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 Post subject: Historic cones from breaker sold for scrap
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:04 am 
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Location: Anthracite Region of PA
Historic cones from breaker sold for scrap


By Paul Golias (Correspondent)

Published: March 4, 2014


The Menzies cones are gone.

Workmen for Paselo Logistics LLC of Philadelphia, which is razing the historic Huber Breaker in Ashley, removed the cones and sold them for scrap, according to Bill Best, president of the Huber Breaker Preservation Society.

The society hoped to obtain one of the cones, along with other artifacts from the site, for use in a small museum at its Miners' Memorial Park east of the breaker.

"This is quite sad," Best said Monday. He and Ray Clarke, chairman of the board of the preservation society, said they are also worried about the status of the two coal mine cars that Paselo previously offered to donate.

Attorney Jonathon Comitz, who has been the spokesman for Paselo Logistics, said he was not aware of the Menzies cone issue. He attributed the loss of the cones to miscommunications and he said he would speak to Paselo staff at the site. He also said he would reach out to Best.

Comitz said Paselo's demolition plan still calls for the breaker to come down "in the spring" and that only an unstable rear section has been razed.

"We still have a long way to go," Comitz said.

Best said he was scheduled to enter the breaker over the weekend with Paselo workmen to tag items of historic value, but the appointment was canceled by Paselo.

"We didn't get even one (Menzies cone)," Best said. "They were scrapped."

Paselo promised to donate two mine cars and some trackage for the park and artifacts from the breaker, Clarke said. In addition to the cones, those artifacts include a gear assembly, a winch on the top floor of the breaker, a warning buzzer used to alert breaker employees when machinery was starting up and signs from the entrance to the breaker property.

The Menzies cones were coal separators invented in the 1930s by engineer William C. Menzies, Sr. Water was injected at high pressure into the cones. Culm waste and wastewater flowed from the bottom of the cones.

Site demolition continues at a rapid pace, and only the main breaker building, the powerhouse, smoke stack and water tower remain.

The coal pocket building, foot house, a large coal conveyor and the rotary dump building have been demolished and hauled away. Paselo trucks laden with scrap steel have been seen leaving Ashley and going south on Interstate 81.

Paselo workers have removed steel, old vehicles, tires and other debris that covered the ground at the 26-acre site. The company remains mum on its plans for the land.

Paselo sent the Huber Breaker Preservation Society a check for $500. Clarke said he is not sure if that is a donation or payment for some steel that Paselo cleaned up from the society's small tract.

Best said the mine cars, if obtained, will be taken on a rollback truck to Penn State Mechanical Contractors, Inc., Plains, where they will be restored.

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 Post subject: Re: Historic cones from breaker sold for scrap
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:08 am 
I hope that Paselo doesn't rescind their deal to let them have some artifacts.


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 Post subject: Re: Historic cones from breaker sold for scrap
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:34 pm
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Location: Within 60 Miles of the Northern Anthracite Field
While I sympathize with the preservation society about the loss of some of the artifacts, I've been at the site along side them filming for the documentary and see no way that they can be saved. This stuff is scattered through the breaker and as the parts are cut out, stuff falls, gets crushed by equipment ect. I really have ho idea how they would expect to get them out in one piece? I have video of them pulling the last cone out and it was all but destroyed by the time it was on the ground. I have no idea how they expect to save stuff from the top floor, unless its something that survives a fall. It's too bad, but this should have been saved 30 years ago...... Even 10 years ago, not waiting until its being scrapped! The previous owner said he did all he could to keep it standing, until he went bankrupt. No he didn't. When he knew he was going under he should have donated it to the HBPS. Paselo is just doing a job they are hired to do. I know they said they would donate stuff but I really don't see how it could be taken out intact. If people want to be mad at someone for it being scrapped look towards the county, or the previous owner! If someone really wanted it saved, where were they with the million dollars at the auction?

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 Post subject: Re: Historic cones from breaker sold for scrap
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:49 am 
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I have never been to the site but I agree with Chris. Waiting until the wolf is at the door is a poor time to worry about where to hide. Could artifacts not have been removed while the previous owner had control of the site?

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 Post subject: Re: Historic cones from breaker sold for scrap
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:55 am 
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Location: Within 60 Miles of the Northern Anthracite Field
Some of them could have been. You would need a crane and some equipment in the breaker. I see no logical way they could have saved a cone. I'm sure the scrapping company could have surgically cut one out and put a harness around it, got a crane, hoisted it out, built a cradle to set it in, then put it on a skid to move it but why would they go through all that work? They are getting paid to take down the breaker. Any time they "waste" not filling those bins with scrap is money down the drain for them. The blame should in no way be placed on them......

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 Post subject: Re: Historic cones from breaker sold for scrap
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:21 pm 
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However in saying that...... I guess if they knew there was no way to save the stuff they shouldn't have agreed to give it to them....

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