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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Detail 1
Detail 1

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The George A. Sheldon Company delivered coal in the Greenfield area beginning in 1905. Sheldon purchased the R.H. Snow coal company that year. Sheldon was a grandson of George Sheldon, founder of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. He ran the company until his death in 1932, and it continued for many years after.

Coal was the main fuel for heating homes until the 1960s when oil and gas supplanted it. Coal was delivered in a rock form and slid down chutes. Houses built before 1970 often still have their alley- or street-side coal chutes leading to former coal rooms. Although coal was dusty and generated significant air pollution, it was cheap and a far superior alternative to its predecessor, wood. It was first used in England in the 1600s, but the steady deforestation of that country meant that by the mid-1700s coal was the only alternative for heating and cooking.


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Coal shovel

location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
length   21.0"
process/materials   metal
item type   Tools/Agricultural Tools & Equipment
accession #   #2002.02

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See Also...

Coal Wagon

Coal Wagon

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