Alburtis, PA Strange Accident, May 1876
CONFLAGRATION OF A MARKET BASKET.
A queer accident is thus described by the Reading (Penn.) Times: "The wife of a farmer resident near Alburtis the other day was on her way to one of the stores in Millerstown with a lot of farm products -- butter, eggs, &c., the whole bundled up in numerous cloths. A live coal from an engine on the East Pennsylvania Railroad, alongside of the track of which she was walking, was driven into her basket, and the linens ignited unknown to her. She kept on her way, until at last a crackling noise and a column of smoke rising from her side caused her to make an investigation, when to her horror part of the butter had melted from the heat and run out of the basket's bottom, while the eggs had cracked, and escaping from the shell actually baked under the action of the fire to which they were subjected. The woman after this loss retraced her steps homeward to repair damages as far as the material left would permit."
The New York Times New York 1876-05-24