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Lehigh Valley Anthracite Coal Industry Collection

Identifier: SC MS 0375

Scope and Contents

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”


  • Creation: 1934 - 1974

Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Please inquire about copyright information.

Biographical / Historical

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.


.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



A small collection of vintage publications, promotional material and ephemera related to anthracite coal usage in Lehigh Valley.


Materials arranged by format in three categories.

Related Materials

SC MS 0069 Bethlehem Coal Companies


Finding Aid of Lehigh Valley Anthracite Coal Industry Collection
Eleanor Nothelfer
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)