Lehigh Valley Anthracite Coal Industry Collection
Held at: Lehigh University Special Collections [Contact Us]Lehigh University, Linderman Library, 30 Library Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18045
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Lehigh University Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Anthracite coal is a unique fossil fuel found predominantly in northeastern Pennsylvania including the Lehigh Valley, Wyoming Valley, Carbon, Columbia, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wayne Counties. First discovered near Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe), Carbon County in 1791. In coal trade circles, the three producing areas of coal-bearing formations are defined as: The Schuylkill (the western and middle field and the southern field west of Tamaqua); The Lehigh (the eastern middle field and the southern field east of Tamaqua); and The Wyoming (the northern field). Philip Ginder who discovered the "Stone Coal" (anthracite) gave a sample to Colonel Jacob Weiss at Fort Allen (Weissport, Pa.) who sent specimens to Philadelphia for testing. In 1792 Weiss and several friends from Philadelphia formed the Lehigh Coal Mine Company and commenced mining operations. However, transporting the coal to Philadelphia was a problem so mining operations were suspended while the Company promoted an interest in the clean burning fuel. By 1814 coal reached Philadelphia and was purchased by Josiah White and Erskine Hazard for their wire manufacturing plant located at the Falls of the Schuylkill. In 1818 the Lehigh Navigation Company came into existence to transport the coal on the Lehigh River. The same owners also then formed the Lehigh Coal Company to mine the coal. During a drought in late 1818 when the river waters fell unabling coal arks to travel down river, White introduced a lock and dam with sluice gates to provide adequate water level for the passage of the canal boats. Josiah White obtained a patent for the design of the locks in 1819. The Lehigh Navigation and Coal Company was formed in 1820 by the merger of the Lehigh Coal Company and the Lehigh Navigation Company. Subsequently the river, the valley and the company lent its name Lehigh to the anthracite coal that was transported out of the region to Philadelphia.
A small collection of vintage publications, promotional material and ephemera related to anthracite coal usage in Lehigh Valley. The collection material is an assortment of historical information and advertising media: seven ads promoting use of coal, four booklets, four post cards for ordering coal, two price lists, one promotional item from Calypso Coal Co., Inc. Bethlehem, Pa. (name, address, phone booklet), assorted bill payment "reminders"
Materials arranged by format in three categories.
- Lehigh University Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- Eleanor Nothelfer
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.
- Use Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
Please inquire about copyright information.
1934. "Mac's Directory and Handbook of Anthracite" compiled by the
Coal Information Bureau, Pittsburgh, Pa. 40 p. 1968. Hoffman, John N. "Anthracite in the Lehigh Region of Pennsylvania,
1820-45." Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 141 p. 1974. Poliniak, Louis. "When Coal was King, Mining Pennsylvania's
Anthracite." Lebanon,Pa.: Applied Arts Publishers. 32 p. The Godfrey Conveyor Company. "The Godfrey System." Elkhart, IN. 16 p.
Calypso Coal Co., Inc. Bethlehem, PA. Heat your "Home" with Golden Glow
Coal (Name, Address & Phone - notebook) Calypso Coal & Ice Co., Inc. (three postcards) request for coal delivery Calypso Coal & Ice Co. Inc. "Heat Hints" Weston Dodson & Co., Inc. (advertisement) 1928 Announcing the arrival of Winter request for service and delivery Handling a BLACK BUSINESS on a "WHITE" BASIS (trifold Ad for prices of coal) Coal Dealer's Name (postcard sized ad)
"Do you consider your health?" "The Greatest Value of the Year Because" "Hold the Dealer Responsible" "Made to Your Order" The Black Diamond Coal Co. (Ad) "Heat Your Home For Less Money" Lehigh Valley Coal Sales Co., New York " Lehigh Valley Anthracite" 1966
Anthracite Prices Effective August 6 (two price lists) Tattersall's To folks who burn coal (bifold Ad) (Three samples of attention getting stamps to be applied to coal invoices:
Credit Report A-1 blue stamp, Your early attention… green stamp,
man holding magnifying glass tan with blue frame)