Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jenney Coal

A century ago, home heating involved, most frequently, the purchase of coal and wood. One of the largest local dealers in coal was James L. Jenney who established a coal and wood business on Vine Street in 1865. Later known as Jenney Coal, the firm frequently held lucrative contracts to supply Middleborough's schools and public buildings with coal. Local coal dealers like Jenney, however, were sometimes hampered by shortages of coal on which occasions wood became an important alternative fuel. Increasingly, as oil-burning furnaces replaced older coal-fired models, coal became less important as a fuel for homeowners. Not surprisingly, the firm later moved into the home heating oil business in the mid-20th century.

James L. Jenney Coal and Wood, receipt, 1910
The receipt, signed by Jenney himself, was for the purchase of coal.


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