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Charcoal making today
Charcoal today is made in sophisticated retorts, or 44 gallon drums, mainly for the barbecue industry. Often macrocarpa or pine are cut up and fired in the drums, then the lid is replaced to exclude the air. This method was observed in practice in Auckland in the 1970s.
The author with reconstructed charcoal burners’ kilns at Howick Historical Village, ca 2000.
 Pears Cyclopaedia, 36th edition, London, 1954, p. 532; D.W. Kelley, Charcoal and Charcoal Burning, Princes Risborough, Shire Publications, 1986, pp. 3, 9.
 A. White, pers. comm.
 Popular Encyclopaedia, London, Blackie, 1862, pp. 47-50.
 Penny Cyclopaedia, 1836, p. 489.
 Dorothy Hartley, Made in England, London, Century, 1987 , pp. 46-9.
 Inventions that Changed the World, London, Readers Digest, 1983, p. 199.
 A rare exception is a mention of charcoal burning activity in Ruth Scott, ‘The Settlement of Puhoi’, University of Auckland, MA thesis, 1935, p. 43.
 John E. Martin, The Forgotten Worker, Wellington, Allen & Unwin, 1990.
 Arthur White, Norman Meagher, Lois Francis, Ron Fitzwilliam, pers. comms.
 ‘Inhaling Charcoal Fumes: Two Men Found Suffocated’, NZ Herald, 20/8/1902, p. 5.
 Ron Fitzwilliam, pers. comm.
 Norman Meagher, pers. comm.
 Reverend Robert Hattaway, ‘History of Howick’, ms., ca 1972, p. 491 (Howick Historical Village, copy at Manukau Research Library).
 John Seymour, Forgotten Household Crafts, Sydney, Angus & Robertson, 1987.
 D.W. Kelley, op. cit., pp. 5-13.
 Reverend Robert Hattaway, Interview with Mrs R. Hattaway, ca 1947, Hattaway papers, ms. (Howick Historical Village).
 R.J. Litten, pers. comm.
Publication history: First published as The Burning and Sale of Charcoal in Manukau City in the 19th and Early 20th Century, Howick, 2002 (Howick Historical Village Monograph, no. 2). Revised by Bruce Ringer for publication on the Manukau Libraries website in March 2010 (some illustrations omitted).
Copyright © Alan La Roche. This text may be used freely for purposes of private study or research. For other purposes the permission of the author is required.
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