A Coal Tipples primary function was loading and sorting coal into coal cars (called hoppers) for transport. Later designs had the coal sorted and cleaned during loading. Besides this function, a Tipple represents the defining mining structure in a coal town. The following is an excellent resource on coal loading click here technology. There have been several Tipple structures within Whitby. The one I played around as a child was far larger and had metal plating. Finding Tipple photos for Whitby has NOT been easy as so many mining operations of all sizes were in this region over the last 50 years. I have guessed at the 1920's time period as the hoppers being loaded were Virginian Railway and the Spencer Fork Coal Company was still a viable operation at that time. A table has been provided below with all related links to the Tipple at Whitby WV before its removal in 1985/86.
Thanks to the contribution of Mary Legg Stevenson - "Coal Towns of West Virginia Vol 2" and Chris and Sandy Law for having a copy of the book, we can see an early photo of the Whitby Tipple. Typically, this was a basic design for that time period. A tipple of this design did NOT clean the coal. The coal was loaded as "Run of the Mine"(This meant straight from the mines). I welcome any input on this structure. I am also attempting to get Mine maps for Whitby and that is proving to be a bit challenging. More updates to follow! If I am incorrect on my understanding of coal technology, please feel free to let me know. I am always open to learning and presenting as accurate a picture of life in Whitby as possible.
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