Coke (coal byproduct) use in 50s Toronto?
June 19, 2013 1:43 PM Subscribe
I have a vague memory from the early 50s of travelling along Front Street or Wellington Street in Toronto with my father. Looking south toward Union Station I can remember seeing small (two or three foot high) piles of black stuff on the road, and men with shovels . My father told me it was coke (the “solid carbonaceous residue derived from destructive distillation of coal” as Wikipedia defines it).
posted by feelinggood to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can anyone provide me with a context here? For years I have imagined that they were making coke, but Wikipedia says coke production “poisoned the surrounding landscape.” So I guess they were using it. For what? Out in the middle of the road? In small piles? What might they have been doing? Or was it coal and not coke, and somehow related to the steam locomotives still in use?