Posts Tagged ‘coal’

Hashima Island

If you aren’t watching Life After People on the History Channel, you should. The series is based on the best selling book by Alan Weisman The World Without Us, which examines what would happen if humans just vanished from the earth. It doesn’t ask how we might vanish, that ground has been covered by innumerable books, movies and tv shows. It asks what would become of our roads, bridges and buildings, our homes, museums, and the creative works we’ve created such as books and and art? It is a fascinating book and an equally fascinating series.

In it’s premiere episode, the series examined two places that have been abandoned for years: the area around Chernobyl and a mining island called Hasima Island off the coast of Japan. Known as a Ghost Island it was a source of coal for local residents before a mining operation was established. At it’s peak there were almost 1000 people per hectare living on the island, making it the most densely populated place on Earth.

I won’t re-invent the wheel by writing more here. Follow the link above or watch this video. Hashima Island is an urban explorers wet dream, and is place I would love to visit to document for myself…

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Oxford Furnace

The Oxford Furnace was built in 1741 and was the third such furnace built in NJ, and the first where iron ore was actually mined. It was also the first “hot blast” furnace of its kind. Before that, unheated air was pumped by bellows into the furnace. This furnace used preheated air which was then sent to the furnace and this raised the temperatures even hotter. The air was blown in thru the 3 openings in the sides of the furnace, and molten iron came out thru a 4th hole. The furnace produced railroad car wheels, nails and many other objects, though there’s no evidence it produces cannonballs.

Originally 31 feet high, fill has been placed around the base, making it only 22 ft tall. The furnace was converted to use coal as their fuel in the 1800’s & this ensured it’s continued functionality. In 1935 it was donated to the state by it’s owners, the Warren Foundry & pipe Co, and in 1984 it was turned over to Warren County. With a grant of 315,000, the furnace began undergoing restorations in 2001. They are due for completion in spring 2006.