Issue 24 and Volume 1884 14.

SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION. (Continued.) One of the most important sub-divisions of the subject is the spontaneous combustion of coal. The subject of special investigations by several British commissions has been the cause of many fires and marine disasters. All reports have, however, not had much practical effect in lessening the hazard. Fortunately for our country, our soft or bituminous coals are not as prone to ignite spontaneously as the English, and the subject has, therefore, not attracted the same amount of attention with us as in England. Before entering into a discussion of the subject, it is well to first ascertain what coal is and how it was formed “ Coal is the product of the decomposition of vegetable matter under special conditions,” found in the carboniferous period of the geological carboniferous age, which is divided into: (1) “sub-carboniferous,” (2) “coal measures,” or “carboniferous proper,” and (3) permian.” The “sub-carboniferous” was…

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