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Fuel Conservation. Twelve Questions and Answers:
Electronic Edition.

North Carolina. State Fuel Administrator

Funding from the State Library of North Carolina
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First edition, 2002
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Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

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Source Description:
(title page) Fuel Conservation. Twelve Questions and Answers
North Carolina. State Fuel Administrator
[6] p.
[Raleigh? N.C.]
[State Fuel Administrator?]
Call number Cp970.9 U58f (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

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[Title Page Image]


Issued by the State Fuel Administrator for
North Carolina.


        I heartily endorse the Fuel Conservation Catechism and earnestly urge that you use it in your schools for informing the children, and through them, their parents, as to the seriousness of the fuel situation in North Carolina, and as to the need and means for conserving fuel in every possible way.

Very truly yours,

State Superintendent Public Instruction.

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        Experience and observation of the State Fuel Administration for North Carolina, bring out several facts of interest: (1) the fuel situation is not being relieved at any points so far, except temporarily, and assumes a more and more serious aspect the nearer we approach cold weather; (2) the State Fuel Administrator, through the Department at Washington, D. C., has not been able to do more than merely to direct shipment of sufficient coal where most needed so as to obviate up to this time, actual suffering anywhere; (3) those places that are short of coal, and that are now living from hand to mouth, are probably going to have to continue to do this throughout the winter, and the conservation of coal, therefore, becomes of first importance and imperative; (4) the municipal wood yard is exceeding beyond expectations wherever it is being tried, and the number of cities and towns that are engaging in the wood business as an emergency measure, is constantly increasing.

        This matter of fuel conservation is regarded as so important that the State Fuel Administrator has prepared a set of twelve questions and answers as a sort of catechism on the subject for distribution to the local committees, and for dissemination through the press and schools of the state.

        You can help by passing this on to your newspaper for publication, or by placing it in the hands of some school teacher, or by handing it to your neighbor.

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Fuel Conservation Catechism

        Issued by the State Fuel Administrator of North Carolina

        "A shovel full of coal is equivalent in value to a half a loaf of bread."--Herbert Hoover, Federal Food Administrator.

        "It will require the fullest co-operation on the part of both producers and consumers to avert a fuel shortage, which may mean not only suffering, but a serious hampering of war preparations."--H. A. Garfield, Federal Fuel Administrator.

        Question (1). Is there a coal shortage, and what are the reasons for it?

        Answer (1). If coal shipments were to stop, North Carolina would be utterly barren of domestic coal in less than a week. The reasons for the coal shortage are as follows: (1) The government coal requirements are 6,000,000 tons, or 300 per cent. in excess of normal, and a state of war has resulted in a net increased annual consumption by the country of 50,000,000 tons; (2) many dealers, manufacturers, and even railroads, did not renew their coal contracts in the spring and summer of 1917, with the result that the deliveries at this date, December, 1917, are far behind the normal; (3) the war basis which the country is on is reducing the transportation facilities of the railroads both as to locomotives and cars for the carrying of coal; (4) the increased demands which war preparations are making upon railroad transportation have resulted in a greatly increased consumption of coal and the wholesale confiscation by some railroads of coal shipped to dealers and manufacturers, which they are properly permitted by the government to make when it is needed to keep their trains running. With the public short on coal to begin with, and the railroads taking a large part of that which can be procured to relieve this shortage, the public is in a bad way.

        Question (2). How does the conservation of coal concern you, and what good will it do?

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        Answer (2). Coal is one of the necessities of life just as food is, and for economic reasons the conservation of one is as necessary as the other. Government regulation keeps the price from being prohibitive, but is powerless to supply the shortage. What does it avail you if you can pay the price if you can't get the coal? If there is not enough coal shipped to go around, is there anything that will make it go around except the careful, economical use of it by everybody concerned? You cannot expect your neighbors to conserve coal unless you do it yourself. It is an enterprise in which everybody will have to lend a hand if we get anywhere. If the coal we have, and can get, is not used intelligently and carefully, somebody is going to suffer, and why not you as well as the other fellow? Our country needs coal to win the war. This call on you to use coal with care and thrift is the call of the country. It is your chance to do your bit. If you are patriotic, if you love your country, heed it. If you want to give aid and comfort to the enemy, pay no attention to it. The average saving of one ton of coal to a family for the entire country this winter, would mean a saving of 33,000,000 tons, or 550,000 car loads of 60 tons each--nearly enough to offset the increased consumption of army, navy, munition and manufacturing plants this year. Will you study this catechism and learn how to save coal, and try to do your part?

        Question (3). How can you save coal?

        Answer (3). There are many ways: (1) You can, as far as possible, use wood in the place of coal; (2) you can let your furnace go unfired in mild weather, using your grates and stoves instead; (3) you can place thermometers in your homes or offices and avoid waste of heat by holding the temperature down to 70 degrees at most, and 68 degrees is better still; (4) you can have your chimneys, flues and furnaces cleaned of soot and kept clean, and thereby obtain an increase of heat with a decreased consumption of coal; (5) you can exercise care in the use of lights, turning them out when they are no longer

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needed, and bearing in mind always that every unnecessary light means so much coal wasted; (6) you can pass on to your neighbors and associates these hints for the saving of coal and you can talk coal conservation wherever it is needed, and wherever you see coal wasted and the rules infringed, you can tactfully call attention to the fact and to the teachings of the Fuel Administration, and you can do it in such a way that it will be appreciated and acted upon.

        Question (4). What are some of the causes of losses of heat in the consumption of coal?

        Answer (4). The principal losses are (a) the loss through the grate to the ash pit, (b) the loss on account of radiation to the firing room or the other parts of the building not intended to be heated, (c) losses up the chimney, (d) loss through lack of regulation, (e) loss on account of atmosphere being too dry.

        Question (5). How can loss through the grate be prevented?

        Answer (5). By care in building the fire. The fuel next to grate should be of a coarser kind, lump coal or wood, and after the fire is started, the finer coal can be put on top with little, if any, loss. A very satisfactory method for the use of fine coal, or even coal dust in an ordinary coal grate, is to make first in the bottom of the grate, a wood fire, and after the wood has been thoroughly charred and about half burned, then put on the coal dust. The heat from the wood will cause it to coke or run together and will make a very satisfactory fire, furnishing satisfactory heat and burning slowly. Coal should never be unloaded on the ground, as the coal dust sifting through to the bottom is thereby lost to a large extent. Coal dust can be burned and has enough heat to make it worth saving.

        Question (6). How may a loss on account of radiation be avoided?

        Answer (6). By seeing to it that the heater and the piping have sufficient covering

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and that there are no exposed parts. Excessive radiation from the smoke pipe connecting the heater with the chimney may be corrected by changing the damper, such as to effect a better regulation of the draft.

        Question (7). How may losses up the chimney be corrected?

        Answer (7). These losses, which are more important than any others, can be corrected by "more frequent firing of the furnace with smaller charges of coal, firing before the fire becomes too low, covering only a portion of the fire bed with fresh coal, and giving attention to proper regulation of ash and fire door dampers," these losses up the chimney being largely due to too much air, with very thin fires, holes through the fire bed, and open fire doors.

        Question (8). How can loss through lack of regulation be prevented?

        Answer (8). By maintaining as constant a temperature as possible. An automatic thermostat serves this purpose best, but where you do not have that, careful attention to the fire so as to prevent wide fluctuations in the house temperature will prevent an unnecessary consumption of fuel.

        Question (9). How can loss on account of atmosphere being too dry be avoided?

        Answer (9). These losses can be avoided by humidifying the atmosphere, resulting in a state of atmosphere that is essential to healthfulness, a protection of woodwork, and an economy in the use of fuel. The room temperature, in order to make the occupants comfortable, has to be higher in a dry atmosphere than in a humidified atmosphere. A dry atmosphere, therefore, means a waste of heat.

        Question (10). If you are a manufacturer, how can you help conserve the coal supply?

        Answer (10). You can see to it that your boiler plants are kept up so that "greater efficiency may be obtained therefrom," that

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soot and scale are not allowed to accumulate on boiler tubes, that there are no leaky baffles nor leaky brickwork of boiler settings, that economical methods of firing are employed, that no more boilers than necessary are kept in operation for a given load, it being "economy to run fewer boilers at their full capacity than to keep in operation a larger number of boilers running unloaded," that accurate daily records be kept of the amount of coal burned and that your engineers are impressed with the "absolute necessity of the most economical use of coal as a patriotic service."

        Question (11). What about the municipal wood yard?

        Answer (11). If the local wood dealers cannot adequately supply at a reasonable price as much wood as can be used, advocate the establishment of a municipal wood yard by your city or town, and if anybody wants to raise the issue of socialism, tell him that you will not have time for academic discussion until the war is over. If any city or town of North Carolina that has wood in reach fails to lay it in, if that city or town should find itself unable to get coal this winter, that situation of improvidence is going to be anything but comfortable for whoever is responsible for it. If Asheville can furnish its citizens with wood, cut, split and delivered, at $5.50 per cord, why cannot other cities and towns do the same thing, if they will take the trouble and exercise the resourcefulness to do it?

        Question (12). Is there any other way by which you can help the fuel situation?

        Answer (12). You can help by your co-operation, by co-operating with the State Fuel Administration and your local fuel committee who are endeavoring to render a difficult public service without reward or hope of reward. You can put yourself in their place--you can be patient and forbearing--you can refrain from knocking--you can no more afford to be a knocker than you can afford to be a slacker--you can be an enlisted man in the conservation of coal.