Author Topic: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper  (Read 2495 times)

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VGN50

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Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« on: January 04, 2012, 04:12:53 PM »
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Apparently Bluford Shops is producing a Reading  "blue coal" 70 ton 3-bay hopper for Walthers.  This is a head-snappin' paint scheme which I assume was more for show, not for work.  Hopefully this is not one of those foo-thingies.  Anyone have any info on these?  Like era?  Number produced?  I assume there were only a few of them.

Thanks for your help,
Mark

DKS

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Re: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2012, 04:58:55 PM »
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In the late 1920s, as a distinguishing feature and marketing ploy, the Glen Alden Coal Co. of Ashley, PA, sprayed their coal with a blue colorant at their Huber Breaker, and so 'blue coal' was born.

During the 30s and 40s, 'blue coal' was the sponsor of the popular early radio show The Shadow, starring detective Lamont Cranston (voiced by Orson Wells from 1937-1938), which helped to make 'blue coal' an enormously popular commodity for keeping warm in the cold winters of the burgeoning urban and rural areas of America's East Coastal States. Incidentally, 'blue coal' eventually saw competition in the form of 'red coal,' 'silver coal,' 'gold coal' and even 'pink coal'! And so it went, well after WWII and into the 50s, when natural gas and fuel oil eventually became more popular for domestic heating.







The above is adapted from the Full Throttle website. Full Throttle makes a four-car 70-Ton 3-Bay Offset-Side Hopper set in Z scale:



There are more snippets of information on this period in the era of anthracite, if you dig deeply enough.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 07:59:41 AM by David K. Smith »

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2012, 06:18:55 PM »
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I remember a blue coal dealer in my hometown when I was little.  It was served by the Reading and had a short spur that could handle one car.  Trucks picked up the coal from under this short trestle or a few piles nearby to deliver to businesses and homes. 

My grandfather heated with this coal and if anyone has seen the movie A Christmas Story will know what a pain in the rear they sometimes were.

haybros

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Re: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 09:08:09 PM »
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Full Throttle makes a four-car 70-Ton 3-Bay Offset-Side Hopper set in Z scale:

Full Throttle also made the Blue Coal hopper in the 33 foot 2-bay version...  The loads for both the 70-Ton cars and the 33 footers were made by Hay Brothers.

Hay Brothers also makes Blue Coal loads for many N scale hoppers, including the Blufords....

Bill Hay
www.nscaleloads.com

seusscaboose

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Re: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 10:42:03 PM »
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mmmm  .. coincidently...  i seem to have a Glen Alden at the end of the line here...
...   it even has a coal mine....

mmmm....

lookie lookie

:)




"I have a train full of basements"

NKPH&TS #3589


Inspiration at:
http://nkphts.org/modelersnotebook

Nato

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Re: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2012, 02:04:11 AM »
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 :|  Very nice work on the Blue Coal Mine complex. My elementary school here in Salt Lake City,when I was a kid had a coal fired boiler.No we did not have Blue Coal out west,every other Monday the coal truck backed up to the unloading door to the basement on the East side of the 1916 built original wing of the school,and dumped its load via a chute into the basement. The truck came from a coal dealer about four miles away in the suburb of Sugar House,the yard was served off of the Sugar House branch  of the Rio Grande,single cars were pusged up a ramp,unloaded into storage that was loaded into the nice red trucks with fancy gold outline lettering on their sides. By the late 1960's this operation was gone and the school converted to oil.       My grandparents house (mom's side of the family) still had the door in the foundation for coal loading and there was a room in the basement that had been the storage room,but the furnace had been converted to oil. Now everything out here is natural gas. Nate Goodman (Nato).

Blazeman

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Re: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2012, 08:47:57 AM »
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We installed a coal furnace in our first home around 1980. We used Jeddo Highland coal when the coal man could get it. Our house was always warm, and sometimes when the temps got into the high 30's, we had to open windows.

Kept the coal outside to cut down on dust inside, but it was still a battle when shaking the ashes and removing clinkers. Couldn't beat the price though, but the one sacrifice was the dust and dirt battle versus building a layout in the cellar.

But I did get my ashes hauled every week.

christoph

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Re: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2012, 04:18:59 PM »
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I was tempted to order some of these cars, but how realistic is such a flashy scheme on a coal car?  Did they really wash their coal hoppers???

I think that MTL recently had blue and red coal loads in their two-bay hoppers.  But I did not order these, so I cannot check.
Christoph

FrankCampagna

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Re: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2012, 04:46:00 PM »
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Waddell Coal Company painted their cars bright orange. Flashy coal cars did exist.

Frank
"Once I built a railroad, made it run......."

Chris333

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Re: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2012, 05:38:08 PM »
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I believe the Waddell cars never left the O&W's tracks, there were only 5 of them.

And wasn't blue coal only on the LV or something like that?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 05:43:38 PM by Chris333 »

FrankCampagna

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Re: Bluford "blue coal" Hopper
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2012, 06:06:32 PM »
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Glen Alden's Ashley breaker, opened in 1939, was served by CNJ. Ashley took over processing of several mines.

Frank
"Once I built a railroad, made it run......."