Coal and Wood Piles

This photo shows the two main sources of fuel – coal and wood – for people in Appalachia during the 1970s. People often had wood burning stoves. The wood most likely would have been deadfall from the owner’s property. Coal was plentiful and used to heat homes. However, as you can see, it was somewhat messy. A dumptruck would deliver a whole load to a home like this, then the owners carried in chunks one by one to stoke the furnace. On cold winter days, the young boys in the family would have the job of going out in the morning and shoveling some into the furnace. People would often get dressed around the the wood burning stove. The kitchen was usually the warmest place in the house on cold days. This woman was well into her eighties when I took this shot in 1973.

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