The Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Industry, 1860-1902: economic cycles, business decision-making and regional dynamics

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    This is the definitive book on the economic development of the anthracite coal industry from the onset of the American Civil War to the "Great Strike" of 1902. In contrast to previous studies, it situates the industry both within its national and regional contexts. The restricted extent of the coalfields themselves is contrasted with a widening coal distribution region, stretching from the Eastern Seaboard cities to encompass Chicago and the Great Lakes ports. Against a background of fluctuating economic circumstances, the book examines the changing relationships between anthracite carrying railroads and mining companies, as the former increasingly assumed control of both coal-bearing lands and the mines and coal breakers themselves. Extensive analysis of railroad company accounts and correspondence, together with statistical data on many hundreds of mines, is used to evaluate the decision-making and investment behaviour of entrepreneurs and corporate managers, acting individually or "in combination," and to trace in the landscape the intended and unintended consequences of their actions. The text is accompanied by a wealth of figures, tables and maps to illustrate the regional and temporal dynamics of the processes involved. A central gallery of high-quality reproductions of rare historic photographs evokes with startling clarity the unique industrial landscapes of the "Coal Regions," dominated as they were by the ubiquitous coal breaker. The importance of the anthracite coal industry to America's economic growth in the nineteenth century cannot be overstated, and with this book, Richard G. Healey has deftly and convincingly illuminated this essential period of American history.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationScranton
    PublisherUniversity of Scranton Press
    Number of pages512
    ISBN (Print)9781589661509
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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