Coal: 6 of 25
Peat is a kind of "unfinished"
coal which gives off even less heat in burning than brown coal. It
is brown, very soft, and so moist that it must be dried before it is
good to burn. Yet, because it is found at the top of the ground and
is easily cut, it is much used for heating houses in some parts of
Europe. It is a poor man's fuel.|
What we call jet
is really a very hard kind of coal. It is used for making buttons,
beads, and other ornaments, and not for fuel.
There are many different kinds of both hard
and soft coal. Hard coal, soft coal, brown coal, and cannel coal,
however, are the main kinds for you to remember. Hard coal and soft
coal are far more important than the other kinds.
The Uses of Coal
What is coal good for? "To keep the house
warm in winter," you may say. "To cook the meals, too," perhaps you
True, much coal is used in homes for heating
and cooking. Yet more than three times as much coal is used in other
ways. What does that matter to you? A great deal.
Do you go about town by electric streetcar?
Probably the electric current comes from a coal-burning steam power
On your breakfast table may be oranges from
Florida or California, butter from Wisconsin, and bread made of wheat
grown in Kansas or Nebraska. How did they reach you? They were
probably brought on freight trains pulled by coal-burning locomotives.
Your clothes are made of cloth woven, probably,
on looms driven by steam-- and the steam is made with coal fires.
In fact, if you knew the story of the things
that you use and see daily, you would find that most of them had been
either made or brought to you, or both, by the aid of coal. In our
modern world machines are our servants and coal is the "food" which
most of our machine servants must have in order to work.
Many great cities are near great coal fields.
It is not hard to understand why. The coal is one reason the cities
are great. They have grown great partly by manufacturing. Manufacturing
has grown great there partly because of the cheap fuel, coal, that can
be had near by.