OWOE - Coal Power - How long has coal been used as an energy source?
How long has coal been used as an energy source?
Topic updated: 2015-09-01
Coal has been used throughout history as a heating fuel as far back as the cave man. In the 1300s, the Hopi Indians in the US Southwest used coal for cooking, heating and to bake clay pottery. Coal was rediscovered in the US by explorers in 1673, and the first commercial coal mine started in the 1740s in Virginia. Coal began to replace wood as the predominant US energy source in the late 1800s driven by the railroad's need for fuel. In the 1880s coal was first used to generate electricity for homes and factories.