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In southwest Wales, anthracite was burned as a domestic fuel from the medieval period or earlier.
In the United States, anthracite coal history began in 1790 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, with the discovery of coal made by the hunter Necho Allen in what is now known as the Coal Region. Legend has it that Allen fell asleep at the base of Broad Mountain and woke to the sight of a large fire because his campfire had ignited an outcropping of anthracite coal. By 1795, an anthracite-fired iron furnace had been built on the Schuylkill River.
Anthracite was first experimentally burned as a residential heating fuel in the USA on February 11, 1808, by Judge Jesse Fell in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on an open grate in a fireplace. Anthracite differs from wood in that it needs a draft from the bottom, and Judge Fell proved with his grate design that it was a viable heating fuel.
In the spring of 1808, John and Abijah Smith shipped the first commercially-mined load of anthracite down the Susquehanna River from Plymouth, Pennsylvania, marking the birth of commercial anthracite mining in the United Stateshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthracite ... ning_today