Charcoal Sheds

photo credit: Sawmills Among the Derricks

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The products of these chemical plants were sold thru three sales companies.  Charcoal was sold by the Manufacturers Charcoal Company of Bradford.  This company was organized by the charcoal producers with one share of stock being given for each cord of capacity of a producer.  Each chemical company told manufacturers their production, and as orders were received, the different chemical companies would be notified to ships so many carloads to designated locations.

Charcoal was important because it contained no sulfur.  Sulfur is poisonous to nickel and chromium so that high grade steels and stainless steel had to be smelted by charcoal.  Huge amounts went to the International Nickel Company.  Premium iron, such as required for boiler tubes, required charcoal until World War I.  Carload after carload went to the Lukens Steel Company at Coatesville, Pennsylvania.  It was also used in making black gun powder.  Dupont, Hercules, and Atlas bought large quantities.  Charcoal was also ground to a fine powder for use in filter beds, gas masks, and whiskey distilleries.