In 1930’s Detroit, coal was the predominant fuel used for heating in the winter. The coal was delivered at grandfather’s house by a chute from a coal delivery truck. The coal went through a basement window into a small room called the “coal bin.” The bin had a door facing the furnace and coal was shoveled through it into the furnace.
Eventually the furnace was upgraded to add a stoker — a conveyor system to deposit coal into the furnace, activated by a thermostat upstairs
Any way it was fed, coal produced “clinkers” in the furnace; glass-hard agglomerations of residue that had to be removed in chunks with long-handled hooks and tongs.
At Grandfather’s elementary school, the clinkers were broken up and used like gravel on the school playground. And they were responsible for many a skinned knee.
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is an octogenarian in West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family