OLD NEWSPAPER ARTICLE DESCRIBES 'PURE ITALIAN BLUE GEM COAL,' MINED IN JELLICO, MARKET'S BEST
By Dallas Bogan
Reprinted with Permission from Dallas Bogan. This article was published in the LaFollette Press.
(The following article was found in the Jellico Advance-Journal April 27, 1900.)
Miners and Shippers of the Pure "Italian Blue Gem Coal, the Best on the Market.
R.B. BAIRD, Receiver and Sales Agent
This is one of the best mines in the Jellico district. It was organized in 1895 by Thos. Zechini and Associates, and named the Italian Blue Gem Coal Co.
During the year 1897 misfortune stared this enterprise in the face and it was necessary to place the business in the hands of a receiver. R.B. Baird, Cashier of the Citizens Bank, was named for his important place. He is also sales agent for this famous coal, having his office in the Citizens Bank, Jellico, Tenn. He has managed the affairs of this enterprise very successfully, and now the company is preparing to build a broad gauge railroad to the mines, and also make other improvements. The coal is now hauled over a tramway of about a mile in length by mules. When these contemplated improvements have been made this mine will be second to none in the district within its capacity.
Mr. Peter Zechini is superintendent of this mine, and to his efficiency is attributed in a large degree the success of the mines. Mr. L.M. Lyons has charge of the clerical department and store and to his efficient work is due in part the growth and expansion of the business.
This company produced what is known and largely sought for "Italian Blue Gem." This coal is unexcelled for steam and domestic purposes and commands a good price and ready market. It is produced from a ridge or offshoot of the Pine Mountain, and possesses valuable properties peculiarly its own. When "Italian" is once used it will always be used. The large trade already received by the products of this coal is the best evidence we can offer as to its good qualities and the lessening in expense to those using it.
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