Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 593 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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COALBROOKDALE, a town and district in the Wellington parliamentary division of Shropshire, England. The town has a station on the Great Western railway, 16o m. N.W. from London. The district or dale is the narrow and picturesque valley of a stream rising near the Wrekin and following a course of some 8 m. in a south-easterly direction to the Severn. Great ironworks occupy it. They were founded in 1709 by Abraham Darby with the assistance of Dutch workmen, and continued by his son and descendants. Father and son had a great share in the discovery and elaboration of the use of pit-coal for making iron, which revolutionized and saved the English iron trade. The father hardly witnessed the benefits of the enterprise, but the son was fully rewarded. It is recorded that he watched the experimental filling of the furnace ceaselessly for six days and nights, and that, just as fatigue was overcoming him, he saw the molten metal issuing, and knew that the experiment had succeeded. The third Abraham Darby built the famous Coalbrookdale iron bridge over the Severn, which gives name to the neighbouring town of Ironbridge, which with a portion of Coalbrookdale is in the parish of Madeley (q.v.). Fine wrought iron work is pro- duced, and the school of art is well known. There are also brick and tile works. COAL-FISH (Gadus vixens), also called green cod, black pollack, saith and sillock, a fish of the family Gadidae. It has a very wide range, which nearly coincides with that of the cod, although of a somewhat more southern character, as it extends to both east and west coasts of the North Atlantic, and is occasionally found in the Mediterranean. It is especially common in the north, though rarely entering the Baltic; it becomes rare south of the English Channel. Unlike the cod and haddock, the coal-fish is, to a great extent, a surface-swimming fish, congregating together in large schools, and moving from place to place in search of food; large specimens (3 to 31 ft. long), however, prefer deep water, down to 70 fathoms. The flesh is not so highly valued as that of the cod and haddock. The lower jaw projects more or less beyond the upper, the mental barble is small, sometimes rudimentary, the vent is below the posterior half of the first dorsal fin, and there is a dark spot in the axil of the pectoral fin.

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