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Coke ovens, early 20th century. Workers dousing hot coke with water to cool it prior to transport. Coke is a high-carbon content fuel, produced by heating coal in the absence of oxygen. The coke is then mostly used as a fuel in the steel industry. These are the Bretz Ovens, operated by the Elkins Coal and Coke Company. They are located in Bretz, Preston County, West Virginia, USA. This site was founded in about 1903 and was operating full-time until 1981 as one of the last-surviving beehive coke-making locations in the USA. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. This photograph is part of the Historic American Engineering Record.
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