Wisconsin is wide awake about need to save coal -- State Journal editorial from a century ago

September 23, 2018

This State Journal editorial ran on Sept. 24, 1918, during World War I:

Of course we must keep the home fires burning. We now are talking about the fires in stove and furnace. Dreary and chilly winter days are hovering near, just a few weeks away. They’ll soon be here. That means more and hotter fires in stove and furnace.

But hot fires in the furnace will not help win the war. And that, fellow Americans, is our biggest job. So it is that we, each of us, must figure out ways and means of making our furnance fires help lick the Huns. ...

This does not mean that we shall go cold or freeze, that we shall sit in chilly rooms. It merely means we shall heat our homes intelligently. That we become efficient firemen in our own cellars. That we will get as much heat energy as possible out of the fuel we consume.

This means that we must add knowledge and thought to our daily job of keeping the home fires burning. It won’t be enough that we pitch in coal every time we feel cool. We must use less coal than in other winters.

The nation is 100 million tons of coal short. It has been figured that domestic users may save 40 million tons by using a shovelful less three times a day. The coal is needed to produce war supplies.

What coal you save relieves the railroads of coal freight to that extent, and leaves that much coal for some war industry.

It is patriotic to save coal. It is profitable to get more heat out of less coal. It is healthful not to keep homes overheated.

Keep your home fires burning — with less coal.

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