"Charcoal Industry", Correct Answer to Question 3: Fires Smoldered in Charcoal Hearths for 2 to 3 weeks

Charcoal hearth framework and covered in dirt
Charcoal hearth framework of logs and hearth covered in dirt

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Question 3. How long did the colliers (charcoal makers) let the fires smolder in the charocal hearths?

Answer: The colliers dug out a wide, shallow hole up to 50 feet across and piled up logs which they covered with dirt leaving just a couple of holes so that the fire smoldered and charred the wood. The fires smoldered in the charcoal hearths for 2 to 3 weeks. The men would operate as many as 7 charcoal pits at a time and they checked them every few hours. It was a hot and dirty job.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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