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BOOK REVIEW: Charcoal and Charcoal Burning

Reviewed by: Chuck Hamsa, Reviewers' Consortium, Lafayette, Louisiana

CHARCOAL AND CHARCOAL BURNING (Shire Album Number 159), By D. W. Kelley; Shire Publications, Ltd. (Cromwell House, Church Street, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire HP27 9AA, UK); 1996; 32 Pages Paperbound; ISBN Number 0-85263-731-4; Price $5.95.

This is a world wide view of the production of charcoal in this most informative title. An excellent introduction shows that those involved in the production of bronze age implements needed charcoal. And Kelly provides his readers with a more than adequate photo-journalistic description of traditional forest kilns as well as the processes of charcoal production. Such a presentation should provide enough knowledge to enable those adventurous souls to try their hand in the production of their own charcoal.

Readers also get a glimpse of the large scale commercial charcoal production processes, including large steel kilns used in Egypt, and both historical and contemporary factory operations in Britain and elsewhere. Concluding divisions survey the wide uses of charcoal as well as charcoal by-products. An interesting part of this section includes successful efforts to preserve forests in the country of Kenya because of the uses of agricultural wastes, such as bean husks to produce charcoal. Appendices include a bibliographic listing for additional research and suggestions for the various museums to visit that have information on charcoal and charcoal production.

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This page was last updated on February 24, 1997.