2005 Mining History Association Field Trip
Anthracite Region Tour
Huber Anthracite Breaker, Ashley, PA
June 20, 2005Tour Host: Huber Breaker Preservation Society
|The Huber Breaker in Ashley, PA, is the last of the great anthracite coal cleaning and processing plants. It was built in 1939 to replace the earlier Maxwell Breaker. Run-of-mine coal arriving at the breaker was washed and cleaned to remove impurities, principally slate. It was crushed and screened to specific sizes desired by customers. Considered an ultra-modern plant when constructed, it used Menzies Cones to separate coal from waste. The breaker was operated by the Blue Coal Corporation, a subsidiary of the Glen Alden Coal Company. It processed 7,000 tons of coal per day. The final product was sprayed with a blue color and sold as “Blue Coal.” Railcars were loaded underneath the breaker and shipped to markets. The long decline of the anthracite industry after World War II caused Blue Coal to declare bankruptcy in 1976. The Huber Breaker Preservation Society is trying to preserve the facility; however, in 2011, prospects for success appeared to be dimming.|
Layout of the Huber Colliery and Breaker ca. 1939 (From Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), Report PA-204, 1991)
CLICK ON DRAWING FOR ENLARGED VIEW.
|DEMOLITION OF THE HUBER AND ST. NICHOLAS Sadly, in spite of the tireless efforts of the Huber Breaker Preservation Society, the historic anthracite coal breaker in Ashley, PA was demolished in 2014. In 2013, the society established the Northern Anthracite Coal Field Miners Memorial Park at the site of the breaker. The society continues to raise funds to complete the park. See their website below.|
The St. Nicholas Breaker in Mahanoy City, PA will be demolished in 2015.This breaker operated from 1931 to 1963. It was at one time the world’s largest coal breaker. CLICK HERE for a look inside before demolition.
April 10, 2015
PHOTO GALLERY 1
CLICK ON A PHOTO TO DISPLAY A LARGER IMAGE
Central section of the Huber Breaker, Ashley, PA, 1939-1976. Last remaining anthracite coal breaker.
Northern section of the Huber Breaker, Ashley, PA, 1939-1976.
Our Tour Leader from the Huber Breaker Preservation Society explains the history and function of the plant.
A chain conveyor carries the run-of-mine coal to the top of the breaker. MHAers walk the gangway along side the conveyor.
Workers at the picking tables separate large pieces of slate from the coal.
Several stages of vibrating screens separate the coal into various size fractions.
Roll crushers reduce the size of coal and waste particles.
Menzies Cone separates waste from clean coal.