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Sorting coal
Sorting coal

    The anthracite mine where we next alight is a shaft mine, too. While there are many differences among shaft mines, much of what we see at this hard-coal mine is very like what we have already seen at the western soft-coal mine.
    Here the tall building where the coal is cleaned and sorted is called the "breaker" instead of the "tipple." Hard coal must be broken, cleaned, and sorted. From the bottom of the breaker a conveyor runs to the top of a high bank. Refuse from the coal is carried through the conveyor up the bank. The black hill we see beyond the bank was not made by Nature. It is the dump or "culm bank" where the coal refuse is thrown.
    Before we end this imaginary journey of ours, we pause again by an eastern riverside. Here we see a great fleet of loaded coal barges. The cheapest way to ship coal is by water, so a coal mine that can reach its customers by water has a great advantage.
    Now perhaps you would like to know what coal really is and how it happens to be stored away in the earth's coal cellar waiting for us to take it out and use it.