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A Strange Statement

A Strange Statement image
Parent Issue
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The Shenandoah (Pa.) Herald, of a recent date, says : We have before us now on our table a specimen which is one half anthracite coal, and the other half a solidified sediment, that fonr years ago was all soft sediment. Tor over f our years there h$d been itt tibí? ia the Tndian Ridge Shaft of the Philadelphia and lieading Coal and tron Company, this district, a woodett pipo, ábout six inches in diameter, made of inch boards hailed together, whicli served to caiTy ■water from one of the rings in the shaft tó a lower level. The rings are boxes around the sides of the shaft, which catch the water coming out of the rock, slate, or coal, and arS put in to prevent the water falling down and making a regular shower-bath of the shaft. At the ring in question a large spring in the slate, about thirty feet below the Primrose vein, had been struck, the water from which is apparently as pure as crystal. Some four months stnce it was found that this wooden pipe had become so clogged with the reddishbrown sediment that is deposited by all mine water, that the open space in it was not more than two inches in diameter, and not large enoügh to öarry off the water fïom the ring. Consequently a new pipe was put in, and the old one, nearly closed with the sediment adhering to its sides, was left standing. The water was then turned into the new pipe and cut off from the old one, which is some fifty feet or over in length. On Friday last, after remaining in the shaft without any water passing through it for over four months, the greater part of thia old pipe was taken out, and when broken open the wonderful phenomenon presented itself that the sediment was j gradually changing into what appears to be anthracite coal. About a half inch of the inside of the sediment lining the pipe had changed into coal, and the mainder was also gradually changing, the only portions of the sediment remaining quite soft being that part deposited first and next the sides of the pipe. A cross section of the pipe now shows, oommencing at the center, first a circle of about a half au inch iu diameter surrounding the two inch opening remaining in the pipe, then a circle of sediment partly turned into coal, and then the sediment in its natural state and the sides of the pipe. The surface of sediment which was exposed to the action of the atmosphere has changed first, and the same influences or chemical combinations which had changed its nature were gradually operating on the rest of the sediment. The process of formation is plainly seen in the sediment next that already tumed into coal. Samples of coal taken from the pipe have been tried on the blacksmith fiie at the colliery, and it makes au exceedingly hot fire, but being of a softer nature than the natural anthracite it clinkers badly. Fortunately there are any quantity of samples of this wonderlul formation, and those who are unirilling to believe without themseives seeing and touching can be accommodated. There is no Keely motor business about this discovery. A section of the pipe, about sixteen feet long, has been left standing in the shaft to see what results will follow in the next six months or year. Samples have also been sent to Gen. j Pleasants at Pottsville for examination, j and we suppose the public will soon have the opinión of gentlemen qualified to j judge on this surprising formation - but if anthracite coal will for_i from sediment deposited by mine water when j exposed to the action of the atmosphere under certain conditions for a period as short as four months, what becomes of all tlie pet theories of the geologist and mining engineers on the subject ? How about the great heat, the millions of years of time and tremendous pressure which, according to the various theorieB of the heretofore accepted authorities, were necessary to account for our dedeposits of the finest and bost fuel yet found? '


Old News
Michigan Argus