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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Stoked: 1926

Stoked: 1926

March 8, 1926. "Corporal Charles L. Kessler, U.S.M.C." After whom a mountain in Antarctica is named. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

 

Handsome Rake Candidate!

With those brawny arms, it looks like he COULD shovel some coal, but with those spotless white gaiters, it doesn't look like he HAS.

The Portable Boiler

Weighing approximately 24,000 pounds, this Kewanee Smokeless Boiler is called "portable" because its furnace and combustion chamber are not encased in brick walls, according to Harding & Willard's "Mechanical Equipment of Buildings," New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1916. What made this boiler "smokeless" was an efficient design that permitted the clean burning of cheaper soft bituminous coal, as required by many city building codes. Here is the manufacturer's cutaway view of the beast, from the same reference.

Throw down that shovel!

And pick up a rake, you handsome devil, you. Thank you Dave, he's another one for the collection.

No Sweat!

He sure is dressed up for shoveling coal!

Anyone who has ever stoked a boiler knows you don't shovel coal into a cold firebox. It's amazing how far a boiler can cast heat out of its doors, you could never "pose" that close to a open door.

[The firebox is down below. Note the flames. - Dave]

Just for the record

Those leggings are called gaiters, not spats.

Charles L. Kessler, USMC, USN, 1903-1976

Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, January 5, 1976.

Charles L. Kessler Dies in Richmond

Former head of the Selective Service for Virginia, retired Navy Capt. Charles L. Kessler, died Saturday at his home here.

Mr. Kessler retired from the Selective Service system in 1970, after 10 years in that post, and from the Navy in 1971, after 30 years in the Marines and Navy.

He traveled to the Antarctic continent three times, the first in 1929 when he accompanied Adm. Richard E. Byrd as a civilian volunteer. In 1966 Kessler Peak in Antarctica was named for him by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. A past president of the Reserve Officers Association of Virginia, he was state adjutant of the American Legion from 1949 to 1960.

He is survived by his wife, Juel Baker Kessler, and a daughter, Mrs. Jean A. Barte of Richmond. ... Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery.

Carrying case not included

Good to know that Kewanee Smokeless Firebox Boiler is "portable."

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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