THE CHICAGO, ROCK ISLAND & PACIFIC RY.
The combustion of COAL for the generation of steam which furnishes the motive
power that drives the ponderous wheels of the locomotives oi the "GREAT ROCK
ISLAND" system, is one of the most important uses of the century to which that
material has "been and is applied. This form of application has made it an instrument
of incalculable benefit to mankind, and especially those, who df ire to travel to any
point west, southwest or northwest from Chicago. L<-ss than a century ago, the vast
territory of the Middle AVest was practically, a "howling" wilderness the howlers
being chiefly Indians and wild animals. Now (as this map shows.) it is the garden
of the world, thickly populated, and dotted at frequent intervals with prosperous and
beautiful cities and towns.
The COAXitbat supplies tractile strength to locomotives of the "CIIKAT HOIK
ISLAND," has accomplished such wonderful results. These "Iron Steeds," swift as
the wind, ever active, never weary draw over its smooth sled track, magnificent
express trains daily between Chicago, Council I'.infTs, Omaha, St. Joseph, Atcluson.
Leavenworth, Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Psvu, (its principal termini,) where
through connections are made (in Union Depot si to .-md from California and all
important points in the Inteimedlate States and Territories.
THE CHICAGO, KANSAS & NEBRASKA RY.
(ROCK ISLAND ROUTE.)
extends west and southwest via St. .Joseph and Kansas City, to 1'^-atrice, Falrbnry,
Nelson, Horton, Topeka, Belleville. AVichita, Hutchinson, ilerington Caldwell and
all points in Southern Nebraska, interior Kansas and beyond. Track and roadway
in splendid condition. Bridges of si one and iron. Entire passenger equipment of
the celebrated Pullman Co's manufacture.
"THE FAMOUS ALBERT LEA ROUTE
is the favorite between Chicago, St. Joseph, Kansas City, Peoria and Cedar Rapids,
Spirit Lake. Watertown, Sioux Falls, Minneapolis and St. Paul. The popular tourist
line to the hunting and fishing grounds, summer resorts, watering places and scenic
attractions of the north and nort Invest.
The Passenger Conveniences, Comforts and Luxuries to be enjoyed on any portion of the
HOCK ISLAND SYSTEM of nearly 50<H) miles are nowhere excelled. Its splendid Day Coaches, 1 >ining
Cars, Pullman Palace Sleepers, and Reclining Chair Cars, have earned a world-wide reputation.
They commend themselves not only to the " Boys and Girls of America," but to adults every when*.
Speed, comfort, safety, and the full inejusure of enjoyment assured to all who trnvel over th I
"nation. For Tickets, Maps. Folders, copies c J
vst Coupon Ticket Agent, or addres*
GREAT ROCK ISLAND to or from any destination.
Western Trail, or any desired information, call on j'otir nearest C 1
E. A. HOLBROOK,
Gen'l Ticket & Pass.
AN ACCOUNT OF THE HOLIDAY EXCURSION OF THE BOYS AND
GIRLS AMONG THE COAL MINES, BY
OF THE GREAT ROCK ISLAND ROUTE
Respectfully Dedicated to the Boys and Girls of America, *by the
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway.
THE J. M. W. JONES STATIONERY AND PRINTING COMPANY,
1 ' Coal is entitled to be considered as the mainspring of our civiliza-
tion. By the power developed in its combustion all the wheels of industry
are kept in motion, commerce is carried with rapidity and certainty over
all portions of the earth's surface, the useful metals are brought from the
deep caves in which they have hidden themselves, and are purified and
wrought to serve the purposes of man. By coal night is, in one sense,
converted into day, winter into summer, and the life of man, measured
by its fruits, greatly prolonged. Wealth, with all the comforts, the luxu-
ries, and the triumphs it brings, is its gift. Though black, sooty, and
often repulsive in its aspects, it is the embodiment of a power more potent
than that attributed to the genii in Oriental tales. Its possession is there-
fore, the highest material boon that can be craved by a community or
" Coal is also not without its poetry. It has been formed under the
stimulus of the sunshine of long-past ages, and the light and power it
holds are nothing else than such sunshine stored in this black casket t< >
wait the coming and to serve the purposes of man." PROF. J. S. NEW-
* * * "Above all, we should see another instance of the wisdom
and goodness of Him who hath in so wonderful a manner placed beneath
our feet inexhaustless quantities, and in an imperishable form the * stored-
up fuel of a world.' " MCFARLANE.
COPYRIGHT, EvBRiTTaSr. J JHN, i833.
With the return of the joyous holiday season, the GREAT ROCK ISLAND
ROUTE adds another to its series of popular little volumes this being the fourth.
It is, in a sense, a companion book to that of last year (PETROLEUM AND NATURAL
GAS), treating as it does, and in much the same manner, of another and an even
more valuable one of earth's hidden treasures.
Under the title of ''CoAL AND COKE," the present number aims to present the
most important facts concerning coal, its origin, its distribution, the methods of
mining it, preparing it for and transporting it to market, etc., etc. To present
such a theme, or set of themes, in style and language that shall be readily under-
stood by the boys and girls, to whom the book is dedicated, has been no
light task, and older readers will, it is hoped, pardon the frequent repetitions and
the oft-times round-about methods of presenting matters, deemed necessary to
make various points clear to the youthful mind. It has been the aim ever kept in
mind to tell the story of coal in the most plain and simple, yet entertaining and
instructive manner possible, all circumstances considered.
For very much of our national wealth and importance we are indebted to our
wonderful coal deposits, and the same is true of England and her coal beds. The
billowy blackness which rolls skyward day and night, from tens of thousands of
great smoke-stacks, all over the land, attest unmistakably to the fact that our
coal-beds lie at the foundation of very much , indeed, of our commercial greatness.
This little book aims to afford a glimpse at the operations which transform our
hidden, slumbering coal beds into one of the most important factors, if not the
most important factor, entering into the material progress of the wonderful nine-
teenth century. It is hoped this glimpse of mining operations, including the
scenes and incidents of a day spent "down in a coal mine," of the "towing" of coal
on some of our great rivers, of the manufacture of coke, and of illuminating gas,
etc., may be pleasing to every one who reads the book.
Again wishing you a " Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year," I remain
HOW THE EXCURSION WAS PLANNED.
you all are, again? Well, well, I
should say you are all here again, sure
enough ! Ned, Nell, Tom, Miss Inquisi-
tive, and the rest ; and not only so, but I
see a good many new faces in the crowd
or mob, I might well call it. Come in,
come in all of you ; glad to see the new-
comers, as well as to see my friends ol
former years, again. I am glad, too,
that you haven't forgotten me, but have
remembered me and have cared to come
to visit me. Do you Oho ! that's your
game, is it ? I understand it all, now ha, ha ! You old acquaintances have
gathered together all the other young folks you know; have brought them
with you here; and now, straightway, almost before you are in the house,
the whole party besieges and beseeches me to be taken upon another ex-
cursion ! A very shrewd trick, indeed, youngsters, and in the hands of
such a band of schemers and conspirators, I fear I will have to surrender
and agree to another sight-seeing tour. But where dear me, what a
racket ! one would think you had just been promised the most handsome
Christmas present to be found, to hear and see such rejoicing ! There,
now, that will do. I was just about Miss Inquisitive, can't you settle
down at all ? just about to ask where we should go ; however, as you
have got me into this trouble, I'll just let you get me out of it, at least, so
far as the decision as to where we shall go, and what to see, is concerned.
Can't, eh ? Come, put your heads together, and see if you can't. Put on
your thinking-caps, and while you enjoy its warmth, look steadily and
earnestly into the fire, among the glowing coals a plan much practiced
and highly praised by poets, philosophers and others, as greatly aiding
While you all are thinking as hard as you can, I'll take a little nap,
and you can wake me up when you decide the well, Miss Inquisitive,
\6. .: WHERE SHALL WE GO?
whaHs'it*?* Yoti'Vft'hif upoft'the plan, have you ? Oh ! just want to ask a
question ; I might have known that, to be sure. I see you haven't given
up your old occupation ; a great girl for questions, you are a regular
query-box. Well, what do you want to know this time ? My ! what a
question ! What makes that lump of coal burn ? I might say that the fire
makes the coal burn, but then you'd be sure to ask if it wasn't the burning
of the coal that makes the fire, and we would be back at the starting
point, again. Suppose, though, we put your question this way : Why
does the coal burn ? and then we will have it in better shape for an answer.
I might, now, tell you, after the manner of the big books which your big
brothers and sisters study, that coal burns because it is composed of
highly inflammable and combustible elements ; but to put it in plain,
everyday language, which boys and girls of your age can understand, I
will answer that coal burns because it is composed, or made up, we will
say, in part of certain gases oxygen and hydrogen which ignite, or take
fire, as I heard Ned say, a while ago take fire and burn very easily and
quickly. These gases and the other substances or elements of which coal
but dear me ! I mustn't begin to tell you more particularly, now,
about how these gases, etc., come to be in the coal, as that would make a
long story, carrying us back to the time of the formation of the coal-bed
from which these pieces have been taken, and our talking about it would
interfere with the hard thinking going on amongst the others, you know.
Some other day I'll tell you all well, I declare ! every one of you listen-
ing to what we two have been saying, when, as we supposed, you were
busily puzzling your young heads over the question, Where shall we go ?
' Go on with the coal story ?' Oh, no ; better not begin it now, as we
would likely be led on from one point to another, talking about how
coal was formed or made; where it is found; how it is mined or taken from
the ground, and why, that's just the thing, Ned ! All in favor of an
excursion among the coal mines, say aye. Whew ! what a shout ! Those
opposed, say no. Carried, unanimously, as the big fplks say. To the
coal mines we will go, then, as soon as we can get ready. Miss Inquisi-
tive, we owe to you, after all, through your question, the settlement of the
where-to-go question. You shall have especial consideration shown you,
"WHERE SHALL WE GO?"
"Now, having decided to visit the coal mines, we must further decide
upon the particular coal region or field to be visited. Shall we cross the
ocean and visit the mines of England or ? Eh? you won't cross the
ocean, nor you ? nor you ? nor you ? nor . Well, we may consider
it settled that we won't undertake a sea voyage in our search for
OUR LITTLE WORLD. 7
knowledge. To -what coal-producing region of our own country, then,
shall we go ? There are several Oh, no, Tom, it doesn't all come from
the same place ; I was just about to say that there are a number of coal-
producing States in the Union some producing but a small quantity ,
others, millions of tons, yearly. Can any of you name some of the coal-
producing States? Yes, that's right Indiana ; what others? Yes,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee. Any more? You must have for-
gotten the ' chief products, ' as given for some of the States in
your geographies. A number of others, some of them producing
large quantities of coal, as Ohio and West Virginia, might be named.
Well, to which shall we go? Ned says, Pennsylvania. I recollect, as
perhaps some of the rest of you do, that he was very much interested in
the matter of coal mining last year, owing to the frequent glimpses he had
of mines and miners, while going about among the oil wells. I suspect
that it is a long cherished desire to visit some of those mines and to talk,
perhaps, with some of those grimy-faced coal-diggers, that leads him to
suggest that we go to Pennsylvania. Ah, I thought so. Well, your
choice is a good one, Ned ; not just because it suits your especial desires,
but because in the matter of coal, as in that of oil, Pennsylvania offers the
best field for studying the work of producing, shipping, etc., in all its
departments. We would find in Pennsylvania, should we go there, such
coal fields as we could find nowhere else great fields too, of quite differ-
ent kinds of coal. We could, too, see the wonderful coke region with
its thousands of great coke ovens, and Oh, dear ! too many questions to
answer at once ; nor would we have time to answer them singly, f I see
no way out of the matter but to accept Ned's suggestion, and agree to ac-
company him to Pennsylvania. Does anybody move that we visit the
coal regions of Pennsylvania? Ah! yes, and the motion seconded by a
dozen. All in favor of the motion, say aye ; whew! no need to call for
the noes in this case. It is decided, then, that we make a holiday excur-
sion among the Pennsylvania coal mines, and that we start, say next
well, as soon as Miss Ruffleton and some of the other girls can get ready
to go ; the boys could all start this minute, for that matter. "
OUR LITTLE WORLD.
"As it is, generally, an advantage to be posted, in advance, in regard
to matters with which we may have to deal, it will not be amiss, since we
are now together, to spend the remainder of the afternoon in considering
some of the facts and theories in regard to coal how and when it was
formed or made, where it is found, etc. ; things which seeing it mined,
shipped and used would not tell us.
At the outset, it may not be out of place to take a look at the world
8 OUR LITTLE WORLD.
we live in or upon, rather as a whole, before we enter upon the exam-
ination of the facts and theories which, as we shall proceed, will narrow
our field of observation until we may not only find ourselves confined to
some one particular coal region, but may, indeed, even be shut up, for a
time, in some dark, damp and dismal coal-pit or mine 'where,' as the
song says, ' no ray of sunshine ever can be found.'
In the first place, we must bear in mind that our earth the world, as
we call it is but a small affair, in a sense. Ha, ha ! Miss Inquisitive, you
think ' it's a pretty big place,' eh? You find plenty of room for questions,
anyway; don't you ? Well, it would be ' a big place,' indeed, if we did
not know of so many other and vastly larger worlds, as we are told ot
them by the astronomers the men who are familiar with the facts in
regard to the sun, moon and stars. In other words, our world is but one
of countless thousands of worlds which we see all about us the stars, we
call them. I said, all about us ; they are all about us, that is, all around
us, but at wonderful distances from us millions, billions, trillions of miles
from us ; distances which we cannot comprehend at all. The sun, from
which we get our light and heat, is 1,245,000 times as large as our earth
* big place ' as it appears to Miss Inquisitive, and to all of us for that
matter ; while all the stars we can see, together with almost numberless
others which can be seen only by the use of great telescopes, so great
is their distance from us all these, the astronomers tell us, are other
suns, which may be as large as, or perhaps larger than, our own large sun.
So great is the distance of some of these stars or suns, as we are to
think of them that (so the astronomers tell us) the light which comes to
us from them has been hundreds, if not thousands, of years in reaching
us ! although light travels, it has been learned, at the wonderful speed ot
183,000 miles per second or more than seven times the distance around
our earth while you wink ! You will understand these things of which I
have just spoken, as well as learn very many more wonderful facts about
our earth, the sun, moon, planets and stars, when you take up the study
of astronomy ; at present, however, we can not stop to talk about them,
as we have other business on hand, you know. But the statements I have
made are sufficient, in themselves, to show you that our world is but one
and a comparatively small one at that of untold numbers of worlds
which throng the space around -us the universe, we call it ; it is as a
single grain of sand in that great heap of sand and pebbles, which you see
across the way !
But we started out to talk about coal ; and why, then, should we go
away off among the stars ? you may be asking yourselves. Well, for sev-
eral reasons. One of them is, the desire to set some of you to thinking,
reading and studying about the wonders of astronomy which I trust it
may. Another is, to present a truth which I would have you keep in
mind when we come to consider some facts in regard to our own earth,
in particular, that everything in the great universe, of which our earth is
but a small part, as we have seen, is controlled or governed by certain
OUR LITTLE WORLD. 9
laws ; tliat nothing is of chance or mere happening, but has been made
what it is, as it is, and placed where it is, in accordance with a great plan
or order of things, as designed and only fully understood by the great
As young astronomers, you will learn that not only is the universe
crowded, as I have already stated, with almost countless worlds, but that
all these worlds, as well as our own, are whirling or shooting through
space at a most astonishing speed, and never stopping or pausing, either,
in their wonderful flight ! But you will learn more than this. You will
learn that all their movements are controlled by certain laws ; that they
are not flying about helter-skelter, as it were, without direction or aim or
purpose, and at the risk of frightful collisions with each other, but that all
their courses are fixed, each having its own path or orbit, from which it
can not stray or wander, and that throughout all the ages they have been
flying, at most terrific speed, (our earth, more than 1,000 miles a min-
ute !) around and around their great circular orbits, * and yet with a reg-
ularity which never varies even the smallest fraction of a second, so that
thousands of years in advance astronomers can say where a planet or
star will be, at a certain second ! Wonderful, isn't it ?
Now, there is a point in this, for us, taking it in connection with the
littleness of our earth as compared with the vast universe. How the
wonders of our own little world shrink and fade, as our thought carries
us out among all the other and greater worlds ! It is easy to see, now,
how the One who could create all these other worlds, (tossing them out,
as it were, into space, putting each in its place and appointing each its
course through the heavens, and holding them all there by unseen
power,) could create our one little world, just as it pleased Him putting
an ocean here, and a continent or an island there ; hollowing out the
valleys, building the mountains and spreading out the plains ; clothing
the earth with grass and flowers and trees, and filling it with beasts and
birds ; and finally peopling it, when at last made ready for man's home.
As throughout all the rest of the great universe, so throughout our little
world a plan and purpose is everywhere seen. Our earth has been
fitted up for man's use, and all that he needs has been prepared for him
prepared for him before he was created.
Among the things thus prepared for us, and of which we find an
abundant store, is coal to a consideration of some of the facts and
theories concerning which we will now more directly give our attention."
* The orbits are not exactly circular, but are slightly flattened circles, we may
be permitted to call them-ellipses, correctly speaking.
io GEOLOGY AND GEOLOGISTS.
A WORD ABOUT GEOLOGY AND GEOLO-
"First, then, let us see what maybe learned about how coal was
formed. But before we begin, please punch that big lump of coal with
the poker, Ned, and let's have a rousing fire. Now, come up closer, all
of you; there, that's both comfortable and cheerful, isn't it? Now, to
You all know, I suppose anyway, I've been taking it for granted
that you all know that coal is taken from the ground. It is not some-
thing made by men, but was prepared for men by GOD, in His wisdom
and goodness, long ago just how long ago we cannot tell. Ha ! ha ! at it
already, Miss Inquisitive. How was it prepared, eh ? Well, we must go
to the geologists for an answer to your question, mi'am, as we did last
winter when we wanted to know how oil and natural gas were formed or
made. For the benefit of the new members of our company, I will re-
peat the explanation then made in regard to geologists and geology,
adding, perhaps, a little more than then given. The word geology has
been formed by the union of two Greek words ge t meaning the
earth, and logos, meaning a discourse, or talk, we may say ; the
word geology, then, means a talk about the earth its structure, etc.,
and of the changes which it has undergone. Geology is the science
which treats of the earth's structure and its development or progress in
the formation of rocks, progress in forms of life, animal and vegetable,
etc. Geologists are the persons who have learned, and who give to us,
the facts of geology.
What, then, can we learn from the geologists ? Well, while they
cannot tell us everything we may want to know, they can, at least, give
us very much information, and some of it most wonderful, too, in regard
to the formation, long ago, of the coal which is now being taken from the
hills and the depths of the earth, and some of which is blazing and glow-
ing, so much to our comfort, this chilly day, in the fireplace before us.
And while we are thus enjoying its cheerful presence, I will try to pre-
sent to you some geological facts, as made known to us by the learned
Those of you who were in our company last winter are already
familiar with many of these facts, but you will not, I am sure, be un-
willing to have them again stated, for the benefit of our new members,
GEOLOGY AND GEOLOGISTS. n
especially as I may speak more fully in regard to some of them, some
having been, indeed, little more than merely mentioned before.
The geologists, then, tell us of great and wonderful changes which
have taken place upon and within our earth. Even now, indeed,
changes are occurring, by reason of earthquakes and other mighty
forces ; but the changes to which I refer took place long, long ago, be-
fore GOD had created people to live upon the earth because it was not
yet ready for them and these changes were far 4iiore wonderful and
powerful in effect than the earthquakes and volcanoes of the present
time. Just how long ago these changes began which have resulted in
producing the earth as we find it now, even the geologists cannot tell
us ; it is known only to Him of whom the great Psalmist wrote : ' Be-
fore the mountains were brought forth or ever thou hadst formed the
earth or the world; even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art GOD.'
The Bible tells us that at the beginning the * earth was without form
and void/ not the beautiful world it now is, with its hills and valleys,
mountains and plains, its fields and forests, its rivers, lakes and oceans,
and all the forms of life we see about us ; all these things were then but
on the mind of GOD, who was creating the world and fitting and prepar-
ing it for us, with all our varied wants and needs, when , after all else
should be made ready, man should be created.
To learn something of the wondrous plan of the earth's creation and
of its gradual perfecting, has been the study of geologists. Many facts
have been established, while many theories or opinions have been offered,
to account for some of these facts not fully understood. The geologists