Letters from War – Irvin Schwartz welcomed New Year 1944 with the hope that it meant Allied victory

Irvin Schwartz looked forward to 1944 as being the year that he hoped would see the end of World War II.

A Scottish immigrant’s remarkable working history in 1850s Schuylkill County (Part 2)

This is a piece continued from last week. You can read Part 1 of our brief series on the remembrances of Robert Weir from 1914 HERE.  After describing his arrival in the Coal Region in 1852, Robert Weir turned to discussing his work in Schuylkill County as a hoisting engineer in various collieries in the … Continue reading A Scottish immigrant’s remarkable working history in 1850s Schuylkill County (Part 2)

“The great coal depot” – Illustrations of Port Richmond in Philadelphia in 1852

The development of the rich veins of coal that run beneath Schuylkill County fueled an industrial revolution in the 1850s. And much of the coal that supplied the iron furnaces, steam ships, and kept millions of Americans warm as a home heating fuel traveled to market through America's fourth largest city: Philadelphia. In late 1852, … Continue reading “The great coal depot” – Illustrations of Port Richmond in Philadelphia in 1852

“The Mine Mule Affected by the European War” – 1914

In October 1914, war raged on the European continent. In what was then called the "Great War," industrial-scale war was waged on a massive scale for the first time. Americans were paying attention. A commentator for the Pottsville Republican noted a curious thing about the suddenly mechanized armies smashing each other to pulp on the battlefields … Continue reading “The Mine Mule Affected by the European War” – 1914

Toxic gasses from a burning coal mine claimed the lives of two Tamaqua mining officials in 1858

Pennsylvania's anthracite coal fields have long been known for long-lasting mine fires. The most famous of these environmental disasters continues burning today beneath the empty town lots known as Centralia in Columbia County. Mine fires were a feared menace dating back to the first underground mines in the region. One of the early mine fires … Continue reading Toxic gasses from a burning coal mine claimed the lives of two Tamaqua mining officials in 1858

“As tempting…as California” – A traveler’s guide to Pottsville in 1852

A travel writer vividly described Pottsville and the surrounding region of Schuylkill County in 1852.

“Quite a surprise” – Tower City mine workers respond to beginning of 1902 strike

A look at the perspectives of the mine workers of far western Schuylkill County as the 1902 coal strike began.

“The Impending Strike” – Lykens on the eve of the 1902 Coal Strike

On the eve of the 1902 Coal Strike, the communities of Lykens and Wiconisco were ripped by tension as residents awaited news.