The Oregon daily journal. (Portland, Or.) 1902-1972, August 18, 1907, Page 29, Image 29

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    I II
. I '
1 - J "
Q y n pay
AVlias ' contributed to
America's history- on 6 'of
vs , most i romantic cnap'
ters.-J century ago" the ;
- . - anthracite trade rose in a
curious manner, and flourished increasingly ,y
im i became one of the greatest forces '.
all time. Now it ts said to be doomed !
to extinction in seventy-five years, I
J omj f w century ago this year that
'Abijah Smith took from a jagged hole in . .
the ground at Plymouth." Pa.," the first
, DiacK swne -inat s vrnat mcy cauca u
-t . . . ji !i y
or industrial consumption: ana n -
o February i, j 8 68, that Judge Jesse r ; I
at Wilkes-Barre, Pa., placed" some
rri Maf if woi burn without a bellows.
The first year's : anthracite trade
' amounted is? fifty tons; that of J90J was
69,339,152 long tons, with a spot value of
$141,879,000. Th production of last
year was 63,645,010 tons. '
Anthracite coal has made one of the
busiest industrial regions in the world
that portion of Pennsylvania where almost
the entire hard coal product of the earth is
mined; has given employment to hundreds
of thousands of men, has made immense
fortunes J has given to mankind warmth and
comfort such as had never been attained
before, has contributed to the development
of railroads, electricity and manufactories
has, in short, been a potent handmaid of
progress. - "
It has also brought about the greatest
labor strikes inAmerican history, has been
developed at the expense of thousands, of
lives, has caused suffering and distress to
workers, s No other industry so directly
ifitrtt thtt liiiftlitsr nllv tW fircsiilpini
,au cusses vr Americans, yne can naryy bftrring miraeuloustliiB cannot be.
...conceive. of. a : condition of life with hard -Amont those studenU of the iubject who
coal eliminated. , have recently placed aerenty-five years aa the
.L . t
tne mwiinMni im nnn United States ueoKwical JSurvc
volves about the question, what is to keep Perhape.onei'ofe. the 'highest authorities !, op . . :
vt nvirm nnrf thb fuel ti vont f ' coal mining in the United States is William Jasr
. Fortunately, ingenious minds are ac- P NichoUs, M.Ani,'Soc. a .E.; of;Pennsya
tive along this line, and there 1: little hkeh
mm . .. , .
r v iiif iU r ,4" 1 mi i 1
. . 11 m ,
"Si '
nJ vtfMa seventy-five years more 01 antnraciwa pe is ear Aomirai imokj u-
7 t nM. nf D- Evans, of the United States Navy. Another .
coz wav f a memory. Une of rjmj w p,w, -nBi ,rt. f th.
hood that we of today or those who suc
ceed us on this planet shall have to freeze.
sia, who has written the only history of Ameri
can coals and other works bearing on the subject.
Mr. Nicholla was asked to give, for this article,"
, his opinion as to the future of anthracite.', i ,
"Based upon the present rate of conaump- .
. tion," he said, "the supply cannot last : over
seventy-five yeara. This U not guesswork. v ' ;
"Jt is not like the soft coal situation Bitu
minous coal exists in many states of the union, .
and in other countries. The supply may last fo
. centuries
.' "But the only bit of real anthracite coal, ofl
commercial value although there are othez
coals miscalled anthracite--lies in a long, nar
row strip extending across a part of Fennsylrsy '
nia. ' We have drilied; under and over it ha v
poked drills all through it and all around it. .
We know just where every vein Is located," ita
length, depth and composition. In fact, we hare
practically, accoun,ted for'every pound iht
remains in the ground. V v
"It is estimated that less than 5,000,000,0001.
tons of anthracite coal remam unniined, which,
at the present rate of increase' in' raining will
last not, m6re than seventy-five years. '.
"But, in my opinion, the demand will nofi
keep up. It can only be kept up while people are
willing- to rpay the high and growing -price for
anthracite as a - luxury in other words, it can
only last until the 'people of the United States
learn 'that they 'can burn soft coal at half the
price of hard coal with just aa 'good 'results.
Tarn is the only city I have visited where
the people eat their meals in their yards." ,' Yet,
in Paris there is hardly any hard coal burned.
Smoke-consuming .appliances there eliminate, the
dirt nuisance. 1 '
. "In-my opinion, the price of hard coal hae
reached tho zenith; people will refuse to pay,
more. Then must come the more general intro ,
duction of bituminous, which contains the same j
number of heat units, pound . for pound; aa
"And must we all have our stoves, our chinv
1 neys and our. factory furnaces made over-so as
' to accommodate them to the use of ..oft.eoall'.
f V )ot .ne8sarily.VIt is ? contrary to 'ordi- ..
tnary-'-logio ta"8uppoflethat fifty; years from now
First mined for market, Plymouth, Pa...... 1807
Fuel utility fully ' demonatrated, "Wllkea-
Barro, Pa .....1..... 1808
Output of mines In 1820.. 165 tons
Output In 19U6.. 63.646,010 tona
Estimated amount remaining -; -
unmuided In 1904 6.000,000,000 tons
Supply will end about 1883
Employe In mines, over 166,000
Annual loss of Ufa, through accident.... 600. to 600
AT Wilkes-Barre, Pa., next year, the cen
tennial of hard coal's entrance into the
world's, industrial history will be cele
, brated. For, although coal had been
used prior to 1808 and was first mined for the
" market ii. 1807, it was not until Jesse Fell's dis
covery that people learned they -could burn it
without using bellows. '
Very few persons, probably, can find any
thing comforting in the prospect that there will
he put this one centennial celebration of the dia
ry of nard coaL for there will be no celebra
tion, probably, when the coal itself has passed -sway.
Most people would hope" that it might be
otherwise that a bi-centennial and tercenten
nial, and many more might be witnessed. But,'
f- ....
Sf III 1 . " .V. .
mmwm .,: j'!?' i ' f
.... . - - "f - ... , .- .. . . .. T?
we shall be each maintaining our own fireside as
"The logical thing is to have a common gas
plant, from which gas for beating and lighting :
may be supplied at moderate rates to every house '
in a city. And this gas plant, understand, may
be run with soft coal in such moderate propor '
tions that the present known supply may last for
many centuries." -
Mr. Nicholla was asked about the prospects
of manufacturing electricity at the mouth of the
coal mine and supplying it by wire to the large '
cities, as suggested by Thomas A. Edison a
plan which might extend the usefulness of pres- 1
ent anthracite supply several hundred per ceit."
"That would be impossible," he replied, "for f
the reason that there isn't enough copper on the
market to make, the mammoth wires that would
be necessary to convey this power even to the
nearby large cities of the East. - The only; alter
native, so far as at present known, would be to
construct a system of relay storage stations be- '
tween the mines and the cities, and this would
prove more expensive than the present system of
conveying and consuming coat" - '
Mr. Parker, the coal expert of the United
States Geological Survey fully agrees with Mr. '
Nicholla that the supply of . anthracite will be
exhausted in seventy-five years. ..-,
- But these matters really do not call for 'ie
"rious consideration.', Nature has had a way of
always supplying' heat to mortals, in accordance
with their .needs and ingenuity, and it may safe
ly be assumed that when hard coal goes there wi'I
be a substitute of even more practical utility.-'-1
How interesting it would be to know j ; 4
;what this substitute will be, and whethf-r .t'.'i
story of iU-development will l t
aa tragic, as inspiring 83 that of -i-