Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Coal Heat


A Facebook post I put up has gathered more responses than anything I’ve ever put up, much to my amazement.

Memory lane.

Listening to the furnace starting frequently on the cold night, I am grateful I live in a well built building and can afford my heat bill. Many are not so fortunate. I can remember keeping the thermostat just high enough to keep the plumbing from freezing and the kids wearing sweaters, and even coats, in the house. Hard times.


With over fifty first cousins and many old friends I find Facebook, for all the negatives, a way to keep in touch so I remain.


The other part of the Facebook experience I enjoy is posting things I know will piss off (P)regressives, including my (P)regressive relatives, under the heading of, “Stirring the pot”. Many come from memes taken from your blogs.


The header picture is a Stokermatic. As a teenager, my parents heated our house with one and my chores included servicing it. Five buckets of coal per day on average. My Dad bought the coal directly from a mine ten miles away and I had to unload the truck, one shovelful at a time, into the coal shed.


Sisty said...

I used to sit in front of that Stokermatic and read to our various house pets. Dad would "cook" the chokecherry & service berry wine behind it. Mom kept a cake pan on top for added humidity since our weather was so dry. Even when we added a fireplace later on, this was still our primary heat source.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Winter our family life centered around that stove.

drjim said...

My grandparent's house had a coal-fired furnace/boiler, and a cast iron "coal bin" hatch on the side of the house where the coal delivery people would unload the coal into. I remember seeing those hatches on older homes all over town, but by the time I was growing up nobody used coal for heating, except some large commercial buildings and the local power plants. We had huge coal fields in Northern Illinois, and it was close enough to the surface to be strip mined. Most of the old, played out coal field were left to flood, and were turned into fishing/boating "lakes". You could usually find big chunks of coal laying around them, but it was just a curiosity to "my generation".

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Natural gas and electricity are cleaner and less work to heat homes but at a greater cost. For rural areas, it is wood or coal - maybe propane. When my parents added a fireplace, we bought lump coal and would stoke a fire that would last all night.

Friends who still ranch in The Steamboat area budgeted $300 for enough coal to heat for the winter.

Old NFO said...

Thankfully, I grew up in the South... THANKFULLY!!!

drjim said...

How big a pile of coal is $300 worth?

I remember my Dad talking about walking along the RR tracks, as they could pick up "free" coal that had fallen off the cars in shipment.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

You missed out.

Not sure, just a guess. Two flatbed with side boards pickup loads, probably 3,000 lbs. That is what we used. Bad winter, three loads.

LSP said...

I have to stay on Fbook too, even though it's hideous.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Doing my part to keep "fact checkers" gainfully employed. A public service?