Smokeless Fuel Federation of Utah

The Smokeless Fuel Federation of Utah was a women's club that formed in the 1930s and was led by Alice Merrill Horne. While Cornelia Sorenson Lund and Alice Merrill Horne started the Salt Lake Women's Chamber of Commerce, Horne was the Executive Secretary of the Smokeless Fuel Federation of Utah and was more focused on the beneifts of smokeless coal rather than building a processing facility in Utah.  The below photographs of a stove burning ordinary coal compared to the same stove burning smokeless coal taken from the Has Science Solved the Smoke Nuisance?  pamphlet and are from University of Utah experiments. These photographs are also an example of the illustrative communications strategy which influenced women's clubs' promotional efforts more broadly. 

Has Science Solved the Smoke Nuisance Problem?

The Smokeless Fuel Federation of Utah and Executive Secretary, Alice Merrill Horne published the Has Science Solved the Smoke Nuisance Problem? pamphlet (below). The pamphlet made the consistent appeals to logic while also pleading directly to women. Also featured is a report by University of Utah researchers which urges the public to visit the commercialized coal plant at the U and take home a sample of smokeless fuel to try.

Women Ponder Over Condition

Because upon women falls the task of attempting to remove the blight of dirt and smoke, they sense smoke's damage to property, clothing, house-furnishings, houses, public buildings.

 What saving grace can women invoke to secure emancipation from the drudgery of hopeless, unending, unavailing slavish labor, suffered in our frantic effort to keep our homes clean? It cannot be denied that the cry of the house-wife for relief must be heard and every resource of statesmanship, and good government brought to bear to force the adoption of smokeless fuel, now offered to us by science as entirely practical and economical.

Has Science Solved the Smoke Nuisance Problem? Full Pamphlet 

Report of Researchers at the University of Utah

Competent engineers have analyzed the smoke probelm of Salt Lake City as follows:
  1. For the amount of coal consumed, Salt Lake City has more soot fall per square mile than London, Leeds, Glasgow, Hamburg, and even Pittsburgh.
  2. Salt Lake City is bounded by high mountains which keep the smoke from being swept away by the winds.
  3. By an intensive campaign in the residential section, it may be that as much as 60 per cent of the smoke can be eliminated through the use of natural gas, stokers, and oil burning equipment. But this is not enough. The remaining 40 percent will still comprise a destinct smoke nuisance.
  4. Salt Lake City, along with every community, large or small, should have a solid smokeless fuel which will efficiently burn in ordinary coal burning stoves, room heaters, and fire-places. Such a fuel must be sold at prices within the range of every pocketbook so that it can be enjoyed by all."

Alice Merrill Horne (1868 - 1948) was a very accomplished and civically active woman. Horne was a member of the Relief Society General Board (1902 -1916), served in the Utah Legislature (1898 - 1902) and founded the Utah Art Institute. Horne's activism originated from a personal and tragic loss of her child after drinking contaminated milk. While in the Relief Society General Board, Horne chaired the health committee and was instrumental in creating legislation for milk inspections and creating milk sanitation stations around Salt Lake City.  Read more about Alice Merrill Horne. 

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