Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer of Pennsylvania patented a design for charcoal briquettes in 1897. (See the image to the right) After World War One, the Zwoyer Fuel Company built charcoal briquette manufacturing plants in the United States with plants in Buffalo, NY and Fall River, MA.There are stories circulating that Henry Ford invented the very first briquette in 1920 with the help of Thomas Edison. However, the 1897 patent obviously predates this and Ford and Edison both knew Zwoyer.
Ford is the man who popularized the gas-powered car in America and invented the assembly line for automobile manufacturing. Ford created a briquette from the wood scraps and sawdust from his car factory. E.G. Kingsford bought Ford's briquette and placed it into commercial production.
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