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Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company Records

Creator:
Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company  Search this
Names:
Anthracite Water Company  Search this
Extent:
17 Cubic feet (51 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Reports
Circular letters
Letterpress copybooks
Place:
Shamokin (Pa.)
Reading (Pa.)
Pennsylvania -- Anthracite coal industry
Pottsville (Pa.) -- Anthracite coal industry
Ashland (Pa.) -- Anthracite coal industry
Mahanoy City (Pa.) -- Anthracite coal industry
Schuylkill River (Pa.) -- Anthracite coal industry
Date:
1866-1927
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of approximately seventeen cubic feet of records of the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company, dating from the period 1866-1927. The bulk of the collection comprises 124 letterpress copybooks from the company's Engineering Department. These contain letters and reports sent by engineers located at the major centers of the company's operations in the Schuylkill coal field — Ashland, Mahanoy City, Pottsville, and Shamokin. They also include the Chief Engineer, the Assistant Engineer, division engineers, resident engineers, associate engineers, mining engineers and their assistants, and transitmen. Among these were George S. Clemens, Joseph B. Garner, John R. Hoffman, James F. Jones, Henry M. Luther, Roland C. Luther, Henry Pleasants, John H. Pollard, John H. Strauch, and S. B. Whiting.

Their letterpress copybooks reflect the evolving organization of the Engineering Department, as job titles were changed and individuals were promoted or transferred from one post to another. The copybooks either accompanied the man when he took up a new post or remained in the office, where they were used by his successors. The copybooks in this collection have been arranged into series by person and position. Several additional volumes have been placed in a series of miscellaneous records at the end of the collection.

The correspondence in these volumes deals with all aspects of mining construction and operations, engineering personnel matters, and coordination with the Railroad for the shipment of coal, as well as periodic reports of operations and wagon accounts detailing how much coal had been shipped. Also included is correspondence relating to the formation and operation of the Schuylkill Coal Exchange Committee, which was set up to ease competition among the railroads in the Schuylkill region.

The collection also includes eight letterpress copybooks kept by S. B. Whiting while he was General Manager and General Superintendent of the company (1882-ca. 1888) . Whiting also kept letterbooks in which he pasted letters received from his superiors: Series 1 of the collection consists of two volumes of letters received (1879-1883) from Franklin B. Gowen, President, and one volume of letters received (1881-1884) from George DeB. Keim, General Solicitor and Vice President. In addition, there are eight letterpress copybooks kept by Roland C. Luther during his tenure as General Superintendent (ca. 1888-1902) and one volume from his tenure as the company's Second Vice President (1903-1905) . Also included is a volume of printed circular letters from both the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad and from the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company (1874-1887), which is located in Series 16.

Of additional interest is the inclusion of letters relating to the operation of the Anthracite Water Company among the letterpress copybooks of George S. Clemens, who served as that company's manager in the 1910s. In addition, several of the circular letters pertain directly to the 1888 anthracite coal strike.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into 16 series.

Series 1: Letters received, S. B. Whiting, 1881-1883

Series 2: George S. Clemens, Shamokin, Ashland, and Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1875-1921

Series 3: Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1866-1881

Series 4: John H. Pollard, Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1881-1905

Series 5: John H. Pollard, T. R. Spinney, and Joseph Garner, Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1888-1911

Series 6: John H. Pollard and T. B. Van Buren, Ashland and Mahanoy City, 1902-1913

Series 7: Division Engineer, Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1902-1927

Series 8: Henry M. Luther and John H. Pollard, Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1881-1905

Series 9: Joseph S. Harris, Pottsville, 1871-1877

Series 10: J. Price Wetherill, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1879-1881

Series 11: James F. Jones and Roland C. Luther, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1881-1891

Series 12: John R. Hoffman and Roland C. Luther, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1883-1909

Series 13: Henry Pleasants and S. B. Whiting, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1874-1880

Series 14: S. B. Whiting and Roland C. Luther, Pottsville and Reading, Pennsylvania, 1877-1905

Series 15: George A. Brooke and John H. Strauch, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1879-1909

Series 16: Miscellaneous Records, 1873-1987
Biographical / Historical:
The Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Co. was organized in order to ensure its parent company, the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, a dominant position in the transportation of anthracite coal from the Schuylkill fields of eastern Pennsylvania. For thirty years after its incorporation in 1833, the Philadelphia & Reading had been the main carrier of coal from this region, shipping anthracite coal from independently owned mines to Philadelphia. By the mid-1860s, however, the company faced increasing competition from other railroads as well as interruptions in supply due to miners' strikes. In response, Franklin B. Gowen, President of the Philadelphia & Reading, decided to gain control of enough coal acreage to ensure the company's survival. However, since it was illegal for railroads to directly own coal fields or operate mines in Pennsylvania, the company had to organize a separate company for the purpose. Accordingly, the Laurel Run Improvement Company was incorporated in May 1871. By taking advantage of a loophole in the Laurel Run company's charter, the Philadelphia & Reading purchased it in November 1871, and thus circumvented the legal restrictions on railroad ownership of coal lands. The newly-acquired company was renamed the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company in December 1871.

The company quickly acquired coal lands: by 1872, 80,000 acres had been purchased; by 1874, almost 100,000 acres - approximately one-third of the entire Schuylkill coal field. Originally, the company did not intend to mine coal itself; rather, it would rent the collieries it had acquired to independent operators, with the stipulation that the end product must be shipped over the Philadelphia & Reading railroad's lines. Unfortunately, this arrangement did not prove to be either practical or profitable and the company had to take direct control of its mining operations. Despite this step, however, the Coal & Iron Company continued to be unprofitable. In 1913 the United States government brought suit against the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, claiming that its ownership of both the Coal & Iron Company and the Railroad were a monopoly of trade. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against the railroad in 1920. Under the terms of an agreement worked out by the Court, in December 1923, the Philadelphia & Reading transferred its interests in the Coal & Iron Company to a new company formed for the purpose — the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Corporation.
Related Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work & Industry has a collection of photographs from the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, 1866-1927.

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware The bulk of the surviving records of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company and its parent company, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company.
Provenance:
These records were obtained by the National Museum of American History sometime prior to 1978. They were transferred from the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources to the Archives Center in July 1989. An additional thirty-five volumes were transferred to the Archives Center in July 1996.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Anthracite coal industry  Search this
Coal -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Coal mines and mining -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Anthracite Coal Strike, Pa., 1902  Search this
Engineers  Search this
Engineering  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Reports
Circular letters
Letterpress copybooks
Citation:
Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company Records, 1866-1927, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0282
See more items in:
Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0282
Online Media:

Loaded coal barges and steamers on the Monongahela River. Active no. 13224 : stereo photonegative

Topic:
PITTSBURG, PA.
Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
H.C. White Co.  Search this
Photographer:
White, C. W.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (3-3/4" x 7".)
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Stereoscopic photographs
Place:
Monongahela River (Pennsylvania)
Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh (Pa.)
Date:
1906
Local Numbers:
RSN 1512
General:
Currently stored in box 1.1.5 [151], moved from [155].
Similar to RSN 318 and 400; "C. W. White's Pittsburg, '06" written on envelope. Orig. nos. 297-2, 50.
Collection Restrictions:
The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Boats -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Bridges -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Coal -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Docks -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Piers -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Rivers -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Wharves -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass
Stereoscopic photographs
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 1: H. C. White glass plates / 1.1: H.C. White Negatives / RSN Numbers 1418-1518
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref2383

Coke ovens near Altoona--filling with soft coal from overhead--opening and sealing doors. 5533 interpositive

Topic:
PENNSYLVANIA
Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (5" x 8")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Stereoscopic photographs
Place:
Altoona (Pa.)
Pennsylvania
Local Numbers:
RSN 20468
General:
Currently stored in box 3.2.9 [201].
Copy and Version Identification Note:
5698?
Collection Restrictions:
The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Coal -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Coke -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Factories -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Laborers -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Interpositives -- Glass
Stereoscopic photographs
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 3: Underwood & Underwood glass plates / 3.2: Underwood and Underwood Positives / RSN Numbers 20451-20550
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref26745

Lehigh Valley Coal Company Records

Collector:
Lehigh Valley Coal Company  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Agriculture, Divison of (NMAH)  Search this
Agriculture, Divison of (NMAH)  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Drawings
Specifications
Date:
1864-1865, and undated.
Scope and Contents:
Company records, including specifications, drawings and plans, photographs, and other miscellaneous archival material.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Biographical / Historical:
Mining company, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Provenance:
Collected for the National Museum of American History.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Coal -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Coal mines and mining -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Mining equipment  Search this
Anthracite coal industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 19th century
Drawings -- 19th century
Specifications
Citation:
Lehigh Valley Coal Company Records, 1864-1865, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1106
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1106

Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company Records

Collector:
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Engineering and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Engineering and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Creator:
Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Co.  Search this
Names:
Atlantic City Railroad  Search this
Mine Hill & Schuylkill Haven Railroad  Search this
Reading Belt Railroad  Search this
Bines, William H.  Search this
Boggs, George B.  Search this
Buckholz, Charles W.  Search this
Byers, Charles E.  Search this
Chamberlain, E.C.  Search this
Davis, N.M.  Search this
Gowen, Franklin B.  Search this
Jamison, Robert  Search this
Keim, George DeB  Search this
Lorenz, William  Search this
Manning, Charles P.  Search this
Nichols, Henry K.  Search this
Rice, George  Search this
Richardson, F.E.  Search this
Royers, John H.  Search this
Steele, J. Dutton  Search this
Thompson, J.W.  Search this
Whitney, E.S.  Search this
Wilson, H.T.  Search this
Wootten, John E.  Search this
Yarington, T.O.  Search this
Zacharias, H.C.  Search this
Extent:
18 Cubic feet (55 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Right of way deeds
Reports
Letterpress copybooks
Mechanical drawings
Estimates
Financial statements
Circular letters
Bills
Accident reports
Correspondence
Place:
Lackawanna County (Pa.)
Luzerne County (Pa.)
Cressona (Pa.)
Harrisburg (Pa.)
Norristown (Pa.)
Philadelphia (Pa.)
New Jersey
Sumerton (Pa.)
Cheltenham (Pa.)
Sunbury (Pa.)
Reading (Pa.)
Trenton (N.J.)
Schuylkill County (Pa.)
Pennsylvania
Date:
1860-1936
Summary:
Collection of engineering reports and correspondence from the Engineering Department of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad was most used for the transportation of anthracite coal within Pennsylvania from 1833 through the early 1970s.
Scope and Contents:
Primarily outgoing correspondence from the Engineering Department of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company, the remainder being engineering reports and other miscellaneous papers.

Series 1: Letterpress Copybooks consists of 219 volumes from various engineers, each with own index (1865-1892): were generated by Chief Engineer, Assistant Chief Engineer, various resident engineers, other lower-level engineers, and the Chief Road-Master. Bulk of copybooks created by William H. Bines and Henry K. Nichols during long careers with the Philadelphia & Reading. Other volumes contain letters and reports by Charles W. Buckholz, Charles E. Byers, William Lorenz, and others. Correspondence covers all aspects of the engineering operations of the railroad, much of it at highest levels, being addressed to the Presidents of the Reading. Also includes one letterbook from John E. Wooten (1865), Superintendent.

Series 2: Reports of Chief Engineer to Auditor, 1908-1910; structural design calculation notebooks, 1901-1935; right of way deeds, 1903; and tracings of assorted machine parts.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1: Letterpress Copybooks

Series 2: Reports and Miscellaneous papers
Biographical / Historical:
This railroad was chartered in 1833 to provide low-cost transportation from the Schuylkill and Mahanoy anthracite coal fields in eastern Pennsylvania to Philadelphia. Main line from Philadelphia to Pottsville opened 1842. Reading expanded by acquiring other railroads, and by 1869 had monopoly of coal traffic from Schuylkill anthracite region.

Expansion accelerated when Franklin B. Gowen became president (1869) and attempted to dominate entire anthracite trade. Purchased Schuylkill Canal (1870) to eliminate competition for coal trade; then organized the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company in 1871 to purchase and operate coal mines; secured over 40 percent of U.S. anthracite reserves, but debt incurred led railroad to bankruptcy and receivership (1880). Gowen's reckless style drove the Reading into second receivership (1886), and he was forced to resign.

Gowen's Successor, Archibald A. McLeod, tried to increase company control over anthracite trade (1892-1893), then control of several New England railroads. The Reading went bankrupt again and McLeod was ousted. In a reorganization (1896), the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad and the Coal & Iron Company became properties of the Reading Company, a holding company. Later additions to system were infrequent and largely confined to short branches and improvements inalignment. Due to anti-trust proceedings, company divested mining subsidiary (1923) and merged wholly owned railroad companies into an operating company. Acquired Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad 1963, went bankrupt in early 1970s, and conveyed portions of its lines to Conrail (1976). The reorganized Reading Company retains real estate and other non-rail holdings.
Related Materials:
Hagley Museum & Library, Manuscripts & Archives Department, P.O. Box 3630, Wilmington, Delaware 19807.
Provenance:
Collection donated by the Reading Company, Philadelphia, Pa., 1960s.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Railroad accidents  Search this
Railroad engineering  Search this
Railroads -- New Jersey  Search this
Railroads -- Buildings and structures  Search this
Coal mines and mining -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Coal -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Railroad companies -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Engineering  Search this
Engineers  Search this
Railroad engineers  Search this
Coal -- Transportation  Search this
Anthracite coal industry  Search this
Railroads -- Surveying  Search this
Railroad tracks  Search this
Railroads -- Maintenance and repair  Search this
Railroads -- Signalling  Search this
Transportation  Search this
Railroads -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Genre/Form:
Right of way deeds
Reports
Letterpress copybooks
Mechanical drawings
Estimates
Financial statements
Circular letters
Bills
Accident reports
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Citation:
Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0208
See more items in:
Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0208

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