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Sep 15, 2021 - 10:57:34 PM
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2317 posts since 1/16/2010

Howdy gang!

Welp...In-between working on the rails and trying to be a family man...I've been getting out and exploring the surrounding area here in western Washington...it is rich with history...right under our noses if we choose to venture out and find it. Interestingly enough...I found an old abandoned coal mine about 5 mins away from my house. I located a map of the mine, and spent several hours on the site to-day..searching around, trying to find the entrance, mainly ripping around in black berry and stinging nettle bushes...great fun.

Unfortunately, I think I did find the entrance, but it was filled in 100 or so years ago. But finding the timbers and other miscellaneous items was fun...as it was a bit of a search. The entire area had completely been overtaken by mother nature....a person would have no idea a coal mine was there to-day.

In my searching...I did locate lots of coal....it was EVERYWHERE. I brought some samples home, and was wondering if somebody could identify the specific type of coal I have here.

In this specific region of WA, there is both Bituminous and Subbituminous Coal, with small pockets of Anthracitic....I have no idea how to tell them apart.

Also...I found some sort of mystery mineral. Maybe it's coke...or some sort of slag...it looks like what-ever it is was altered by man...but maybe not?

Any ideas? Also...check out that piece of concrete. I'm hoping that's part of a foundation for a boiler house. I dont recall seeing modern concrete with rocks mixed in like that. Is that an older process?

Thanks,

Dow








Sep 16, 2021 - 1:50:27 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25242 posts since 6/25/2005

When I was a kid in the 1940s, our house in Columbia, MO was heated by a coal-fired furnace. We got regular deliveries of coal (I assume anthracite) slid down a chute to the coal bin in the basement. My dad had to fire the furnace regularly in the fall and winter, shoveling coal from the bin into the furnace. My memories are vague and without detail, as I was about 3, maybe 4, at the time.

Sep 16, 2021 - 4:34:01 AM
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Buddur

USA

3082 posts since 10/23/2004

Looks bituminous. Most of the time what coal is laying around is junk as it contains too many impurities from being close to either the top or bottom of the coal seam. That one piece certainly looks like slag.  And don't get me wrong that the coal is completely junk, it'll surely burn, but it'll leave alot of residuals in the ash.

Cool treasure hunt regardless.

Edited by - Buddur on 09/16/2021 04:36:22

Sep 16, 2021 - 4:41:27 AM
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rinemb

USA

13949 posts since 5/24/2005

I am a geologist. That area is abundant with coal beds from very near surface to deep enough to drill into and produce coal bed methane. Don’t recommend going into abandon “soft rock” mines. Can be very unstable and filled with poisonous gas.
Most of your rocks look natural to me from my phone. But with eyesight I will review on my computer. The pebbles imbedded in limey looking cement could be mm or natural?
Update later. Actually, on this kind of stuff, amateur rock hounds can be better than us educated geologists who get focused on singular disciplines. You can send your pics to the Washington Geological Survey, and they should happily ID them…And, they may want to know location of mine to properly close it up. Brad

Sep 16, 2021 - 4:41:53 AM
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phb

Germany

2983 posts since 11/8/2010

Perhaps it's number nine coal?

Sep 16, 2021 - 6:04:04 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13949 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by phb

Perhaps it's number nine coal?


Now I have a song stuck in my head.  thx.     

.....#9 coal pretty good stuff.  Not the best, though.  

Sep 16, 2021 - 6:08:45 AM
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rinemb

USA

13949 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by rinemb
quote:
Originally posted by phb

Perhaps it's number nine coal?


Now I have a song stuck in my head.  thx.     

.....#9 coal pretty good stuff.  Not the best, though.  


BTW,  I don't even know what kind of coal my wife's family mined in Saarland, near Merschweiler.  That was their ticket to America in the 1930s.  USA allowed coal miners in to fill rank in the Pennsylvania coal mines.  I guess our coal miners got too busy drilling for oil, eh.  

My kinfolk were West Virginia miners and farmers...until oil and gas was discovered.  Mine in the winter when it got cold.  farm and raise a pig in the summer.  Pick apples and kill the pig in the fall.  

Sep 16, 2021 - 6:11:40 AM

phb

Germany

2983 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by rinemb

.....#9 coal pretty good stuff.  Not the best, though.  


So what is #9 coal? I remember I asked this question years ago and didn't understand much more than that it was a type of coal. Is it a quality grade?

Sep 16, 2021 - 6:20:08 AM
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rinemb

USA

13949 posts since 5/24/2005

Hey Dow, good pics. Your hand gives us good scale. Next time on pics such as the pebbly one, and slaggy looking one, lay a quarter down-or some object with obvious scale. The pebbly one reminds me of this core I took at 5000 ft below surface. Imagine your piece slabbed in two. Brad




Edited by - rinemb on 09/16/2021 06:21:33

Sep 16, 2021 - 6:25:40 AM
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rinemb

USA

13949 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by phb
quote:
Originally posted by rinemb

.....#9 coal pretty good stuff.  Not the best, though.  


So what is #9 coal? I remember I asked this question years ago and didn't understand much more than that it was a type of coal. Is it a quality grade?

 


This is a bit  out of my wheel house, but I believe it is an industrial grading.  I know in Kentucky it is used.  #13 is better.  I believe it is a grading based on the "caloric" value...amount of BTUs it can produce? brad

Edited by - rinemb on 09/16/2021 06:36:06

Sep 16, 2021 - 6:35:46 AM
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figmo59

USA

34361 posts since 3/5/2008

There's two kinds of rock I pay attention to.....



Heave'ahright....
N....
Leav'ahright....

Heave it right over to there...
N....Leave it....right there....


Good rules fer blastin..... ;0)

Sep 16, 2021 - 9:57:47 AM
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1879 posts since 2/10/2003

quote:
Originally posted by phb
quote:
Originally posted by rinemb

.....#9 coal pretty good stuff.  Not the best, though.  


So what is #9 coal? I remember I asked this question years ago and didn't understand much more than that it was a type of coal. Is it a quality grade?

 


#9 coal is coal from the #9 coal vein that runs through the Appalachian mountains. It is an anthracite vein.  So it refers to where it comes from, but also quality, as anthracite is a higher quality cleaner burning coal. It is referred to in all those songs, because the writers and or characters in the songs were generally Appalachian people so it makes sense they would be referring to their local coal. 

Sep 16, 2021 - 10:01:16 AM
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1879 posts since 2/10/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Texican65

Howdy gang!

Welp...In-between working on the rails and trying to be a family man...I've been getting out and exploring the surrounding area here in western Washington...it is rich with history...right under our noses if we choose to venture out and find it. Interestingly enough...I found an old abandoned coal mine about 5 mins away from my house. I located a map of the mine, and spent several hours on the site to-day..searching around, trying to find the entrance, mainly ripping around in black berry and stinging nettle bushes...great fun.

Unfortunately, I think I did find the entrance, but it was filled in 100 or so years ago. But finding the timbers and other miscellaneous items was fun...as it was a bit of a search. The entire area had completely been overtaken by mother nature....a person would have no idea a coal mine was there to-day.

In my searching...I did locate lots of coal....it was EVERYWHERE. I brought some samples home, and was wondering if somebody could identify the specific type of coal I have here.

In this specific region of WA, there is both Bituminous and Subbituminous Coal, with small pockets of Anthracitic....I have no idea how to tell them apart.

Also...I found some sort of mystery mineral. Maybe it's coke...or some sort of slag...it looks like what-ever it is was altered by man...but maybe not?

Any ideas? Also...check out that piece of concrete. I'm hoping that's part of a foundation for a boiler house. I dont recall seeing modern concrete with rocks mixed in like that. Is that an older process?

Thanks,

Dow


Coal is more then likely bituminous or subbitminous coal, not anthracite. Easiest way to tell is anthracite has a shine to it.  It is also called hard coal because it doesn’t dirty your hands when you hold it. So if you rub it in your hands and they turn black, it isn’t anthracite. 

Sep 16, 2021 - 10:06:23 AM

phb

Germany

2983 posts since 11/8/2010

250gibson thanks a lot!

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:10:31 AM

2317 posts since 1/16/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

When I was a kid in the 1940s, our house in Columbia, MO was heated by a coal-fired furnace. We got regular deliveries of coal (I assume anthracite) slid down a chute to the coal bin in the basement. My dad had to fire the furnace regularly in the fall and winter, shoveling coal from the bin into the furnace. My memories are vague and without detail, as I was about 3, maybe 4, at the time.


That's neat Bill. I like hearing about that. Gone are the days.....

When I went to the "Great Steam Up" in Brooks, OR this summer, there was a blacksmith show there. I asked them where they sourced their coal from, and they replied that they had to have it trucked in from Pennsylvania, and that they were having issues with transportation and price as of recent. Shame...as there is a boat load of the stuff right in their back yard....the PNW. 

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:12:09 AM
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rinemb

USA

13949 posts since 5/24/2005

We grew in grade school crystals on coal, and you can induce colors as well.  I now see charcoal works as well.  

How do you make crystals with coal and bluing?
Place drops of food coloring randomly over the coal. Sprinkle two tablespoons of salt over the top of the saturated coal. Place the dish in a location where it is safe and undisturbed. After 48 hours, add an additional mixture of two tablespoons each of ammonia, bluing and water.

* see google images, and likely youtube

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:14:30 AM

Owen

Canada

9587 posts since 6/5/2011

...does being between a rock and a hard place give me a leg up on becoming a geologist?  cheeky

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:16:31 AM

2317 posts since 1/16/2010

quote:
Originally posted by rinemb

I am a geologist. That area is abundant with coal beds from very near surface to deep enough to drill into and produce coal bed methane. Don’t recommend going into abandon “soft rock” mines. Can be very unstable and filled with poisonous gas.
Most of your rocks look natural to me from my phone. But with eyesight I will review on my computer. The pebbles imbedded in limey looking cement could be mm or natural?
Update later. Actually, on this kind of stuff, amateur rock hounds can be better than us educated geologists who get focused on singular disciplines. You can send your pics to the Washington Geological Survey, and they should happily ID them…And, they may want to know location of mine to properly close it up. Brad


YES! I thought you were a geologist Brad...score! 

Any way to tell if the coal is bituminous or subbituminous? 

The concrete slab fragments have to be man made...there were several other pieces...all around 1'x1'...with sharp straight edges and corners...I just dont recall seeing concrete with rocks mixed in like that before....wondering if it was an older practice? I mean..it has to be, but would be nice to hear about it. 

The mine was properly filled in 100 years ago or so...I just was digging around looking for the adit I saw on the map. Where I found all the timbers laying around is where I think it was. The mine actually is inside of a water shed....although the old entrance isnt. 

Dow

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:17:49 AM
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2317 posts since 1/16/2010

quote:
Originally posted by phb

Perhaps it's number nine coal?


I'm a long way from loading 16 tons of it! 

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:21:18 AM

2317 posts since 1/16/2010

quote:
Originally posted by 250gibson

Coal is more then likely bituminous or subbitminous coal, not anthracite. Easiest way to tell is anthracite has a shine to it.  It is also called hard coal because it doesn’t dirty your hands when you hold it. So if you rub it in your hands and they turn black, it isn’t anthracite. 


Oh it will dirty your hands for sure. 

 

Any idea to tell the difference between bituminous and subbituminous visually? Or are they too much alike to the eye? I know one is a better quality than the other...although neither are very desirable as far as cleanliness goes by to-day's standards. 

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:55:38 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13949 posts since 5/24/2005

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:55:59 AM

Buddur

USA

3082 posts since 10/23/2004

Quality bituminous will have a shine, and feel light in your hand compared to another rock of similar size. Lots of BTUs, and little ash when burnt. Subbituminous will not have the shine to it and will have a dull luster, not that much BTUs, and lots of ash.

Anthracite is a low-grade metamorphic product typically found in regions that have experienced low-grade pressure/temperature and deformation like the folded mountains in PA. This coal will really shine and have qualities like graphite.

Sep 16, 2021 - 12:02:38 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13949 posts since 5/24/2005

This is a fair read, should you desire. about page 28+++ you see some "field testing" procedure.

http://www.ecobrick.in/resource_data/KBAS100047.pdf

Sep 16, 2021 - 12:43:46 PM
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kww

USA

1361 posts since 6/21/2008

quote:
Originally posted by rinemb
quote:
Originally posted by phb

Perhaps it's number nine coal?


Now I have a song stuck in my head.  thx.     

.....#9 coal pretty good stuff.  Not the best, though.  


I was at the taqueria by the office a couple years ago and heard this coming out of the kitchen. Turned out "16 Toneladas" was a number-one hit in Mexico at the time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giuQVypND_E

Sep 16, 2021 - 1:29:04 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25242 posts since 6/25/2005

Best I can tell “#9 coal” was from a KY mine numbered 9 by the coal company. Merle Travis referred to it in “Sixteen Tons,” as is well-known. Relatively unknown is another mining song he wrote, “Over by Number Nine,” which makes it clear that “Number Nine” is a coal mine, not a grade of coal.

Sep 16, 2021 - 4:57:31 PM
like this

10502 posts since 8/22/2006

quote:
Originally posted by figmo59

There's two kinds of rock I pay attention to.....



Heave'ahright....
N....
Leav'ahright....

Heave it right over to there...
N....Leave it....right there....


Good rules fer blastin..... ;0)


There are a lot of minerial in the rite family besides leaverite. You have tosserite, pitcherite,driverite and cruncherite.

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