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COALBROOKDALE—COALING STATIONS

bibliographical lists for each division of the text. The 5th edition appeared in 1904.

Current progress in mining and other matters connected with coal can best be followed by consulting the abstracts and bibliographical lists of memoirs on these subjects that have appeared in the technical journals of the world contained in the Journal of the Institute of Mining Engineers and that of the Iron and Steel Institute. The latter appears at half-yearly intervals and includes notices of publications up to about two or three months before the date of its publication.

 (H. B.) 


COALBROOKDALE, a town and district in the Wellington parliamentary division of Shropshire, England. The town has a station on the Great Western railway, 160 m. N.W. from London. The district or dale is the narrow and picturesque valley of a stream rising near the Wrekin and following a course of some 8 m. in a south-easterly direction to the Severn. Great ironworks occupy it. They were founded in 1709 by Abraham Darby with the assistance of Dutch workmen, and continued by his son and descendants. Father and son had a great share in the discovery and elaboration of the use of pit-coal for making iron, which revolutionized and saved the English iron trade. The father hardly witnessed the benefits of the enterprise, but the son was fully rewarded. It is recorded that he watched the experimental filling of the furnace ceaselessly for six days and nights, and that, just as fatigue was overcoming him, he saw the molten metal issuing, and knew that the experiment had succeeded.

The third Abraham Darby built the famous Coalbrookdale iron bridge over the Severn, which gives name to the neighbouring town of Ironbridge, which with a portion of Coalbrookdale is in the parish of Madeley (q.v.). Fine wrought iron work is produced, and the school of art is well known. There are also brick and tile works.


COAL-FISH (Gadus virens), also called green cod, black pollack, saith and sillock, a fish of the family Gadidae. It has a very wide range, which nearly coincides with that of the cod, although of a somewhat more southern character, as it extends to both east and west coasts of the North Atlantic, and is occasionally found in the Mediterranean. It is especially common in the north, though rarely entering the Baltic; it becomes rare south of the English Channel. Unlike the cod and haddock, the coal-fish is, to a great extent, a surface-swimming fish, congregating together in large schools, and moving from place to place in search of food; large specimens (3 to 3½ ft. long), however, prefer deep water, down to 70 fathoms. The flesh is not so highly valued as that of the cod and haddock. The lower jaw projects more or less beyond the upper, the mental barble is small, sometimes rudimentary, the vent is below the posterior half of the first dorsal fin, and there is a dark spot in the axil of the pectoral fin.


COALING STATIONS. Maritime war in all ages has required that the ships of the belligerents should have the use of sheltered waters for repairs and for replenishment of supplies. The operations of commerce from the earliest days demanded natural harbours, round which, as in the conspicuous instance of Syracuse, large populations gathered. Such points, where wealth and resources of all kinds accumulated, became objects of attack, and great efforts were expended upon their capture. As maritime operations extended, the importance of a seaboard increased, and the possession of good natural harbours became more and more advantageous. At the same time, the growing size of ships and the complexity of fitments caused by the development of the sailing art imposed new demands upon the equipment of ports alike for purposes of construction and for repairs; while the differentiation between warships and the commercial marine led to the establishment of naval bases and dockyards provided with special resources. From the days when the great sailors of Elizabeth carried war into distant seas, remote harbours began to assume naval importance. Expeditionary forces required temporary bases, such as Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, which was so utilized by Admiral Vernon in 1741. As outlying territories began to be occupied, and jurisdiction to be exercised over their ports, the harbours available for the free use of a belligerent were gradually reduced in number, and it became occasionally necessary to take them by force. Thus, in 1782, the capture of Trincomalee was an object of sufficient importance to justify special effort, and Suffren gained a much-needed refuge for his ships, at the same time compelling his opponent to depend upon the open roadstead of Madras, and even to send ships to Bombay. In this case a distant harbour acquired strategic importance, mainly because sheltered waters, in the seas where Hughes and Suffren strove for naval supremacy, were few and far between. A sailing man-of-war usually carried from five to six months’ provisions and water for 100 to 120 days. Other needs required to be met, and during the wars of the French Revolution it was usual, when possible, to allow ships engaged in blockade to return to port every five or six weeks “to refresh.” For a sailing fleet acting on the offensive, a port from which it could easily get to sea was a great advantage. Thus Raleigh protested against the use of closely landlocked harbours. “Certain it is,” he wrote, “that these ships are purposely to serve His Majesty and to defend the kingdom from danger, and not to be so penned up from casualitie as that they should be less able or serviceable in times of need.” Nelson for this reason made great use of Maddalena Bay, in Sardinia, and was not greatly impressed with the strategic value of Malta in spite of its fine natural harbour. The introduction of steam gave rise to a new naval requirement—coal—which soon became vital. Commerce under steam quickly settled down upon fixed routes, and depots of coal were established to meet its needs. Coaling stations thus came into existence by a natural process, arising from the exigencies of trade, and began later to supply the needs of navies.

For many years there was no inquiry into the war requirements of the British fleet as regards coal, and no attempt to regularize or to fortify the ports at which it was stored. Successful naval war had won for Great Britain many British coaling stations. points of vantage throughout the world, and in some cases the strategic value of ports had been proved by actual experience. The extreme importance of the Cape of Good Hope, obscured for a time after the opening of the Suez Canal, was fully realized in sailing days, and the naval conditions of those days to some extent determined the choice of islands and harbours for occupation. There does not, however, appear to have been any careful study of relative strategic values. Treaties were occasionally drafted by persons whose geographical knowledge was at fault, and positions were, in some cases, abandoned which ought to have been retained, or tenaciously held when they might have been abandoned. It was left to the personal exertions of Sir Stamford Raffles to secure such a supremely important roadstead as that of Singapore for the empire. Although, therefore, the relative values of positions was not always recognized, Great Britain obtained as a legacy from sailing days a large number of harbours admirably adapted for use as coaling stations. Since the dawn of the era of steam, she has acquired Aden, Perim, Hong-Kong, North Borneo, Fiji, part of New Guinea, Fanning Island, and many other islands in the Pacific, while the striking development of Australia and New Zealand has added to the long roll of British ports. The coaling stations, actual and potential, of the empire are unrivalled in number, in convenience of geographical distribution, and in resources. Of the numerous British ports abroad which contained coal stores, only the four so-called “fortresses”—Gibraltar, Malta, Halifax and Bermuda—were at first fortified as naval stations after the introduction of rifled ordnance. The term fortress is a misnomer in every case except Gibraltar, which, being a peninsula separated only by a neck of neutral ground from the territory of a foreign power, exists under fortress conditions. Large sums were expended on these places with little regard to principles, and the defences of Bermuda, which were very slowly constructed, are monuments of misapplied ingenuity.

In 1878 great alarm arose from strained relations with Russia. Rumours of the presence of Russian cruisers in many waters, and of hostile projects, were readily believed, although the Russian navy, which had just shown itself unable Carnarvon Commission.to face that of Turkey, would at this period have been practically powerless. Widespread fears for the security of coaling stations led to the appointment of a strong