_ash pit_/clinkers

paul johnson paulzjoh at MTNHOME.COM
Wed Jul 20 02:36:36 UTC 2011

paul johnson wrote
But don't forget how great cinders were to spread on an icy sidewalk.  I
do remember in coal heated Chicago, a fresh snow was only white for at
best 4 hours.

On 7/19/2011 8:53 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 8:26 PM, Paul Johnston<paul.johnston at wmich.edu>  wrote:
>> I know clinkers from Scotland, where, when I lived there, everyone in the countryside had a coal fire, really old-fashioned or semi-modernized.
> That's cool, Paul, but can you describe them?;-)
> OED:
> A hard mass formed by the fusion of the earthy impurities of coal,
> lime-stone, iron ore, or the like, in a furnace or forge; a mass of
> slag.
> That's a good definition, but, unless you've had the pleasure of
> having to break up the clinkers in order to get them out of the
> furnace - they act as insulation, preventing the heat from its parent
> coal from reaching the boiler, not to mention that the furnace would
> eventually be filled up by the clinkers - you can't really know what
> they are. They're kinda funny-lookin', like Steve Buscemi.
> During The War, coal was the fuel of choice in StL. In the winter, you
> would have sworn that you were in Industrial-Revolution England. The
> smog and the stench were *awful*! A local newspaper, the
> Post-Dispatch, eventually launched a successful campaign against the
> use of coal. After the late '40's, I didn't smell coal-smoke again
> till I was in the Army at Fort Leonard Wood and occasionally found
> myself downwind of a messhall.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
> to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Let's pay down the debt, tax the rich!
(and here's a serving of humble pie for you m'lord!)

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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