The photo to the left shows the construction of beehive coke ovens. In the back ground a completed coke oven bank can be seen.
Two things come immediately to mind when I look at this photo .. (1) such skills as they used here .. you have to wonder if they still exist and (2) .. I can’t help but think of the term .. “back breaking labor”. 
|Wharton Coke Oven|
Two views of the Wharton Coke Oven .. a cross-section and a front view were invaluable for re-creating a coke oven in O scale. The dimensions are all there to work off of .. all in all .. a MOST excellent source.
In the book it says “.. a modern plan of the beehive coke oven as it has been constructed in a plant of 300 ovens at the Joseph Wharton Coke Works at Coral, Indiana County Pennsylvania.”
Another cross-section was also very useful as it shows the oven, the warf and the siding. Using some dimensions stated in the text I came up with this set of dimensions.
I didn’t the room for a warf that wide .. but had to selectively compress it quite a bit. Still .. lots of good info there.
|This photograph gives a good idea of the general design of these banks of coke ovens. Each beehive is buried within the mass of stone and earth. This acted as an insulator so the ovens would retain the heat over the coking period. While details varied this represents the general design pretty well.|
This Coke Oven Bank in Pennsylvania shows the larry track that sits on top of the ovens. The larrys .. basically self-propelled hopper cars would run under a coal tipple to be filled then deliver 5-6 tons of coal to an oven as needed through the charging ports on top. This is readily visible in the drawing of the Wharton coke oven.
Notice how little room they left for the workers. This warf is much smaller then even what I created in O scale.
|From information in the books .. not just diagrams and photos but lots and lots of information in the text I came up with a plan for my model. I selectively compressed the width of the ovens by 75% .. and even then I still could ohly put 16 ovens in 40 inches.|