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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 28, 1924

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. visit to Briquetville, near today's Gene Coulon Park.

This photo is from the 1925 P.T.A. visit to Briquetville, near today’s Gene Coulon Park.

Briquet Plant data of interest to you

This plant was opened in 1914 and has run continuously since that time. It operates two shifts of eight hours each and produces five hundred tons of briquets a day. That means that over one and one-half million briquets are made each day.

Camp welcomes you

Through Mrs. Julius Johnson, president Newcastle Circle of the Parent-Teacher Association, its membership numbering 51, joins with the entire camp and the company officials in welcoming the visiting P.T.A. members of King County today. We want you to see the mine and the camp of which we are so proud, and when you leave us, above all, we want you to remember your trip to Newcastle and that your return will be welcomed.

The briquets are made from a combination of Black Diamond and South Prairie coals. The first of these give it its free burning quality and low ash and the last, a coking coal, gives it its strength and fire holding power. The binder used is a specially prepared form of asphalt from which the stickiness has been removed.

The trip through the plant will be in the direction in which the coal is run, beginning at the point where the raw coal is received and ending at the point where the finished briquet goes into the railroad cars.

First, will be seen the unloading hoppers through which the fresh coal will be flowing from the railroad cars. From here the coal goes to the top of the high timber structure known as the “Raw coal bunker.” Through this it is fed down by gravity and in the exact proportion required into the two steel box conveyors which run from this bunker into the steel building ahead, known as the “Dryer Building.”

Before leaving the raw coal bunker, by stepping up the first flight of steps may be seen the “measuring” conveyors which portion out the two grades of coal as the housewife measures the ingredients of a cake. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, December 17, 1986

By Jim Simon

You load sixteen tons and what do you get,
Another day older and deeper in debt,
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’’t go,
I owe my soul to the company store.

“Sixteen Tons,” by Merle Travis

It has become part of our folklore: the brutal, indentured existence of miners and millworkers eking out a living in sooty company towns. We all know it was a life of oppression.

But don’t tell that to Edna Crews. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, October 4, 1923

Indication of the wide-spreading use of Diamond Briquets is seen in the growing demand for this fuel for consumption in the smudge pots of Yakima Valley orchards. Each spring, during the budding and blossoming season, Yakima orchardists strive to save their crops from the ravages of late frosts by the use of smudge pots placed beneath the flower-laden trees. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, August 16, 1923

Holiday declared and mine will close for day

All roads lead to Newcastle next Saturday, August 15, where on that occasion the first aid and mine rescue teams of Black Diamond, Burnett, and Newcastle will contest for honors, the wining team to have the privilege of representing the Pacific Coast Coal Company at the International First Aid Meet in Salt Lake City on August 26, 27, and 28.

To give everyone an opportunity to take part in the festivities in connection with the meet, the company has declared the day a holiday, and the mines, company stores, and other activities will be closed all day. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, August 3, 1913

iwwMembers of the United Mine Workers of America, having unionized practically all the collieries in this state, may have to clash with the I.W.W. [Industrial Workers of the World] to retain control of the west side camps.

According to mine employees and operators the I.W.W. is attempting to force its way into the mining camps, but thus far has made no marked headway. The union officials believe that the I.W.W. will be no more popular in the mining camps than it has been among loggers, and during the past year I.W.W. organizers have been chased out of the logging camps by the men themselves. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, June 26, 1913

franklin-fire-1913FRANKLIN, Thursday, June 26 — The hotel building belonging to the local coal mining company and twenty-one frame dwelling houses were destroyed by a fire that started here at 2:30 o’clock this morning. The loss to the hotel and contents is about $16,000. The extent of the loss to the other buildings has not been determined.

The origin of the fire has not been learned but it is thought to have started on the second floor of the hotel. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, April 26, 1923

On the front cover of the Pacific Coast Bulletin this week is reproduced a remarkable photograph of a man trip, just as it starts down the slope of Black Diamond Mine with a crew going on the graveyard shift. (more…)

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