Partially every home in the city has a coal chute. Coal was delivered by truck and left either on the sidewalk outside of the house or, for an extra fee, delivered to the chute.

One of my earliest memories is having coal delivered to our house at 3964 McDonald. I remember seeing my dad in the basement with a shovel and wanting to know what was going on. I heard noise in the gangway, went out the back door and saw a guy with a wheel barrow emptying coal into the chute.

My neighbor Pop recently told me about having a ton of coal delivered. It was left on the sidewalk and he spent four hours with a shovel tossing it into the chute. The ton of coal lasted all winter. He lived in a four family at the time and said one of the other people living there didn't have any coal. When he noticed they were using his, he padlocked his bin.

Why were they using your coal, I asked.
They were so poor they couldn't afford any.

Coal chute at Peggy's house w/ a stencil by Piet!

No comments: