Once a forefront of American industry, Blue Coal’s Huber Breaker was abandoned in the late 1970’s and is currently being demolished for scrap
The Huber Breaker of Blue Coal was a landmark in the borough of Ashley, Hanover Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA. It was the final of the massive anthracite coal cleaning and processing factories. The breaker was erected in 1939 to replace the Maxwell Breaker, a wooden structure built at the colliery by the Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Company.
It was designed with various distinctive characteristics, such as wide window glass to maximize sunshine and tar coated sheet metal to avoid rust damage.
The breaker washed and cleaned run-of-mine coal to remove impurities, mostly slate. It was crushed and screened to client specifications. When it was built, it was considered a cutting-edge operation because it employed Menzies Cones to separate coal from rubbish. Blue Coal Corporation, a subsidiary of Glen Alden Coal Company, ran the breaker. It processed more Anthracite coal per day than any other in the region, at 7,000 tons per day. Railcars were loaded and delivered to markets beneath the breaker. The finished product was dyed blue and marketed as “Blue Coal.”
Run-of-mine coal was washed and processed at the breaker to remove impurities, primarily slate. Customers requested that it be crushed and filtered to certain sizes. When it was built, it was considered an ultramodern factory because it employed Menzies Cones to separate coal from rubbish. The Blue Coal Corporation, a subsidiary of the Glen Alden Coal Company, ran the breaker. It processed the most Anthracite coal in the region, 7,000 tons per day. Railcars were placed beneath the breaker and delivered to destinations. The finished product was colored blue and marketed as “Blue Coal.”
The colliery’s final component, the powerhouse, was dismantled in August 2014. Ashley citizens, Ashley Borough, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection are still divided about whether asbestos was appropriately handled during demolition. The Society is still raising funding to finish the park.