RE: the wrist slingshot... ummm... yea... I still have and use one. Our campground home is in an oak forest, so there are many many oaks... 14 on my property alone... and so tons of acorns... We also have hundreds of geese that we love, but sometimes they like us so much they congregate on my lawn, and... poop. Enter the slingshot and the acorns, not that it bothers them too much... They become a little aggravated, but being hit by an acorn, thwap!.. is more of an insult, than a "hurt"... I get the evil eye, and some squawks, but it's more of a game for them, and they just go about their business.
To finish off the coal burner furnaces:
1st... banking... it simply means putting new coal or coke on top of the fire, so that it will last through the night. as in putting money in the bank for later use.
The picture below, is similar to the furnace that we had in our home. At the top, a water boiler to heat the water that goes into the HW radiators in each room of the house. Below the boiler, the burner... a metal door that opens so coal can be shoveled in. The coal sits on a metal grate with interlocking teeth that are moved back and forth by a handle outside the furnace. (In the picture, the black vertical handle on the left hand side of the door that goes to the lower section). As the fire burns down the ashes drop through the grate into the bottom of the furnace where there is another door where the ash is shoveled out.
The other part of this, that was common then.. was that the cast iron furnace was covered with asbestos paste several inches thick, to insulate and keep the heat inside. That asbestos also covered all of the pipes leading from the boiler and all through the basement. The basement was often covered with asbestos dust from this insulation. The asbestos was in almost all homes, schools and businesses, usually in the basement.
As kids, in grammar school, the bathrooms were in the basement of the building, and the heating pipes (covered with asbestos) ran all across the low ceiling. The game for us boys, was to jump up to touch and scratch off the asbestos from the pipes. who knew
Coal fired asbestos covered, hot water boiler home furnace.