Merchants Coal Company photographs

About this collection

    The images in this collection document the construction of the town and mine buildings of Boswell, Pennsylvania, a mining town founded by Thomas Taylor Boswell (1861-1929), the first president and supervisor of the Merchants Coal Company. The town was developed to serve as housing for the company’s slope-mining operations.
    The town consisted of 1,600 lots laid out over 14,000 acres. The town and its mine were serviced by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. The mine, Orenda Mine #1, extracted semi-bituminous coal. A steam engine hoisted the coal cars up a mining slope. At its peak in the 20th century, the mine employed 900 workers and extracted over 3,000 tons of coal a day.
    Merchants Coal was a subsidiary of United Coal Company, which also operated the neighboring company town of Jerome, Pennsylvania. In 1919, the company became the Hillman Coal and Coke Company, named after the United Coal Company’s primary stockholder, J.H. Hillman, who then merged the company with the mining operations of J.H. Hillman & Sons.
    Image: Temporary Company Store, July 10, 1902.Click here to view this item in the digital collection.

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