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A "coal mile". See comment please!

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The trick to making charcoal is that it must be burned without oxygen - the same process by which coal is turned into coke. Before coke, charcoal was used in making steel, and most of New England, where I live, was completely logged over in the 19th century to make charcoal for the steel mills in Pennsylvania.

It was difficult, dirty and dangerous work. The piles had to be built and earthed over, and the fire built and maintained at a smolder until the whole pile had been turned into charcoal. In the process it shrunk, and many men were killed climbing the pile when the outer layer broke through and dropped them into the fire.

Timber became so scarce locally in New England that locust for fence posts had to be imported from Long Island, and one could no longer get fence rails. As rails wore out, the remaining rails were moved up and stones piled beneath the fence. Eventually, only stone walls were left. Normal stone walls were straight, but you can still see zig-zag stone fences in New England that are the result of replacing rail fences in this way.


Yes and keep it alive by using it seriously!! Thanks so very much Dagmar!!


I think it is a pity that old ways of doing things are slowly forgotten and I find it wonderful that some people try transmit their knowledge so that we can see how things were done before.

Thanks Hanne for a wonderful night of interesting facts and images. :))


We ought to know SO much more than what goes on on a computer, don't we?? Perhaps we do when it comes to it! I do hope so!! Thanks so very much Ardy and Ank!!


Very interesting. We have that too on markets and so, old crafts. Always nice to see.


I like living museums when people are actually doing things as they once were. Children these days have no little understanding of how things were even just a few years ago. Thanks, Hanne.


Thank YOU Sandy!!


Very interesting Hanne. Thank you.


This is how a ?coal mile?, charcoal mound, might have looked. Nowadays many go on doing things the old way in order not to forget important knowledge. Even more interesting is it that many private people make a ?coal mile? next to their house and burn their own charcoal for the grill. All over the country you are able to find markets, festivals etc. where they show the old ways of working i.e. with wood.Tar burning is very popular too and very interesting to watch.

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