Thursday, 19 December 2013

Navy and Army Illustrated 'How a ship is coaled.'

In 1897, Navy and Army Illustrated, a fantastic publication, ran a story about  'How a ship is coaled.' Accompanied by photos, it explains the process which was done every 7-10 days on naval ships throughout the steam era. Enjoy!

Big thanks to J D Davies for the photos. You can find his wonderful blog here:


  1. Moving Simplified We found out this morning that we may be headed to
    Fort Bragg this summer(surprising as we weren't due to PCS for another year)
    fort bragg pcs

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Dear Steven (if I may), my initial reply had some typos, and so I am posting a corrected version. While evaluating a doctoral dissertation involving the politics of another commodity (corn in the Krushchev era of the Soviet Union), I realized that I had not visited your blog in quite some time. I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating and revealing piece on coaling warships. I am intrigued by how the social hierarchy of the era is embedded in this exercise and is momentarily and superficially neutralized. “Everybody, from captain to cabin boy," promptly undergoes “a transformation into the appearance of a coal heaver or of a Moore and Burgess Minstrel.” There is the difficulty of recognizing "the smartest of officers in the dingy persons who are superintending the coaling parties. All in garb and face look like mourners in sack-cloth and ashes.” One thing that I miss in this article is the mitigation of bunker fires after coaling, which I am given to understand were not at all uncommon. Any road, thanks so much for posting this article, which is a real find. All best, Paul (Roberge), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.