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How Briquettes are Made
New York Journal
WIDESPREAD curiosity exists as to the appearance and burning qualities of the new coal briquettes being made at Stockton, Cal. Samples of the product show a black object, round in form, having nine inches of circumference, with convex ends, which, though it comes from the coal pit and the petroleum well, leaves no trace on the cleanest hands. The convenience of the briquettes is apparent at first view, and those who have tested its burning qualities are unqualified in their praise.
A visit to the briquette factory of the Tesla Coal Company was made by a party of business men recently. It was found located on the Stockton water front, adjacent to the bunkers of the Tesla company, to which the cars of the Almeda and San Joaquin Railroad, owned by the fuel corporation, convey the fuel from the mines, thirty-six miles distant. The process of converting coal, asphaltum, and other ingredients into briquettes was seen to be simple in its very perfection. It is conducted under a patent owned by the Tesla Coal Company. The main object sought is the increase in the combustible value of the coal by chemical process so as to utilize the volatile gases, which although containing the largest amount of heat units, are permitted to escape in the burning of crude coal. This is a fact recognized by several European governments, which have introduced briquettes for fuel in their navies, requiring that they shall contain a greater number of heat units than the ordinary coal. Knowledge of the superior heating qualities of briquettes has also been acted upon in the Eastern States, where factories for their manufacture are well established; but it may be remarked in passing that the best of these are far inferior to the Tesla Coal Company's plant, as perfected by John Treadwell, the discoverer and developer of the Alaska gold and Tesla coal mines in economy of process and in satisfactory results.
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