The ovens that have filled me with trepidation until now I assumed to be of the type used for cooking. I was mistaken. They are far worse—they are coke ovens. South Wales is full of them, and they have also been in existence in the Sequatchie Valley of Tennessee, where my more recent ancestors lived. That is the connection.
Now that I know what they are, I have been able to summon the courage to search for information on them. Coke ovens are far, far hotter than cooking ovens. Their temperatures range from 1000 to 2000 degrees Celsius, meaning they can exceed 3600 degrees Fahrenheit. Indeed, they are objects to fear.