Scranton, Pennsylvania is the geographic and cultural center of the largest of the former anthracite coal mining communities in Pennsylvania. Scranton was incorporated on February 14, 1856, as a borough and as a city on April 23, 1866. The borough and city were named for the family of George Whitfield Scranton, born May 11, 1811, one of the leaders of coal mining in this area.
We visited the Anthracite Coal Museum, located over a coal mine in Scranton. What is the difference between anthracite coal and bituminous coal you ask? Anthracite is a harder coal and therefore burns hotter, longer, and cleaner. This fuel powered the railroad locomotives, steam engines and iron furnaces that started the America’s industrial revolution. 98% of anthracite coal found in the United States is located here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
In the gift shop was a piece of coal, about the size of your fist, that was selling for $35.00. I think my father paid that amount for a ton of coal delivered to our house, which was heated by coal, in east Baltimore during the 50’s.