McKenna Process Company
Plant formerly located in Joliet, Illinois - ca. 1920.
Image 8 - Charging rails into the furnace
Charging rails into furnace - Overall

Image 8. Charging rails into the furnace.
The workman is
raising the charging doors so that
the heat of rails
can be pushed into the furnace.

Details scanned from the original print:

a. Charging Rails Into Furnace-Overall
b. Man At Door
c. Grading Marks on Rails

Note: The furnace heat (obtained by burning the coal
seen in the piles around the plant) was not wasted; the
exhaust from this furnace provided all the steam
necessary to operate the rolling mills seen in the following
images. By the time the first rails were hot enough to be
rolled, the necessary steam had been raised.
Charging rails into furnace - Man at Door
Man At Door

Notes by George, III: The door opening is not as wide as the load of rails, so
the rails must have been pushed into the furnace only one or a very few at a
time. My best guess is that the hot sawing of the rail ends, which was done in
line with the two-pass rolling operation in Image 9, Image 10, and Image 11,
must have been the rate-limiting step.
Charging rails into furnace - Grading Marks on Rails
Grading Marks on Rails

Note by George, III: These rails have
been presorted according to the A/B/C
scheme in George Langford, Sr.'s U.S.
Patent No. 1,212,364.
The meaning of
the marks seen here is not apparent.