Thursday, May 25, 2017

For Safety, Health & Economy – Burn Coal!

I thought this full-page ad for the Zipp - Stack - Miller Coal Company of Lorain was rather interesting. It ran in the Lorain Journal on June 21, 1955 and basically makes the case to stick with a coal furnace.

The particular model of coal heating unit being promoted in the ad was fully automatic and self-stoking. The ashes that were generated were removed by vacuum and placed in a sealed container. The unit was also said to be a very compact size of 40" long, 30" wide and four feet high.

Also of interest in the ad is the fact that the coal company had sold their previous property to the Lorain Journal for its new building.

The ad also provides a roll call of coal brands, including Pocahontas. Local historian and archivist Dennis Lamont passed along an interesting observation to me about Pocahontas coal.

Dennis noted that the Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine is a tourist attraction. He noted, "It is interesting that the mine we used to get our coal from is a landmark now, and mines that still use that same vein provide coal to the folks that still use it in steam locomotives."

Dennis also reminisced about life in a home heated by coal.

"Very few people remember that spring cleaning used to involve wiping down each room with wallpaper cleaner (playdough now) to get the soot off the walls. We quit coal when it went to $25/ton and my dad converted the furnace to gas."

Lastly, Dennis made me aware of another local option for heating your home in the old days.

"National Tube used to sell coke to employees and that was very hot and clean burning ...they also sold you the white iron grates that you needed to handle the hot burning coke.  They were made in our own foundry, of course."

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