Friday, March 6, 2009

Blacksmithing Coal, Part I

Many people remember the smell of coal smoke from their youth. Hard coal, also known as anthracite, was used in boilers and home heating stoves through the 1960s and later. Blacksmithing coal has a similar smell when burned but is a little different chemically.
Blacksmithing coal is known as soft coal, also low sulfur bituminous coal. Every week during the summer I see visitors walking down the dirt road past the Blacksmith Shop. When some smell the coal smoke it triggers such memories of their youth that they stop in their tracks. People mention remembering the smell of coal smoke from their childhood almost daily in the summer. It is a distinctive smell that is now gone from our small towns and cities.

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