Kewanee Coal Chutes

In addition to sighting Kewanee Boilers, I've made other Kewanee-related discoveries. From my grandparent's China Cabinet there is a Kewanee souvenir piece to a chemistry lab table bearing the "Kewaunee" name, pieces of Kewanee show up all over the place1. However, my most interesting discovering is somewhat related to Kewanee Boiler.

coal chute

In addition to Kewanee Boiler, a company named Kewanee Manufacturing called Kewanee home for nearly a century. The company, at least in their later years, produced doors and aluminum window frames.

However, one day I made an interesting discovery. Dave Clarke, editor at the Star Courier in Kewanee, did the digging to uncover what this was.

Obviously, it is a coal chute. Here in Boonville, coal chutes are very common on older homes and buildings. They were used to easily transfer coal from outside to a pit in the basement where it is stored for later burning in the furnace or boiler. You can see how this may be relevant to Kewanee Boilers... older boilers burned coal, and this schute would be how the coal entered the building.

The story did not go like that, sadly. Kewanee Manufacturing, who ceased operations in the mid-late 2000s, started producing steel coal chutes in 1923, when the company was founded with the financial backing of William Lyman. The company was originally founded in 1919 and manufactured streetcars, but president Royal Hayward decided to instead produce doors and coal chutes.

1. Kewaunee, the manufacturer of lab and chemistry tables, have no relation to Kewanee, Illinois or Kewanee Boiler. (Hence the different spelling.)

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