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The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Local History

Frisco Coal Chute

"The framework for the combination water tank, coal chutes and ash pits, which is being erected at the north side round house is now up and the work is well advanced. The work has been greatly delayed on account of the tardy arrival of the material, but it is now expected that the affair will be completed by January 1. The combination is a new patent that has been tried with great success. Very few roads have as yet adopted the combination. The great advantages of the patent are that an engine may be all cleaned and prepared for another trip, all at the same place without so much moving around and the company may economize on space by having all three together. If the affair is deemed successful by the officers it may be put in at the south side and at other Frisco round houses."

Leader, November 24, 1902

"Landmark Topples"
"A blast of dynamite wrote a noisy and necessary end to another chapter in Frisco Railway history here today when an old coal chute, one of the last landmarks of steam locomotive days, was dismantled at the old northside yards. To record the event, staff photographer Betty Love used two press cameras to snap this picture series as the relic of pre-dieselization period on the railroad toppled. At [top left], Frisco demolition experts are shown placing the dynamite charges around the already-weakened supports of the chute. Next is a "who-o-sh" and a loud roar as the first effects of the blast strike the structure [bottom left]. The 100 foot high concrete chute begins to topple outward the ground in the photo [right], finally ending up as a pile of twisted entangled debris. A crew of workers has been conducting similar wrecking operations over the entire Frisco system for the past several months since there are no longer any steam locomotives to be fueled at the coal chutes."

Leader Press, November 11, 1953

To see an animation of this demolition, click on the top photograph. The photos are a part of the From the Darkroom collection available on the library's website.

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