The cost of the flue oven is three or four
times that of the bee-hive oven, but it is
claimed that the increased yield of retort
coke as compared with oven coke, together
with the value of the by-products obtained,
compensates for the difference.
652. What is known of this system of coke
making in the United States ?
Comparatively little, as its introduction
into this country is of recent date. The con-
tinent of Europe, however, has practically
abandoned the bee-hive ovens. In Germany,
Belgium and France there are only a few is-
olated plants of bee-hive ovens in operation.
Such, however, is not the case in England,
where the bee-hive ovens, as in this country,
are in general use.
653. In the production of illuminating gas,
what by-products are obtained f
In making illuminating gas from coal we
obtain as by-products ammoniacal liquor, tar
664. What use can be made of these ?
The coke can be used as fuel, while the tar
and ammoniacal liquor can by chemical de-
composition be used in a great variety of
processes of great value and utility.
655. How much tar can be obtained from a
ton of coal ?
From a ton of coal we get about 110 to 120
pounds of tar.
656. How much watery liquor is thus ob-
From a ton of coal we get about 20 to 25
gallons of watery liquor.
657. What is obtained from the tar ?
Tar furnishes the raw material for the pro-
duction of a multitude of valuable substances
coloring matters better than natural dyes ;
explosives, such as picric acid ; perfumes and
flavoring materials, like bitter almond-oil and
vanillin ; sweetening matter, like saccharin ;
disinfectants, like carbolic acid ; medicines
rivaling the natural alkaloids ; and devel-
opers for photographers, such as hydro-
quinone and eikonogen.
658. What is paraffin ?
Paraffin is a wax-like substance obtained
by distillation from highly -Bituminous cannel
coal. It has for years been the principal ma-
terial employed in the manufacture of candles
in Great Britain and Germany, having for
that purpose to a large extent superseded the
use of beeswax, spermaceti, stearic acid and
tallow. It is also used in many branches of
the arts and manufactures.
659. How is paraffin produced ?
The coal or Bituminous shale, when taken
from the mines, is broken into small pieces
and put into retorts. In the retorts the first
chemical process destructive distillation
takes place. The coal, according to quality,
yields from 20 to 40 gallons of crude oil per
ton, and over 60 gallons of ammonia water,
from which sulphate of ammonia is obtained.
The paraffin is obtained by pressing and re-
frigeration of the oil. It is afterward refined
and then filtered through cloth and filter-
paper and run into pans to solidify into
cakes of convenient size for the candle
660. Where is paraffin chiefly produced ?
In Scotland, where some 15 companies with
an aggregate capital of about $12,000,000 are
engaged in this industry alone. These com-
panies use about 2,000,000 tons of coal per
annum, producing about 60,000,000 gallons
of crude oil.
661. Is paraffin from coal manufactured in
the United States ?
The industry was started here, but the dis-
covery of petroleum essentially the same
thing as paraffin oil rendered the business
662. What is pitch?
Pitch is a thick, black, sticky substance
obtained by boiling down tar.
663. How is it utilized ?
When mixed with coal dust, pitch is used
in the manufacture of briquettes for artificial
fuel. Pitch is also used in all the applica-
tions of asphalt for paving, roofing and
664. How is sulphate of ammonia, obtained
from the watery liquor in coal, utilized ?
Sulphate of ammonia is extensively used in
various chemical operations, and is also in
good demand as a fertilizer. It adds nitro-
gen to the soil, and is an excellent agent for
stimulating all plant growth.
665. Are tar and ammonia recovered from
other than gas works f
For many years tar and ammonia have
been recovered from the coal gases which
burned away and were wasted at the tops of
the blast furnaces. This is notably the case
in Scotland, where nearly all the blast fur-
naces are equipped to utilize the waste
1st. Under the boilers of the blowing en-
2d. In the air-stoves for heating the blast.
3d. In the recovery plant for tar and am-
666. How will coal be used in the future ?
The time is not far distant when we will
abandon the clumsy, inefficient contrivances
for burning coal in our houses and work-
shops. The annoyance of black coal dust,
sooty smoke, and grimy ashes will be replaced
by the comfort and convenience of fuel gas
of high grade and healthful properties.
Central plants will deliver this cleanly and
convenient product for all purposes of
warmth and power.
The impurities and inorganic matter of
coal will first be removed, the noxious vapors
scrubbed and purified. Then, hand in hand
with its beautiful sister Electricity, we will
introduce into our homes Gas, the pure spirit
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