Hello all you coal burners, what a great info site this is. I live in the Mid Hudson Valley of NY and just 4 miles from the coal yard - lucky. I have been burning coal since I was born ! Actually my father purchased an Iron Fireman coal stoker steam boiler at the 1939 World Fair in NY. It ran every day until 1965. My dad was getting older and lugging buckets of coal, & the self contained ash bin was getting tough. So we retire the Iron Fireman and install a new high efficient natural gas furnace - Mom & Dad were sad to see the coal go. I can still remember every kid on the street coming to see the "Coalman" barrel the rice coal into the cellar - no one else had coal in the later 50's & 60's where we lived. I purchased an old house, built in 1889 & in the basement was the largest boiler I had ever seen - five sections of cast iron five foot in diameter and 15" high stacked one on top of the other and filled with water, a lot of water. It was an old hand fire coal boiler, converted to oil. It was like trying to boil 10 quarts of water with a candle. The interesting part was some of the old coal parts were still there - four 1 1/2 volt batteries wired in series go to a thermostat upstairs. When the stat called for heat the batteries powered a small motor, as the motor turned it pulled a chain up lifting a small damper door on the ash lower door - thus the coal heated up and the water heated and thermal convected to the radiators - no electricity - great system - just needed to replace those batteries. But did it burn oil, so I replaced it with a new oil boiler - looking back now " what a
mistake". Anyway, it great to be part of this forum of coal burners - never give up your coal, it's the best heat ever and will always be reasonably price compared to oil, gas, wood & even solar ! !