The timeline of labor history in Pennsylvania lists significant events and influential persons in the labor movement and/or in working-class life and culture in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The timeline includes entries of non-native Pennsylvanians and events outside of Pennsylvania that shaped and reshaped labor history in Pennsylvania.
All entries are cited from the Internet, but the majority of entries and their annotations are from:
- the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Labor and Industry Heritage Markers website, http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/apps/historical-markers.html
- Stories from PA History website, http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4,
- the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance Philadelphia Co-op History website, http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/.
The timeline is a work in progress. The Pennsylvania Labor History Society invites everyone with labor history information to submit what she or he knows to the Society’s website contact person. For example, do you have information of an event, for example, the establishment of a union local or an occurrence of a local strike? Do you have information on an influential local person, for example, a leader of organized domestic servants in Pennsylvania’s northern tier? Then by all means, let the Society know for possible inclusion in the timeline.
The number in parentheses following an entry corresponds to the numbered entry on the Pennsylvania Labor History Society labor marker page.
Many thanks to the following members of the Pennsylvania Labor History Society who contributed additional information and entries and/or who acted as proofreaders: Irwin Aaronson, Charles McCollester, Kenneth Wolensky, and James Young.
I edited the entries, particularly the annotated entries, for punctuation, spelling, and verb tense (e.g. changing from present to past tense). Unless stated, all locations are in Pennsylvania.
All errors are mine and, of course, unintentional.
Charles L Lumpkins, President, Pennsylvania Labor History Society
The Timeline of Labor History in Pennsylvania
Quakers in Germantown denounced slavery in the first recorded formal protest in North America against the enslavement of Africans.
Thomas Rutter. “Pioneer ironmaster and opponent of slavery who died 1730,” Rutter “built Pennsylvania’s first ironworks” near Pine Forge in “1716. In ensuing decade he erected Point Forge and built a mansion; in the nineteenth century it was an Underground Railroad stop. Academy was founded” in 1945 in Pine Forge.” (#24)
Quaker religious leaders warned fellow Quakers who own slaves that they may be expelled from the denomination.
“Pennsylvania Rifle. Misnamed the Kentucky Rifle, this famous weapon of the frontier was developed in the 1700s at Lancaster, which was the center for its manufacture.”
“Cornwall Banks.” Located in Cornwall [in Lebanon County], “one of the world’s greatest iron mines, oldest operated continuously in the New World. It has been mined for more than two centuries, and is still the greatest iron ore deposit east of Lake Superior.” (http://explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=1-A-2A5
Conestoga Wagon. “The first known mention of a “Conestoga wagon” was by James Logan on December 31, 1717, in his accounting log after purchasing it from James Hendricks of Lancaster County” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conestoga_wagon). “Product of Conestoga Valley [in Lancaster County], developed in mid-eighteenth century by local wagon makers, this vehicle was the freight carrier of frontier days and was the ancestor of the prairie schooner. ”http://explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=1-A-60
“Martin Meylin’s Gunshop. Old gun shop, built in 1719, is located about one mile northeast” in Willow Street, Lancaster County, “before 1745, the earliest known Pennsylvania Rifle, misnamed Kentucky Rifle, was made.”
Colebrookdale Furnace.“Established on Iron Stone Creek, one half mile to the east [of Boyertown in Berks County], by James Lewis, Anthony Morris, Thomas Potts, and Thomas Rutter. Called after Colebrookdale Furnace in England, it is considered the first blast furnace to be erected in Pennsylvania, c. 1720.”
The Carpenter’s Company of Philadelphia founded to assist members with mutual assistance. http://www.carpentersco.com/about-us/philadelphia-company/
Grubb’s First Forge. Peter Grubb (c. 1700-1754) carried on his initial efforts at iron-making in 1735 just slightly to the north of Miner’s Village, Cornwell [in Lebanon County]. He used the Catalan-type forge which had originated in Spain sometime during the tenth century.
Warwick Furnacewas “built 1737 by Anna Nutt and Company, made first Franklin stoves in Knauertown in 1742. The furnace supplied shot and cannons for the American revolutionaries. Furnace a mile and a half away on side road; iron mines a mile west of the highway.”
Glen Mills.“An early American industrial village, John Taylor built Sanrum Forge here [in Glen Mills, Delaware County] ca. 1739. He erected Pennsylvania’s first iron-slitting mill, 1746, and ninety years later [the mill] was acquired by the Willcox family for its Glen Mills paper operations. Here, paper was made for U.S. currency, 1868-1878; produced so as to foil counterfeiting, it was internationally known. By 1882, when the railroad station [in Glen Mills] was built, this was a busy commercial area.”
“Hopewell Forge Mansion. “Built c.1740 by Peter Grubb, pioneer ironmaster at nearby Cornwall Furnace [in Lancaster County], and named for the Upper and Lower Hopewell Forges located on Hammer Creek near the house.”
Village of Valley Forge. “Village settled by the workers at iron forge began in 1742. The forge and part of the village were burned by the British army in 1777. Washington’s quarters during the winter of 1777-1778 were in the Isaac Potts house, a part of the original village.”
“Cornwall Furnace. The oldest fully preserved example of the early iron furnaces of Pennsylvania is a few miles away at Cornwall in Annville [in Lebanon County]. In blast from 1742 to 1883, the works are now a State historical shrine. Nearby ore banks have been mined since 1756.
Hopewell Village.“Forge built in 1744 by William Bird; furnace built 1770 by his son Mark. Furnace and other remains of an ironmaking community of the era, administered by the National Park Service, are about three miles [from Warwick in Berks County].
Hereford Furnace.“Established by Thomas Maybury in 1745 on the west bank of the Perkiomen Creek for the purpose of manufacturing iron, Maybury is credited with producing here [in Hereford, Berks County] in 1767 the first cast-iron cooking-stove in North America.”
Biery’s Port. “First structure, a grist mill, was built about 1752. Starting 1801, Frederick Biery developed the area commercially; erected several landmark stone buildings. This is the oldest part of Catasauqua (incorporated 1853) which was an early home to the anthracite iron industry” [in Lehigh County].
London Coffee House. A “scene of political and commercial activity in the colonial period, the London Coffee House opened . . . [in Philadelphia] in 1754. It served as a place to inspect Black slaves recently arrived from Africa and to bid for their purchase at public auction.”
First Mining of Pittsburgh Coal. Pennsylvania’s “bituminous coal industry was born about 1760 on Coal Hill, now Mt. Washington [in Pittsburgh]. Here the Pittsburgh coal bed was mined to supply Fort Pitt. This was eventually to be judged the most valuable individual mineral deposit in the United States.”
Carlisle Iron Works. “Founded about 1762 by John Rigbie and Company. Operated after 1781 by Michael Ege, noted ironmaster of the period. Ruins of the charcoal furnace still stand [just east of Boiling Springs, Cumberland County].”
Laughlin Mill. “Grist mill built about 1763 by William Laughlin. Owned by his family until 1896. . . . The oldest such structure remaining in this region [Newville, Cumberland County].”
“Steigel Glass Manufactory. On this site” in Manheim [in Lancaster County], “from 1763 to 1774, “Baron” Henry William Stiegel made the glass for which he is famous. Erected in 1763, the building was torn down in 1813.”
“‘Baron’ Henry William Stiegel. The famed glassmaker and ironmaster of colonial days founded Manheim in 1762, and set up his glassworks in 1764. He gave land to the local Lutheran Church which still pays his heirs one red rose a year.”
York Inter-State Fair.“Recognized as America’s oldest agricultural fair, dating its origin from a charter issued by the Penns in 1765. Discontinued after 1815, the fair has been conducted annually since 1853 by the York County Agricultural Society. The present ground [in York] has been used since 1888.
Codorus Furnace. “Erected [in Starview] in 1765 by William Bennet. Operated by James Smith, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, during the Revolutionary War. [The Furnace] is the oldest remaining landmark of the iron industry in York County.
James Forten. “A wealthy sailmaker who employed multi-racial [crew of] craftsmen, Forten was a leader of the African-American community in Philadelphia and a champion of reform causes. The American Antislavery Society was organized in his house . . . in 1833.” (#103)
The Johnson House. “Built in 1768 for John Johnson, this was home to three generations of a Quaker family who worked to abolish slavery and improve living conditions for freed African Americans. In the 1850s this house was a station on the Underground Railroad. Here and in smaller buildings on the property, men and women escaping slavery found shelter [on] their way to freedom.” (#107)
Fought’s Mill.“The nearby [Mifflinburg, Union County] mill is on the site of the earlier mill built in 1771. The original Fought’s Mill was a settlers’ refuge against Indians in Revolutionary [War] days. Here was held on November 3, 1776, Buffalo Valley’s first election under the Constitution of 1776.”
Muncy Mills. “The nearby memorial is at the site of this [Lycoming] valley’s first grist mill. It was built by John Alward about 1772 and burned by Indians in 1779. Other mills built on the site in 1783 and 1800. Last mill was used until 1872.”
Bailey’s Printshop. Francis Bailey, official printer to both the United States Congress and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, operated a printing office in Lancaster from 1773 to 1780. Here, he produced many historical imprints including Thomas Paine’s “Crisis No. 4.”
Widow Catherine Smith“built a stone house on this site [in White Deer, Union County] in 1774, operating saw and grist mills . . . During 1776, she completed the boring mill where a great many gun barrels for the Continental Army were manufactured.”
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully held in Bondage held the first of four meetings in Philadelphia. This is the first abolitionist meeting in North America. “In 1787 [the organization] became the Pennsylvania Abolition Society which sought social, educational, and employment opportunities for Blacks.” (#111)
The draft of the Declaration of Independence had a passage that condemned the slave trade, but protests from southern colonial delegates succeeded in removing the passage before the Declaration was approved.
Philadelphia Revolutionary War History sites. “Numerous historical markers commemorate North America’s first successful break with colonialism, the establishment of a stable republic, issues relating to free labor were addressed and Pennsylvania would become the first state to outlaw slave labor . . .” (#92)
Pennsylvania adopted first gradual emancipation law. All children of enslaved persons born after November 1, 1780, were to be freed on their twenty-eighth birthday.
Boatbuilding Center/Steamboat. “Flatboats and keelboats built here [in Bridgeport, West Brownsville, and Brownsville, Fayette County] for trade and downriver migration, 1780-1820. From 1825-1903, a leading steamboat construction center built over 700 steamboats. . . . Fourth steamboat built in . . . Bridgeport, 1814. Engine designed by David French, Captain Henry M. Shreve, commanding. Steamed to New Orleans, Fall, 1814 and returned June 1815, first steamboat to ascend the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.”
Union Forge. Site [Lickdale, Lebanon County] of a charcoal iron forge begun about 1782 by Curtis Grubb, owner of Cornwall Iron Furnace. Such forges transformed brittle pig iron into workable wrought iron. Union Forge, a major user of Cornwall iron, was in regular operation until 1868. By then, rolling mills were displacing forges as refiners of iron.
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully held in Bondage became the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondagecommonly known as the Pennsylvania Abolition Society with Benjamin Franklin as its first president. (#111)
John Fitch’s Steamboat.“Fitch tested near [Warminster, Bucks County] a model steamboat in 1785. Before his death in 1798, he built four mechanically successful steamboats. The first in the United States, they proved financial failures, leaving final success of the idea to Robert Fulton.”
Philadelphia printers turned out [struck] for $6 a week minimum wage and won the increase.
Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church. “Founded on ground purchased by Richard Allen in 1787, this congregation is the mother church of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination. The present structure, erected 1889, replaces three earlier churches on this site.” (#109)
The church “was the second African American mutual-aid society to open in the United States. Mutual-aid societies are considered the precursors to formal cooperatives.” http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/
Bedford Furnace. “First iron furnace in the Juniata region. Famous as a center for making quality charcoal iron. Located on Black Log Creek below its junction with Shade Creek [just south of Orbisonia, Huntingdon County]. Completed about 1788.”
Old Forge. “On the south bank of the Lackawanna River” in what is now the town of Old Forge [in Lackawanna County] “was located the iron forge built 1789 by Dr. William Smith and James Sutton. This was the region’s oldest forge, after which the town was named.”
Alliance Furnace. “First furnace [built] west of the Alleghenies. Built 1789 on banks of nearby Jacob’s Creek [in Perryopolis, Fayette County], its ruins are still observable. Supplied iron for Wayne’s campaign in 1794 against the Indians.”
Juniata Iron. “Along the streams of this region around Lewistown [Unionville, Port Matilda, Mifflintown, and Orbisonia, mainly in Centre County] are ruins of many charcoal iron furnaces and forges built between 1790 and 1850. Juniata iron was the best in America. Its reign ended with the rise of coal and coke iron making.”
Philip Ginter.“While hunting, Ginter discovered anthracite on Sharp Mountain [in Carbon County] in 1791. He showed it to Colonel Jacob Weiss, a prominent area settler. In 1792 Weiss and others formed the Lehigh Coal Mine Company, the first anthracite company and a forerunner of Lehigh Coal & Navigation.”
Centre Furnace. “Here Colonels John Patton and Samuel Miles operated the first charcoal iron furnace in the region, 1792-1809. Present stack [just northeast of State College] was used from 1825 to 1858. In this era Centre County led in the making of Juniata iron.”
Shadyside Iron Furnace.“Built on lowlands . . . in 1792, birth of the iron industry in the Pittsburgh region, it made stove and grate castings. Closed about a year later [because of] lack of ore and wood.”
Williamson Road. “Here the road builders late in 1792 ended work. After facing starvation, they were rescued by canoes and supplies from Painted Post. Canoe Camp derived its name from the incident. At Liberty was located a storage depot known as the Block House. It was built of logs, about 20×40 feet in size. Supplies were kept there and bread baked for the road builders, 1792-96.” (#126, #127)
The United States Congress enacted the first Fugitive Slave Law announced criminal punishment for persons who assisted escaped slaves.
Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. “Here [in Elizabeth] were the boatyards of John and Samuel Walker, a major center for building boats for western waters. A ship launched in 1793 at these yards reached Philadelphia via New Orleans.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
Johnstown. ”Named for Joseph Johns, the pioneer settler in 1793. Pennsylvania Canal-Portage Railroad terminal opened 1834. Birthplace of steel industry in United States. William Kelly developed the converter type blast furnace in 1857-1858. Steel rails rolled in 1867.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
Lucretia C. Mott. “Nearby [Elkins Park, Montgomery County] stood “Roadside,” the home of the ardent Quakeress, Lucretia C. Mott. Her most notable work was in connection with antislavery, women’s rights, temperance, and peace.” (#89)
Journeymen cordwainers formed the Federal Society of Journeymen Cordwainers in Philadelphia. (http://explorepahistory.com/story.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=1)
African Zoar Methodist Episcopal Church founded in Philadelphia “in 1794 by fifteen men and three women from St. George’s Church, led by Reverend Harry Hosier. Zoar was active in the Underground Railroad and moved to 12th and Melon Streets in 1883. [The church] is United Methodism’s oldest Black congregation.” (#106)
Russell Tavern. “The original building in which George Washington lodged in October 1794 while engaged in quelling the Whiskey Rebellion is standing just” north of Gettysburg. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
Phillip Benner. “The ironmaster’s home was at Rock. Here also were the first forge, 1794, and a nail and slitting mill. A founder of Bellefonte; leader in Centre County affairs until his death in 1832.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
Freedom Forge. “Iron and steel have been made here [in the Burnham area] for over 150 years. Freedom Forge, 1795, became Freedom Iron and Steel Company in 1867. [It was] the third Bessemer plant in nation. Open hearth steel first made here in 1895.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552747&mode=2)
Stephen Smith. Born in 1795 in Lancaster County, Smith moved to Philadelphia in the 1810s. “An abolitionist, Smith bought his freedom and was one of America’s wealthiest Blacks with his coal, lumber, and real estate ventures. He was the major benefactor of the Stephen Smith Home for the Aged, located here.” (#97)
Philadelphia cabinetmakers went on strike
Philadelphia carpenters went on strike
Albert Gallatin’s glassworks in New Geneva, Pennsylvania, established a profit-sharing plan.
Pittsburgh Glass Works.“First glass factory in Pittsburgh was established . . . by James O’Hara and Isaac Craig in 1797. It manufactured bottles and window glass until the 1880s. The works was a precursor of Pittsburgh’s rise as the nation’s largest glass producer.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
The United States Congress rejected eighty-five to one an antislavery petition that free black Philadelphians presented.
Henry’s Gun Factory.“Here [in Belfast] rifles and other firearms were made for use in the War of 1812. Built by William Henry, II, about 1800, the famous Henry shotgun was made here as late as 1904.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552748&mode=2)
William Whipper. “A founder, American Moral Reform Society, he edited its journal, 1838-1839. Active in the Underground Railroad, he aided hundreds of slaves passing through Columbia, Pennsylvania, 1847-1860. Whipper “conducted lumber business in Columbia & this city [Philadelphia]. Later lived [in Philadelphia].” (#100)
Log Grist Mill.“This reconstructed early log mill was built originally at Roxbury [just north of Jennertown] by a miller named Cronin in 1805. It was in operation until 1918. It is now used as the Mountain Playhouse. As restored, it is a fine example of an early mill.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552750&mode=2)
Coleraine Forges. “Nearby [Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County] are the sites of two forges, built in 1805 and 1809 by Samuel Marshall. Juniata iron became famous as the best of the charcoal iron made 1790-1850. Spruce Creek was noted for its ironworks.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552744&mode=2)
Old Glassworks. “On this site, the first glass factory west of the Monongahela River was established in 1805 through the stimulating influence of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury under President Thomas Jefferson. Glass was made [in Greensboro, Greene County] here until 1849.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552744&mode=2)
Philadelphia Cordwainers Conspiracy Case. “Philadelphia journeymen shoemakers [cordwainers] with the leadership of Peter Polin and Undriel Backes, unionized and struck for higher wages. The boss had them arrested for conspiracy. The judge instructed the jury to find them guilty, which they proceeded to do. Beaten but unbowed, the shoemakers refused to slink back to a boss and organized a cooperative boot and shoe factory instead.” http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/
Hickory Grove Cemetery. “One of the oldest known cemeteries associated with African Americans in northeastern Pennsylvania. Established in 1807 in Waverly, then known as Abington Center, the cemetery is the burial ground for many fugitives from slavery who came to the area via the Underground Railroad in the mid-nineteenth century. By the end of the nineteenth century there were seventy-five former slaves in Waverly. This cemetery is evidence of the former African American community here [in Waverly].” (#69)
Abijah Smith & Company. “Established 1807 by Abijah Smith, who had bought seventy-five acres here [in Plymouth, Lucerne County] on Ransom Creek and was later joined by his brother John. Their shipments of coal by ark down the Susquehanna, begun in 1807, continued for twenty years. This company was, in 1818, the first to extract Pennsylvania coal by powder blasting. In the same family almost seventy years, the company was considered the first commercially successful U.S. anthracite firm.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Shot Tower. “First in the nation, built [in Philadelphia in] 1808 by Thomas Sparks & John Bishop to make hunting shot, it symbolized a new U.S. industrial independence. Bishop, a Quaker, sold his share when ammunition was made here for the War of 1812. The Sparks family stayed in control until 1903.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552749&mode=2)
Susquehanna County was “formed on February 21, 1810, out of Luzerne County, named after the Susquehanna River. [The county was] home of Galusha A. Grow, sponsor of the 1862 Homestead Act. Montrose, county seat incorporated 1824, was an early Abolitionist center and stop on the Underground Railroad.” (#125)
Old Woolen Factory.“A short distance southeast from Forksville, along the Loyalsock, is the site of old factory established in 1810 by Samuel Rogers, Jr. During the War of 1812, it made kersey cloth for the army. Flood in 1816 stopped operation of the factory.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552750&mode=2)
Pennsylvania Furnace. “The remaining buildings [at Pennsylvania Furnace, Huntingdon County] were part of the iron works established about 1810. Operating first as a charcoal iron manufactory, the furnace later used coke. Iron was made here as late as 1888.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552744&mode=2)
Eagle Ironworks. “At nearby Curtin [just northeast of Milesburg, Centre County], making iron was begun about 1810 by Roland Curtin. The last old-style furnace in the United States was in blast here and ceased operation in 1922.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
Robert Purvis. Born in 1810 in Charleston, South Carolina, Purvis’s parents moved the family to Philadelphia in 1819. “An abolitionist, Purvis fought for the rights of Blacks through his lecturing, writing, and activity in antislavery societies. As an agent for the Underground Railroad, he built a secret area here at his house to hide slaves.” (#93)
Hunter Mill. “This pioneer grist mill was built [just south of McConnellsburg at Webster Mills] in 1812 by William Hunter. It has been in use continuously since that date. It is powered by a water wheel and uses much of the old-style machinery in its present operation.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552743&mode=2)
Martin Delany. “Delany was an influential abolitionist, civil rights activist, Army officer, and prominent physician. The son of an enslaved father and free mother, Delany received his education in Chambersburg. He went on to publish an anti-slavery newspaper, ‘The Mystery.’ He worked along with Frederick Douglass to champion freedom and later became the first commissioned African American officer in the United States Army.” (#59)
Saltsburg. “First salt well in the vicinity was drilled, 1813-1814. By the 1830s this area had become a leading U.S. salt producer. Important to its shipment was the Pennsylvania Canal’s Western Division. The canal crossed here [in Saltsburg], 1829-1864, and was the lifeline of this small town.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552745&mode=2)
Perry’s Shipyards. “Perry’s ships, the Lawrence, the Niagrara, and the Ariel, were built in spring 1813, at the foot of this street. His warehouses, blockhouse, and lookout station were also located here in Erie.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552742&mode=2)
Ann Preston, M.D. “A pioneer physician and educator, in 1860 Preston founded the Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she later established one of the nation’s first nurses’ training schools. A graduate of the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, she became its dean in 1865, the first American woman to hold such an office. She was a Quaker dedicated to women’s rights and an abolitionist involved in the Underground Railroad.” (#34)
Karthaus Furnace. “Near [Karthaus, Clearfield County] stood the iron furnace erected 1817 by Peter Karthaus. Rebuilt 1836 by Peter Ritner and John Say, it became in 1839 one of the earliest to use coke in place of charcoal. Abandoned at the end of .” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
Oil-Producing Salt Well.“Drilled here [in Lawrence Corners, Crawford County] in 1815 by Samuel Magaw and William Clark to reach brine, a frontier source of salt. When it was deepened by Daniel Shryock to 300 feet in 1819, oil was struck. Because of this unwanted byproduct, the well and salt works here were closed, 1821. This early yield of oil from a drilled well occurred [forty] years before Edwin L. Drake’s 1859 discovery near Titusville.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
Bethel A.M.E. Church. In Carlisle, among “the earliest (c. 1820) African American congregations located west of the Susquehanna River.” The church was the “site of Underground Railroad activity. Abolitionists John Peck and John B. Vashon were members. A.M.E. national Bishops Daniel Payne and Wills Nazrey were associated with the church.” (#41)
William Still. “While living here [in Philadelphia], he was an Underground Railroad agent who helped slaves escape and kept records so relatives could find them later. A wealthy coal merchant, Still also helped found the first Black YMCA.” (#98)
Thomas Garrett. ”Born at Riverview, near [Thornfield, Delaware County], Garrett was a prominent abolitionist and Underground Railroad activist. He moved to Wilmington, Delaware, in 1822, and sent many fugitive slaves to his brothers at Riverview, Fernland Farms, and here at Thornfield. He was a devout Quaker and associate of Harriet Tubman and William Still. Although convicted and fined, Garrett aided 2,700 freedom seekers; his commitment to their emancipation was unwavering.” (#52)
Abraham L. Pennock. “This prominent abolitionist and patron of the arts resided here at Hoodland [near Upper Darby] until his death in 1868. The home had been built in 1823 by his father-in-law, John Sellers II. A leader in the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, Abraham Pennock also was an advocate of woman suffrage, and active in the temperance movement. Notable visitors to his home included John Greenleaf Whittier and James Russell Lowell.” (#49)
Richard Henderson. “Born a slave in Maryland in 1801, Henderson escaped as a boy and about 1824 came to Meadville. A barber, he was long active in the Underground Railroad. His Arch Street house, since torn down, is estimated to have harbored some 500 runaway slaves prior to the Civil War.” (#39)
America’s First Iron Steamboat. “The “Codorus,” built in York by John Elgar, was launched at present-day Accomac on the Susquehanna River, Nov. 22, 1825. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552754&mode=2)
John Brown’s Tannery. Abolitionist John Brown of Ossawatomie and Harper’s Ferry actions worked as a tanner in New Richmond. (#38)
Freedom Road. “In search of freedom, men and women brought from the South by the ‘Underground Railroad’ settled . . . in 1825 and later” in what is now Loyalsock Township just north of Williamsport. “After 1850, most of them went on to Canada. Their cemetery, still in use, lies a short distance above the road.” (#88, see also #87)
African American delegates from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia meet in Philadelphia in the first of a series of National Negro Conventions to devise ways to challenge the system of chattel slave labor in the South and racial discrimination in the North.
John Studebaker. “Had his wagon works 2.5 miles southeast of here [Heidlersburg, Adams County], 1830 to 1836, when he moved west. In 1852 his sons formed the Studebaker Company, the world’s largest maker of horse-drawn vehicles and, in 1897, a pioneer in the automobile industry.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
Wyoming Division Canal. “Built by the State of Pennsylvania, 1831-1834, this canal opened the Wyoming Valley’s anthracite field to the mid-Atlantic coal trade. Along with the railroads, it ultimately enabled this valley [in Lucerne County] to become the world’s largest anthracite coal producer. Part of the North Branch Canal, the line ran seventeen miles from West Nanticoke to Pittston; a public-boat basin was on this site. The Wyoming division closed in 1882.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Phineas Davis. “Site of the shop [in York] where, in 1831, Davis designed and built first coal-burning locomotive steam engine in United States, called “The York.” Here, also was built “The Codorus,” first iron steamboat made in America. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552754&mode=2)
Cumberland Valley Railroad.“Incorporated in 1831. Completed [from] Lemoyne to Chambersburg, 1837; eventually, Harrisburg to Virginia. For over eighty years, vital to Valley’s economic life; merged into Pennsylvania Railroad, 1919. Passenger station, stationmaster’s house here [in Mechanicsburg], built in the 1860s. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
“The earliest ‘building and loan’ cooperative . . . opened in Philadelphia. The 1830s saw the first cooperative building, banking, and credit association. Some of these made it through the depression of the late 1830s and 1840s, only to be wiped out, along with almost every cooperative in the United States by the Civil War.” (http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/)
John Siney was a “pioneering labor organizer and leader of the Workingmen’s Benevolent Association (WBA) of Schuylkill County, a union of anthracite mineworkers. Formed nearby in 1868, WBA had 20,000 members in twenty-two districts; secured state mine safety laws and the first labor contract in the industry. Siney was president of the Miners National Association and was active in the Greenback Labor Party.” (#119)
Duffy’s Cut Mass Grave located in the town of Malvern. “Nearby is the mass grave of fifty-seven Irish immigrant workers who died in August, 1832, of cholera. They had recently arrived in the United States and were employed by a construction contractor, named Duffy, for the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad. Prejudice against Irish Catholics contributed to the denial of care to the workers. Their illness and death typified the hazards faced by many nineteenth century immigrant industrial workers.” (#35)
The American Anti-Slavery Society founded in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. “Organized in 1833 by Quaker abolitionist Lucretia Mott, this society, headquartered here, originally consisted of sixty women who sought to end slavery. After the Civil War, the society supported the cause of the freed slaves.” (#113)
Textile workers went on strike in the town of Manayunk [Philadelphia].
The National Trades’ Union, the first national labor federation, was established. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“Pennsylvania [provided] for tax-supported compulsory education.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Allegheny Portage Railroad. “From 1834 to 1854 this thirty-six-mile line connected Hollidaysburg to Johnstown. The railroad portaged canal boats over the Allegheny Mountains, which formed a barrier to the Pennsylvania canal system. Horses and mules pulled the first trains. Later steam locomotives were used. At the center of the line, Plane #2 served as the railroad headquarters.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
“The Philadelphia cabinetmakers union opened a cooperative warehouse. By 1836, the warehouse was one of the largest in the city. Soon much of the Philadelphia trade union movement swung to cooperation: the handloom weavers opened five shops in 1836, soon followed by the tailors, hatters, and saddlers.” http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/
Thomas Morris Chester of Harrisburg. “Journalist, educator, lawyer. Born here, 1834. Taught in Liberia, 1857-61. Recruited Black soldiers in Civil War; noted as war correspondent. In Europe for freedmen’s aid; was admitted to the English bar in 1870. Held major posts in Louisiana, 1873-83. Died nearby, 1892.” (#48)
Skilled workers’ strike, including carpenters, masons, and stone-cutters went on strike for the ten-hour workday and a general strike ensued in Philadelphia. The strikers won reduced working hours and higher wages.
Elijah Heath (1796-1875). “Outspoken abolitionist and judge, in 1835 Heath and others rescued two fugitive slaves, Charles Brown and William Parker. Heath, a Brookville resident, was sued by a Virginia slaveholder and fined for his actions. Undeterred, Heath continued his Underground Railroad activities.” (#66)
The first federal government employee work stoppage begins when employees at the Washington and Philadelphia Navy yards struck for the 10-hour day and for general redress of their grievances. (http://www.afgelocal720.org/history.html)
Daniel Kaufman. “An Underground Railroad agent from 1835 to 1847, he was sued by a Maryland slave owner. He was ultimately fined $4,000 in 1852, in a case that drew wide attention. Kaufman had provided food and transportation to fugitive slaves passing through this area; his barn and a densely wooded area nearby furnished shelter. In 1845, Kaufman laid out the village of Boiling Springs.” (#40)
Bookbinders’ went on strike in Philadelphia.
Valley Furnace. [Located near New Philadelphia, Schuylkill County], “first furnace to use only anthracite for fuel in 1836 was built by Dr. F.W. Geissenhainer, who patented the method in 1833. Process was in use continuously by the Pottsville or Pioneer Furnace in 1839 and after.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552750&mode=2)
“The Philadelphia Trades’ Union adopted a resolution to ‘place in the Constitution a clause allowing the funds of the Union to be loaned to the Societies (individual unions) for the purpose of Cooperation.’ Its official newspaper urged each union to raise a fund through regular member contributions to get capital to begin. At the same time each union was to contribute monthly to the Trades’ Union fund to help start cooperatives. A conference of nearly two hundred union delegates in 1837 resolved that each union work out an estimate for setting up a cooperative to support ten members. But in the middle of this conference, the capitalist financiers panicked, beginning a new depression that temporarily wiped out not only the cooperatives but almost the entire union movement.” http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/
The Philadelphia Vigilence Committee is organized to help fugitive slaves escape their pursuers.
President Jackson declares the ten-hour day in the Philadelphia Navy Yard to quell discontent caused by Panic of 1837. (http://www.afgelocal720.org/history.html)
Bethel A.M.E. Church. Free African Americans erected “Berks County’s oldest Black church building in 1837” in Reading; “became an Underground Railroad station for escaped slaves seeking freedom. Rebuilt 1867; remodeled 1889. Congregation, dating from 1822, moved to Windsor Street in 1974.” (#25)
Greenwood Furnace. “Built about 1837 to supply iron to Freedom Forge near Lewistown. Restored stack, the Church, Big House, and store common to ironmaking communities remain. Works closed 1904, the last to operate in this region [in eastern Huntingdon County].” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Jacob C. White Jr. “A Black educator who lived Philadelphia, White was the principal of the Robert Vaux School for forty years. He was a founder of the city’s first Black baseball club, the Pythians, and the first President of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital.” (#101)
Robert Mara Adger. “Businessman, activist, bibliophile lived here. Director, Philadelphia Building & Loan Assn., pioneering Black firm. Amassed and donated a major collection of rare books, pamphlets on Blacks, antislavery. Founded Afro-American Historical Society.” (#105)
Pennsylvania Hall. “Built on this site in 1838 by the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society as a meeting place for abolitionists, this hall was burned to the ground by anti-Black rioters three days after it was first opened.” (#112)
One-third of the nation’s wageworkers are unemployed because of economic hard times. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Brady’s Bend Works.“Located near [Allegheny River Bridge, Armstrong County], 1839-1873, organized as the Great Western and later known as the Brady’s Bend Iron Company. One of that era’s largest iron works, and first to make iron rails west of the Alleghenies.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
United States President Martin Van Buren proclaimed the ten-hour workday without reduction in pay for all federal employees on public works. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Coke Ovens. “The bee-hive ovens nearby are typical of the region [just west of Perryopolis, Fayette County]. Coke was first made from coal near Connellsville in this type oven about 1840. Since 1870 use of coke has been vital to steel making.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552743&mode=2)
Blossburg Coal.“From 1840-1890, ‘Bloss’ coal from the mines of the nearby region [just north of Morris, Tioga County] was widely known and used as smithing and steam coal. Tioga in those years was a leading county in bituminous coal production in the U.S.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552751&mode=2)
Lackawanna Iron Company. “Iron was forged in Slocum Hollow by 1797. Nearby are remains of Lackawanna Iron Company works, began 1840 by Scranton and associates.” The company manufactured “iron rails for the Erie R.R.” in 1847 and began “steelmaking in 1875. The works closed in 1902.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Crane Iron Works. “The first long-term commercially successful anthracite iron furnace opened July 4, 1840, here in Catasauqua. Built for the Lehigh Crane Iron Co. by David Thomas, it soon made 50-60 tons of pig iron a week. By 1868 the works had six furnaces; production ceased, 1930.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Connellsville Coke Region. ”Located in Fayette and Westmoreland Counties, the region’s abundant high quality Pittsburgh vein coal yielded superior coke, used to smelt iron. This refined form of coal was produced in beehive ovens from the mid-19th century to the 1970s. Immigrant and migrant workers who settled here after the Civil War provided labor for the booming coke industry. Byproduct ovens built near steel mills eventually rendered beehives obsolete.” (#55)
Jonathan Jasper Wright. “Jurist, educator, politician. The son of runaway slaves, Wright became the first black lawyer in Pennsylvania. He supported Frederick Douglass in advocating suffrage and legal equality for blacks. During Reconstruction in 1870, he was appointed South Carolina State Supreme Court justice, the first African American United States Appellate Judge. Wright’s boyhood home was here in Springville.” (#124)
The United States Supreme Court ruled in Prigg v. Pennsylvania that states do not have to offer aid in the hunting or recapture of fugitive slaves within their borders.
Thaddeus Stevens. “Lawyer, congressman, abolitionist, ironmaster, and defender of free public schools in Pennsylvania, lived in a house that stood on this site. He moved from here [Gettysburg] in 1842.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
Ralston Thresher. “Nearby [West Middletown, Washington County] was the site of the Robert McClure factory of pre-Civil War days. It pioneered in marking Andrew Ralston’s machine cleaning and threshing grain in a single operation, patented in 1842.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552753&mode=2)
Sylvania Colony. “The site of Horace Greeley’s Utopian colony modeled on Brook Farm and the ideas of Fourier, French Socialist, was located here. Based on common property holding and equal labor, it failed in 1845 after July frosts had killed all crops.” (#116)
Hosanna Meeting House located in the town of Oxford. “Founded by free Blacks who had settled in this area, it was first known as the “African Meeting House.” Formally organized in 1843 as an African Union Methodist Protestant church. A station stop on the Underground Railroad, its many visitors included Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth.” (#36)
Thomas J. Foster. “Pioneer in education by mail, editor, publisher, veteran, was born Pottsville, Jan. 1, 1843. Founded the “World Schoolhouse,” the International Correspondence Schools, in 1891. An early advocate of mine safety laws. Died in Scranton, Oct. 14, 1936.” (#67)
Militant strikes of women cotton mill workers in Allegheny City (now part of Pittsburgh) struck for the ten-hour workday and formed the ten-hour campaign in western Pennsylvania cotton mills. (#4)
Rescue of Anthony Hollingsworth. “On June 26, 1845, this 12 year-old fugitive slave was captured by slave hunters. Armed residents surrounded the hotel where he was held & demanded his release, defying federal law. Judge Thomas White freed him in the old courthouse on this site.” (#60)
Dr. Robert Mitchell (1786-1863). “Outspoken opponent of slavery, Mitchell was widely known as an abolitionist. In September 1845, he harbored five fugitives from slavery on his property here. Following a raid by bounty hunters, two men escaped; three were returned to slavery. Mitchell was tried and convicted for violating the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, and suffered heavy financial losses. The incident contributed to the more restrictive Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.” (#61)
Early Telegraph. “First commercial telegraph line in the United States ran along a railroad right-of-way,” beginning in Elizabethtown. “Completed from Lancaster to Harrisburg, 1845. The first message, ‘Why don’t you write, you rascals?,’ was received, January 8, 1846.” (www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Slate Industry. “Slatington has been one of the centers of the slate industry since about 1845. From here came slate for roofs and old-time school slates and pencils, helping maintain the state as leading slate producer.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Clay Furnace.“Just west of Charleston [in Mercer County], the furnace was the “first successful use of raw bituminous coal in place of charcoal, 1846; and of unmixed Lake Superior iron ore in 1856. Built in 1845 by Vincent & Himrod; named for Henry Clay. [The furnace was] abandoned in 1861.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552747&mode=2)
Helen Furnace. “Just west of [Clarion] can be seen the well-preserved interior of cold blast furnace built in 1845. It was one of numerous iron furnaces operated in Clarion County from about 1829-1867. The County, then, was often referred to as “The Iron County.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
House of Industry. “Founded 1846, this was Pennsylvania’s first such institution. Irish Catholics, other immigrants, & native-born were its constituency. Services to the needy included training programs for persons seeking work, designed to encourage their ultimate independence.” (#95)
Susquehanna Log Boom. “Six-mile series of piers, built by a company incorporated in 1846; used to collect and store logs during the spring log drives down the West Branch [of the Susquehanna River]. Helped make Williamsport the world’s lumber capital prior to 1900. Badly damaged in 1889 flood, the boom declined thereafter.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
House of Industry.“Founded 1846 [in Philadelphia], this was Pennsylvania’s first such institution. Irish Catholics, other immigrants, and native-born were its constituency. Services to the needy included training programs for persons seeking work, designed to encourage their ultimate independence.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552749&mode=2)
Pennsylvania enacted the ten-hour workday law.
Slate Industry. “Robert M. Jones of Wales, who came here [East Bangor, Northampton County] in 1848 as an immigrant, began the slate quarrying industry. The region became a major world center for slate. From here came slate for roofs and old-time school slates and pencils.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552748&mode=2)
Child labor law: “Pennsylvania became one of the few pioneering states to address the issue by restricting children to ten hours of work per day and sixty per week. Children under twelve were also prohibited from working in textile factories, while those under sixteen were permitted to work provided that they attended school for three months each year. But the law was poorly enforced and child labor continued to spread.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/things/4280/child_labor/478193)
Henry Clay Frick. “The steel and coke magnate was born about one mile from [Scottdale] on December 19, 1849. Birthplace and Historical House, the Overholt home is now preserved as a historical museum. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552753&mode=2)
Philadelphia Seamstresses’ Union forms a cooperative. http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/
Terence V. Powderly. ”Noted labor leader, [Terence Powderly was] born January 22, 1849, in Carbondale. [He was] Grand Master Workman of the Knights of Labor, 1879-1893; Scranton’s Mayor, 1878-1884; later Federal immigration official. Died in 1924. His home was” in West Scranton. (#71)
Pennsylvania Railroad Shops.“The Pennsylvania Railroad built its first repair facilities . . . in 1850 and opened its first track to Altoona during the same year. By 1925, Altoona was home to the nation’s largest concentration of railroad shops, with 16,500 people employed in several locations.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552739&mode=2)
Underground Railroad, Harrisburg. “In the 1850s, this area, known as Tanner’s Alley, was important on the Underground Railroad. Fugitive slaves hid at Joseph Bustill’s & William Jones’s houses, a block apart. Frederick Douglass & William Lloyd Garrison spoke at Wesley Union AME Zion Church nearby.” (#42)
Underground Railroad Activity in Chambersburg. “Throughout the pre-Civil War period, there were a number of Underground Railroad “stations” in this area, temporary places of refuge for former slaves escaping through the mountainous terrain to freedom in the North. One local Underground Railroad agent was a free black barber, Henry Watson, who assisted fugitive slaves as they passed through Chambersburg, helping to keep them safe and undetected by the slave-catchers and bounty hunters searching for them.” (#57)
Underground Railroad. “This old stable was a station on the Underground Railroad” in Lewisburg. “Here fugitive slaves were hidden, fed, and aided in reaching the next station on their journey.” (#129)
Benjamin Walker Homestead. “Before and during the Civil War, Benjamin Walker, Abner Walker, Sr., and George Harbaugh worked closely with African American Underground Railroad conductors John Fiddler, Elisa Rouse, and Joseph Crawley. Hundreds of fugitive slaves were led from the Pennsylvania-Maryland border through Bedford County via the Walker Homestead, across the mountain and north to freedom. Participation in the UGRR was dangerous, because of the proximity to the Maryland border.” (#21)
Frances E.W. Harper. Born in 1825 in Baltimore, Maryland, “author, lecturer, and social activist, Harper lived here and devoted her life to championing the rights of slaves and free Blacks. She advocated education as a way of advancement for Black American.” (#94)
Christiana Riot. “The 1850 federal Fugitive Slave Act strengthened the position of slave owners seeking to capture runaways. Pursuing four escaped slaves, Maryland farmer Edward Gorsuch arrived Sept. 11, 1851, at the Christiana home of William Parker, an African American who was giving them refuge. Neighbors gathered, fighting ensued, and Gorsuch was killed. This incident did much to polarize the national debate over the slavery issue.” (#73)
Institute for Colored Youth. “Begun as a farm school. In 1852 it became one of the first schools to train Blacks for skilled trades and teaching. It gained recognition here under Fanny J. Coppin, principal, 1869-1902. Relocated, it later became Cheyney University.” (#96)
California Boatyards was “a major steamboat building center on the Monongahela River [in California, Pennsylvania], 1852-1879. No fewer than 131 boats were constructed here (seventy-four in the 1850s alone), primarily for the western river trade. The boatyards ceased operations when the railroad, PV&C, acquired the right-of-way, 1879.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552753&mode=2)
Cambria City. “Founded in 1853, this neighborhood was the first home to immigrants who came to Johnstown to find work in the coal mines and steel mills. Nationality churches and ethnic clubs exemplify the neighborhood’s rich and diverse culture.” (#28)
William Camp Gildersleeve (1795-1871). “Prominent merchant and ardent abolitionist significant to the Underground Railroad in Wilkes-Barre. He provided refuge to fugitive slaves at his home and business near here. In 1853, Gildersleeve testified in a U.S. Supreme Court case, Maxwell vs. Righter, in which a fugitive, William Thomas, was shot and wounded by deputy U.S. marshals. The case and his testimony received national attention, especially in African American newspapers.” (#84)
Kier Refinery.“Using a five-barrel still, Samuel M. Kier erected [in Pittsburgh] about 1854 the first commercial refinery to produce illuminating oil from pertroleum. He used crude oil from salt wells at Tarentum.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
Freedom Road Cemetery. Daniel Hughes (1804-1880), a barge owner and “lumber raftsman on the Susquehanna River, lived” in Loyalsock Township just north of Williamsport in “1854-1880. . . . He brought fugitive slaves” to what is now called Freedom Road “from Maryland, protecting them before they continued north via the Underground Railroad. Hughes gave part of his land for a cemetery, and among those buried here are nine known African-American veterans of the Civil War. The cemetery has borne its present name since 1936.” (#87, see also #88)
York Iron Company Mine. “Site of the last visible remains of an industry that had a major impact on southwest York County. This mine opened in 1854—the year iron ore was first discovered nearby—and was later purchased by York Iron. At the industry’s height, fifteen mines were in operation here, bringing hundreds of skilled miners from England and Wales. Rising prices and cheaper iron elsewhere caused the mines to close by 1888.” (#138)
Abolition Hall located in the town of Plymouth Meeting, “The Antislavery meeting hall here, opened in 1856, brought many leading abolitionists speakers as guests of George Corson and his wife, Martha Maulsby Corson. Built over a carriage shed, the hall could accommodate up to 200 visitors. The family’s 1767 homestead here had already long been a station on the Underground Railroad. Later, 1881-1895, Abolition Hall was the studio of son-in-law Thomas Hovenden, who painted ‘Last Moments of John Brown.’” (#91)
“Jay Gould. The first business venture of the noted speculator and railroad manipulator was in a village, then called Gouldsboro [now Thornhurst, Lackawanna County]. Gould owned a large tannery with Zaddock Pratt. The tannery profits became the basis of his fortune.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Frederick Watts (1801-1889). “On a 116-acre tract here [in Carlisle, Cumberland County] stood the model farm created 1857-1867 by this agricultural reformer. Watts was the first president of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society, 1851; a founder of the Farmer’s High School (now Pennsylvania State); and U.S. Commissioner of Agriculture, 1871-1876. The farm remained until 1998. Its site selection, layout, and building designs reflected Watt’s pioneering ideas on farm efficiency.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
Fugitive Slave Rescue. “In April, 1858, citizens of Blairsville rescued a fugitive slave, Newton, from arrest by a U.S. Marshall and Virginia slave hunters. Lewis Johnson, a local black abolitionist and conductor on the Underground Railroad, housed Newton. Indiana County was an important UGRR stop.” (#62)
Drake Well. Birth of the petroleum industry, Colonel Edwin Drake struck oil on August 27 in Titusville, south of Union City. (#37)
William A. Smith.“Known as ‘Uncle Billy’ Smith, in 1859, he drilled the world’s first successful oil well with tools that he made in his blacksmith shop near Tarentum. The well, 69½ ft. deep, was drilled near Titusville for Colonel Edwin Drake. ‘Uncle Billy’ died in 1890.
The Grandin Well.“At oil spring across river at this point near Tidioute, Pennsylvania, J.L. Grandin began second well drilled specifically for oil, August 1859, after Drake’s success. It was dry, showing risks involved in oil drilling. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552753&mode=2)
Iron Molders Union formed in Philadelphia. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Reverend John J. Curran. “Founding pastor of Holy Savior Parish in 1895. “Known as the Labor Priest, he championed the workers’ cause and was instrumental in settling the Anthracite Strike of 1902. He was a friend of Theodore Roosevelt, who visited here often.” (#81)
Early Refinery. “The first refinery in the Oil Creek Region for crude petroleum was built near [Titusville] in 1860. The first run of oil was made in 1861. Oil was first refined at Pittsburgh, about 1854, by Samuel Kier.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
John Montgomery Ward. “Baseball pioneer, born in Bellefonte, grew up here. Played for Providence, N.Y. Giants, Brooklyn, 1878-94. Pitched professional baseball’s second perfect game, 1880. Formed first players’ union, 1885, & Players’ League, 1890.” (#33)
Oldest Oil Producing Well.“McClintock No. 1 Oil Well has produced continuously since August, 1861. Drilled only two years after the famous Drake Well, it is located 240 yards away, across the railroad just south of Rouseville [in Venango County]. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552752&mode=2)
“An arsenal explosion in Pittsburgh [killed] seventy-nine young women and girl workers.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Union Cooperative Association Number 1. “Labor reformers in Philadelphia formed a cooperative grocery store modeled after the Rochdale Pioneers store in England. This was the first U.S. co-op to follow the Rochdale principles. . . . The store provided its members with the necessities of life at fair prices.” http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/
William B. Wilson was International Secretary of the United Mine Workers Union from 1900 to 1908 and United States Congressman from 1909 to 1913. United States “Secretary of Labor in 1913-21 [President Woodrow Wilson administration] . . . and labor leader,” Wilson “spent the greater part of his life” in Tioga County. “He was born in Scotland, 1862, migrated with his parents when he was a child, worked in the Arnot mines, rising to prominence as a labor statesman. His home is” just south of Blossburg. “Died in 1934.” (#128)
Battle of Gettysburg. The Federal army for free wage labor defeated the Confederate army defending the institution of chattel slave labor. (#1)
Hummelstown Brownstone Quarries. “High quality brownstone was quarried near here, 1863-1929, and sold across the nation as a preferred masonry material of builders. The Hummelstown Brownstone Company, founded by Allen Walton, employed immigrant skilled stone-cutters and laborers in its quarries.” (45)
James Hudson Maurer. “Labor leader and advocate for child labor reform, pensions, and the state’s first workers’ compensation act. Self-educated, Maurer was elected president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor from 1912-1928. He served as state legislator from Reading as a Socialist (1910-1918). He ran unsuccessfully for vice president of the United States on the Socialist ticket in 1928 and 1932. He was a lifelong Reading resident.” (#23)
The ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment officially abolished chattel slavery, and it prohibited involuntary labor except in situations of crime.
Dorflinger Glass Works. The company was “founded in 1865 by Christian Dorflinger [in White Mills, Wayne County]. Glass was made and cut here until 1921. Noted for the quality of Flint Glass, Dorflinger supplied the White House with sets of tableware through a number of administrations.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552753&mode=2)
First Oil Pipeline.“Constructed in the fall of 1865, [the pipeline followed] a straight course about five miles in length, it transported oil by pumps from Pithole to a railhead at Miller Farm, thus revolutionizing the transportation of petroleum. Dug up when pithole wells were pumped dry. Trench is visible here and at points along the course of the old pipeline.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552752&mode=2)
Roberts Torpedo.“First successful device for increasing the flow of oil was set off by an explosion deep in a well. It was publicly demonstrated in 1865. The nitroglycerin was made four mile south of [Tituville], along Hammond Run.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
“William Sylvis, President of the Iron Molders Union, organizes the National Labor Union.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“The Knights of St. Crispin, a union opened to all factory workers in the shoe industry,” was founded. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“Anthracite coal strike [flared] in northeastern Pennsylvania.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“The Pennsylvania legislature [passed] the Coal and Iron Police Act, which enables companies to employ private police that enjoy all the powers of public law enforcement officers.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Christopher Sholes.“Typewriter inventor, Sholes was born near here [in Mahoning Creek, Montour County] February 14, 1819. Attended school and worked as a printer at Danville; migrated to Wisconsin at the age of 20. His first writing-machine patent was issued on June 23, 1868. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552747&mode=2)
John B. McCormick. “Designed the first of the modern mixed-flow type of water turbine, thus making an important contribution to American industry. Began his experiments in 1868 on the water wheel of a sawmill at nearby Armagh. He died near Smicksburg in 1924.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552745&mode=2)
Uriah Stephens and nine Philadelphia garment workers founded the Knights of Labor that became a successful national union until the early 1890s.
Avondale Mine Disaster. “On September 6, 1869, a fire broke out at the nearby Avondale Colliery, trapping the miners. The eventual death toll was 110. This included five boys between the ages of twelve and seventeen, and two volunteers who were suffocated while attempting rescue. As a result of this disaster, Pennsylvania’s General Assembly enacted legislation in 1870 which was designed to enforce greater safety in the industry.” (#80)
“Pennsylvania [enacted] the first mine inspection law for Schuylkill County.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“The first local of the Knights of Labor was established in Philadelphia, with membership [soon opened] to African Americans and women.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4) “The Noble Order of the Knights of Labor was organized in 1869 in sworn secrecy by members of a Philadelphia tailoring cutters local who were being blacklisted after striking. They aimed ‘to secure to workers the full enjoyment of the wealth they create . . . to harmonize the interests of labor and capital.’ One of their First Principles was Cooperation. When they were forced out into the open nine years later, they made their goals public: ‘to establish co-operative institutions such as will tend to supersede the wage-system, by the introduction of a cooperative industrial system.’ The Knights of Labor was among the first to organize white and black into the same union. At their peak they had over 50,000 women members, including many “housewives,” who were recognized by them as workers.” http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/
“The General Council of the Workingmen’s Associations of the Anthracite Coal Fields [was founded] in Pennsylvania. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
National Tube Works.“Incorporated 1869, the works began production here, 1872. By 1901, when it became a subsidiary of U.S. Steel, this was the world’s largest pipe producer. Major advances in inspection techniques originated [in McKeesport]. Plant operations ceased in 1987.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
“Coal mine operators [signed] first written contract with coal miners.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“The Pennsylvania legislature [passed] the first mine safety act in the country (the legislation . . . was rejected prior to the Avondale Mine disaster).” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
William Howard Day. “Abolitionist, minister, orator, editor, educator. Born in New York City; traveled in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain on behalf of antislavery and free Blacks. General Secretary, A.M.E. Zion Church. Lived after 1870 in Harrisburg, where he edited the newspaper, Our National Progress. The first African American elected to the Harrisburg School Board in 1878; its president, 1891-1893. Buried in Lincoln Cemetery.” (#47)
First Cement. “David O. Saylor was the first to make portland cement in the United States, at Coplay in 1871. First use of the rotary kiln to manufacture cement on a commercial scale was also here [in Coplay], Nov. 8, 1889.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
“Cooperative Barrel Works is formed in Philadelphia.” http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/
In anthracite coal country in eastern Pennsylvania, some members of the Molly Maguires were convicted for murdering coal mine operators.
The Workingmen’s Benevolent Association led the anthracite coal miners’ strike in eastern Pennsylvania. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
The Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers Union was founded in Pittsburgh. “The Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers (AAISTW) was an early steelworkers labor organization, which represented primarily English-speaking, white skilled workers. It formed in 1876, lost membership during strikes in the 1880s, and regained strength after joining the newly formed American Federation of Labor in 1887. By the early 1890s it had about 24,000 workers and it played a central role in coordinated strike efforts during the Homestead steel strike (1892), one of the most prolonged and bitter clashes in American labor history. This strike eviscerated the AAISTW and afterward it represented workers only at a handful of steel mills, mostly in the West. By the 1910s, low pay and six twelve-hour work days remained standard in most steel mills. In 1935, when the AAISTW had only 8,600 members, its efforts to organize steelworkers were largely taken over by Phillip Murray and the Steel Workers’ Organizing Committee (SWOC). At that time, the AAISTW joined the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and ceased to exist as an independent entity.” (Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University, at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/findingaids/1865.htm) (#3)
Socialist-Labor Party founded in Philadelphia. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
The authorities hanged nine Molly Maguires in town of Thorpe. “On June 21, 1877, four “Molly Maguires,” an alleged secret society of Irish mine workers, were hanged here. Pinkerton detective James McParlan’s testimony led to convictions for violent crimes against the coal industry, yet the facts of the labor, class, and ethnic conflicts, even the existence of the organization, remain contested. Six others were hanged on this day at the county jail in Pottsville; ten more were executed at Schuylkill County Prison in 1879.” (#31, #118)
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 involved railroad workers across much of the eastern half of the United States. Strikers protested cuts in jobs and wages. In Pennsylvania the strike was most intense in Pittsburgh where the militia gunned down twenty-six persons and much railroad property was torched before the United States army ended the strike. (#12, #22)
Reading Railroad Massacre. After another round of pay cuts, workers for the Reading Railroad went on strike as part of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. “The state militia fired into an unarmed crowd that blocked the trains, and ten people were killed. U.S. troops reopened the railroad.” (#22)
Coal Miners’ and Laborers’ Strike. “A riot occurred here on August 1, 1877, in which armed citizens fired upon strikers, killing four. Many were injured, including Scranton’s mayor. As in numerous American cities, this labor unrest was a result of the U.S. depression of 1873 and a nationwide railroad strike in 1877.” (#72)
Etna Furnace.“Built in 1809 by the firm of Canan, Stewart and Moore, and operated until 1877, the furnace produced some of the Juniata iron for which this region [around Yellow Spring, Blair County] was famous.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552739&mode=2)
“Formation of Noble Order of Knights of Labor on a national basis in Reading, Pennsylvania, [elected] . . . Uriah Stephens as Grand Master Workman.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Murrysville Gas Well. “First gas well in [Westmoreland County] and one of world’s most productive, drilled [in Murrysville] in 1878. Caught fire in 1881 and [burned] for years with tremendous roar and brilliance. Later was controlled and piped to Pittsburgh. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552753&mode=2)
Oil Well Supply Company.“Founded nearby [in Oil City] in 1878, [the company] was a leading manufacturer of oil well machinery and supplies, serving the oil industry across the globe. By the early 1900s, employment peaked at 2,000. In 1930 it became a subsidiary of U.S. Steel.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552752&mode=2)
Frankford Wholesale Grocery Co-op is formed in Philadelphia. (http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/)
Joseph Winters. “African American inventor . . . secured a U.S. patent for the first fire escape ladder and hose conductor in 1878. In 1879 Winters was issued a second U.S. patent for improvements to the original invention. Winters was active in the Underground Railroad. He resided in Chambersburg.” (#58)
Molly Maguire Executions. Four Molly Maguires were hanged at the county jail in Mauch Chunk; ten more were executed at Schuylkill County Prison. On “June 21, 1877,” six members of the “Molly Maguires,” an alleged secret society of Irish mine-workers, were hanged in Thorpe. Pinkerton detective James McParlan’s testimony led to convictions for violent crimes against the coal industry, yet the facts of the labor, class, and ethnic conflicts, even the existence of the organization, remain contested. (#31, #118)
“Knights of Labor [elected] Scranton mayor Terrence Powderly as Grand Master Workmen.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Tidewater Pipe Company.“[Just southwest of Coryville] was Station No. 1 of the first pipe line to carry oil across the Alleghenies. Built by an early competitor of Standard Oil, it began May 28, 1879, to pump oil 109 miles to Williamsport.”
“Formation of the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions [became the] forerunner of the American Federation of Labor, in Pittsburgh.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“The Burlington and Reading rail strikes [led] to the enactment of the first Federal labor relations law providing for arbitration on railways.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
American Federation of Labor. “American Federation of Labor held its founding convention in Pittsburgh. The organization merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955.” (#10)
New Century Guild. ”Founded 1882 by Eliza S. Turner. One of the oldest and largest organizations created to advance the interests of women in the labor force. Originally located on Girard St., the Guild moved to Arch St. in 1893 and to this location in 1906.” (#110)
The McGugin Gas Well.“Drilled in 1882, one mile west of [Washington, Pennsylvania], with the then largest flow of gas in the world and later piped to Pittsburgh for light and heat. This initiated the beginning and development of the great oil and gas fields in southwestern Pennsylvania. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552753&mode=2)
New Century Guild.“Founded 1882 by Eliza S. Turner. One of the oldest and largest organizations created to advance the interests of women in the labor force. Originally located on Girard St. [in Philadelphia], the Guild moved to Arch St. in 1893 and to this location in 1906.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552749&mode=2)
Kinzua Viaduct. “Originally built 1882 for a branch of the Erie Railroad to ship coal northward. It was the world’s highest and longest rail viaduct. Rebuilt 1900 to carry heavier loads, it was in service until 1959. Kinzua Bridge State park was created here, 1963.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552747&mode=2)
Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company.“First commercially successful U.S. plate-glassmaker, founded 1883 by John Ford, John Pitcairn and others. First plant was at Creighton. . . . The company became PPG Industries in 1968.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
John Brophy. “The American labor leader lived . . . in Nanty Glo. Brophy was president of District 2, United Mine Workers of America, 1916-1926; he gained national prominence for his “Miner’s Program,” calling for a shorter work week, nationalization of the mines, and a labor party. An official of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), 1935-1961, Brophy was a longtime advocate for a democratic labor movement.” (#29)
Gantz Oil Well.“Site of first oil well in Washington County. Oil was struck in December 1884. First oil was shipped in 1885; last oil was pumped about 1916. This well led to the development of the Washington oil field. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552753&mode=2)
Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science.“Present campus of America’s first textile college. Founded as the Philadelphia Textile School in 1884, it provided needed technical education to improve the manufacture and quality of domestic fabrics.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552749&mode=2)
“First Electric Cars. The first street car system in the United States built entirely for operation by electric power was at Scranton. It began operation on November 30, 1886. The initial run was between central Scranton and Green Ridge section.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Duquesne Steel Works. Established in Duquesne, the works “began in 1886. Acquired by Andrew Carnegie, 1890; by U.S. Steel, 1901. Workers here implemented advances in rolling mill and blast furnace processes before 1914; in pollution control, 1953. At peak of operation they manned six blast furnaces. Plant was in service until 1984.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
“Nationwide strike for the eight-hour workday.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Sephaniah Reese. “Automobile pioneer, best known for building a 3-wheel, 1-cylinder vehicle here, 1887-88, and operating it on Plymouth’s streets. His machine shop, incorporated 1888, was an early bicycle maker; the firm was located here [in Plymouth] for over 80 years.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Charles Martin Hall. “Here [in Pittsburgh], Hall’s invention of electrolytic manufacture of aluminum was first applied to commercial production in 1888 by the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, which later became Alcoa. His process made the commercial use of aluminum possible.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
Climax Locomotives.“Over 1000 geared steam locomotives were built at the Climax plant here [in Corry, Erie County] from 1888 to 1928. These were widely used on logging railroads in the United States and other countries. By making new areas accessible to large-scale lumbering, geared locomotives were a key to the industry’s growth.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552742&mode=2)
“Formation of the United Mine Workers of America.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (first formation) founded in Harrisburg and affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. The PFL started with thirty-five local unions as members. In 1892, six labor councils joined as members. The organization disbanded in 1894 and reappeared in 1902. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_AFL%E2%80%93CIO)
I.W. Bisbing, President of a cigarmakers’ union in Philadelphia became the first President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor, an affiliation of the American Federation of Labor.
Mammoth Mine Explosion. “On January 27, 1891, an explosion in the nearby Mammoth No. 1 Mine of the H.C. Frick Coke Company killed 109 coal miners. Seventy-nine of the dead were buried in a mass grave . . . in St. John’s Cemetery” in Scottdale. This disaster was the worst one known to that time in a bituminous coal mine in Pennsylvania. It led to state legislation strengthening the program of mine safety inspections in the bituminous fields.” (#136)
Morewood Massacre. “On April 2, 1891, at the nearby Morewood Mines of the H.C. Frick Coke Co., sheriff’s deputies killed these strikers; two more died later. These were among some 16,000 workers striking for higher wages in the coke region. Thousands of mourners attended the funeral of the original seven victims, who were buried in a mass grave in St. John’s Cemetery, Scottsdale. By late May the strike had collapsed, & the organizing of coke workers suffered a severe blow.” (#137)
Charles A. Miller, of a printers’ union in Harrisburg, became the second President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor, an affiliation of the American Federation of Labor.
Battle of Homestead. Led by the Amalgamated Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers Union, strikers and their supports prevented 300 Pinkerton agents operating as professional strikers to gain control of the Carnegie Steel Company in the city of Homestead in July. Seven workers and three Pinkerton agents killed in the ensuing struggle. The strike ended in November without the workers achieving their objectives. (#9, #14, #15)
Bost Building. “Completed, early 1892. Through that summer, it was headquarters for the strike committee of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. Telegraph lines installed here transmitted the news from journalists who were covering the Homestead Strike.” (#9)
Elmer Ellsworth Greenawalt, of a cigarmakers’ union in Lancaster, became the third President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor, an affiliation of the American Federation of Labor.
The authorities gunned down eleven strikers in the town of Connellsville.
Bituminous coal miners went on strike for two months.
Joseph Reid Gas Engine Company.“Founded in Oil City, 1894, it produced engines for pumping oil wells. Its popular single piston engine was uses worldwide by the oil industry. The company closed in 1939.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552752&mode=2)
Coxey’s Army.“Jacob Sechler Coxey (1854-1951) was born here [in Selingsgrove]. In 1894 he led a march of unemployed workers, popularly known as “Coxey’s Army,” on Washington, D.C. Public works programs and relief measures were asked. This focused attention on the plight of the unemployed.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552750&mode=2)
Seamless Tube Industry. In Ellwood City, “Ralph C. Stiefel, the Swiss-born engineer, invented the rotary piercing process for making steel tubing, 1895. He helped found Ellwood Weldless Tube Company, which became a nucleus for National Tube Division of U.S. Steel.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. “Hailed by historian Ida Tarbell as America’s ‘most important industrial town,’ with homes owned by the workers. Founded 1895 by George G. McMurtry, president, Apollo Iron & Steel Co. Named for Capt. Jacob J. Vandergrift and designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmstead. (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552753&mode=2)
Twin Shaft Disaster. “On June 28, 1896, fifty-eight men were killed in a massive cave-in of rock and coal here, in the Newton Coal Company’s Twin Shaft Colliery. An investigative commission, appointed by the Governor, reported on Sept. 25. Although its safety recommendations would often be ignored, the disaster was a factor that led to a stronger unionization of this region under John Mitchell after 1900.” (#85)
“Founding of Ironworkers International Union in Pittsburgh.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Coal miners in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia ended their ten-week strike. They won the eight-hour work day, semi-monthly pay, and the abolition of company stores (which were famous for over charging workers).
Lattimer Massacre. Unarmed striking mine workers began their protest march near Harwood. The sheriff and his posse killed nineteen strikers and many were killed by the Luzerne County sheriff and his posse in the town of Lattimer near the city of Hazleton. (#77, #82)
Pittsburgh Plate Glass Ford City Works began operating, become the world’s largest, most productive plate glass factory. It ceased production in 1991. (#19)
Windber. “Founded 1897 by the Berwind-White Coal Mining Co. Distinctive among bituminous coal towns, this community had a large independent center surrounded by thirteen ‘patch towns.’ Among notable structures built by Berwind-White were the Wilmore Building here (1914) and Arcadia Theatre across the street (1919). Thousands of immigrants came across here to work the mines; largest in output was Eureka Mine # 40, 2 miles NW. Company mining ceased, 1962.” (#121)
Dery Silk Mill. “Here [in Catasauqua] was D. George Dery’s first Pennsylvania silk mill, built 1897 and later enlarged. By 1914, Dery had 15 mills in this state and one in Massachusetts, employing some 4000 people; was considered the world’s largest individual silk manufacturer. Operations ceased, 1923.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552746&mode=2)
Pennsylvania Match Factory. “One of the nation’s leading producers of wooden matches during the first half of the 20th century; founded 1899 by Bellefonte entrepreneurs. The factory buildings opened in 1900, using the vast resources of the surrounding lumber region. By World War II, the company had merged into the Universal Match Corp., and the workforce had grown to 400. The factory in 1947 closed because of competition from book matches and cigarette lighters.” (#32)
Henry Noll.“The productivity of the Bethlehem Steel workers, referred to as ‘Schmidt,’ was key to Frederick W. Taylor’s landmark book, Principles of Scientific Management. Noll was credited with loading forty-five tons of pig iron a day in 1899, to increase his day’s pay to $1.85.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552748&mode=2)
“American Federation of Labor [adopted] the Scranton Declaration, making ‘craft autonomy’ the cornerstone of its policy.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
In May, over 125,000 anthracite coal miners in northeastern Pennsylvania called a strike, demanding wage increases, union recognition, and an eight-hour workday. An additional 18,000 bituminous workers struck in sympathy. In October, President Theodore Roosevelt met with miners and coal field operators in an attempt to settle the anthracite coal strike. As winter approached, public anxiety about fuel shortages and the rising cost of all coal pushed Roosevelt to take unprecedented action. The meeting failed to resolve differences. A presidential commission awarded the workers a 10% wage increase and a shorter workweek. The miners returned to work on October 23. (#68, #120)
Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation; first formation in 1890-1894) had its founding convention in Wilkes-Barre. The organization affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. In 1959 the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor merged with the Pennsylvania CIO Council to form the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. (http://www.libraries.psu.edu/findingaids/1694.htm) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_AFL%E2%80%93CIO)
Hugh Frayne became the first President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation).
Labor organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones led child workers in demanding a fifty-five-hour workweek. “Mary Harris Jones began the March of the Factory Children here, July 1903, to dramatize the need for child labor legislation. Born in Ireland, Jones was an organizer and inspiring presence in the U.S. coal, steel, and textile labor movements.” (#108)
The Harwick Mine explosion in Cheswick [killed] 179 miners.
100,000 anthracite coal miners in northeastern Pennsylvania go on strike and the federal government takes action that leads to a wage increase and shorter work week.
Elmer Ellsworth Greenawalt became the second President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation).
Two-hundred coal miners were entombed in an explosion in the town of Cheswick.
Pennsylvania State Police. ”First uniformed state police force of its kind in the nation, created by an Act of the General Assembly May 2, 1905, signed by Governor Samuel Pennypacker. The force was formed in response to concern over labor and capital unrest, especially the Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902. At this site the State Police established its first training academy in 1924. Cadets were trained here for thirty-six years until a new academy was built north of Hershey.” (#43)
Arrest and Trial of George A. Pettibone. From the town of Girard, Pennsylvania, Pettibone was living in Colorado when he was kidnapped by Pinkerton and Denver police, along with Big Bill Haywood and Charles Moyer of the Western Federation of Miners and transported by special railroad car to Idaho where they were charged with conspiracy to assassinate former Idaho governor (editor and banker) Frank Steunenberg, in revenge for his having turned against his Populist supporters and persecuted striking miners. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that the kidnapping and other highly questionable procedures were irrelevant to the murder case (Pettibone v Nichols, 1906), Haywood and then Pettibone—defended by Clarence Darrow and others—were tried but acquitted. Moyer was then released without trial.
At least 239 men and boys were killed in the Darr Mine Disaster in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. “On Dec. 19, 1907, an explosion killed 239 men and boys, many Hungarian immigrants, in Darr coal mine near Van Meter. Some were from the closed Naomi mine, near Fayette City, which exploded on Dec. 1, killing 34. Over 3000 miners died in Dec. 1907, the worst month in U.S. coal mining history. In Olive Branch Cemetery, 71 Darr miners, 49 unknown, are buried in a common grave.” (#134)
“Rachel and Agnes Mine explosion [killed] 154 miners in Marianna, Pennsylvania.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
McKees Rocks Steel Strike. Unskilled southern and eastern European immigrant workers led a strike against the Pressed Steel Car Company in July in the city of McKees Rocks. State police killed eleven of the strikers in street battle in August. The Industrial Workers of the World aided the strikers.
Sheet and tinplate workers went on strike in the city of New Castle. (#16, #18)
Min L. Matheson. “Prominent labor, community, and civic leader. She headed the Wyoming Valley District of the ILGWU, 1944-1963. With her husband Bill, she confronted corrupting influences and other obstacles in building a membership of 11,000. Created under their leadership were a model workers’ education program, healthcare center, and traveling chorus. Later, she led efforts on behalf of flood victims after Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972.” (#78)
Labor strikes. “In February, a strike wave swept the Lehigh Valley. First steelworkers, the silk weavers, and cigar workers struck against long hours and low wages held meetings here. The Federal government investigated conditions in the steel mills and found them ‘shocking.’” (#74)
Bethlehem Steel Strike in the city of Bethlehem.
“A labor dispute between workers and the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company leads to a city-wide general strike.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Crystal Eastman’s classic, Work Accidents and the Law, arising from the Pittsburgh Survey, documented 526 industrial fatalities in Allegheny County from 1906 to 1907, leading to industrial accident prevention programs and workers’ compensation laws. (#2) (See also http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Meatpackers went on strike in Pittsburgh
Joseph A. “Jock” Yablonski. “A longtime resident of California and elected official of the United Mine Workers of America. He led efforts to improve working conditions for coal miners. On December 31, 1969—shortly after his defeat as a reform candidate for president of the UMW—he, his wife Margaret, and their daughter Charlotte were assassinated. In 1972, reformers were elected to leadership of the UMW.” (#130)
Anthracite Mine Disaster. “On the morning of April 7, 1911, the nearby Pancoast mine here in Throop was the scene of a disastrous fire. Seventy-two miners died by suffocation, and a government rescue worker also was killed. This tragedy soon led to the enactment, on June 15, of state legislation requiring that all interior buildings at coal mines be constructed of incombustible materials.” (#70)
Born in Philadelphia, active in the greater Philadelphia and national labor movement, “James Barron Carey (August 12, 1911 – September 11, 1973) was an American labor union leader; secretary-treasurer of CIO (1938–55); vice-president of AFL-CIO (from 1955); served as president of United Electrical and Machine Workers (1936–41) but broke with it because of its Communist control. He was the founder and president (1950–65) of rival the International Union of Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers. President Truman appointed Carey to the President’s Committee on Civil Rights in 1946. Carey was labor representative to the United Nations Association (1965–72). Carey helped influence the CIO’s pullout from the WFTU and the formation of the ICFTU dedicated to promoting free trade and democratic unionism worldwide.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Tobacco workers went on strike in Pittsburgh and McKees Rock
American Viscose Company. Located in Marcus Hook, American Viscose was the “first company in North America to successfully manufacture an artificial fiber (rayon). Plant employees, many of whom were women, lived in Viscose Village, a planned community built in 1912-1915 and designed” in the English Domestic Revival style “by Ballinger and Perrot of Philadelphia. . . . The Marcus Hook plant contributed significantly to the country’s defense in both World Wars– supplying fiber for many military applications.” (#50)
LP Gas Industry.“The liquefied petroleum gas industry originated in this vicinity. The first domestic customer, John W. Gahring, had “bottled gas” for lighting and cooking installed May 17, 1912, at his farm house about five miles southeast of Waterford at Le Boeuf Station [in Erie County].” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552742&mode=2)
James H. Maurer became the third President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation).
Longshoremen formed the Marine Transport Workers Industrial Union in Philadelphia.
Strike against Dry Slitz Stogie led to a lockout of 1200 workers in Pittsburgh; 800 Industrial Workers of the World cigar workers went on strike in retaliation.
Establishment of the United States Department of Labor.
Concrete City. “Notable for early use of International Style architectural concepts in creating “model” industrial housing. Located 1/4 – mile north of here. The homes, built by the D L & W Railroad’s Coal Division for forty Truesdale Colliery employees, were opened in 1913. Constructed of poured concrete, the twenty two-story rectangular double houses surrounded a park. Controlled by the Glen Alden Coal Company after 1921; abandoned in 1924.” (#75)
“The Allegheny Congenial Industrial Union [struck] the Westinghouse Electric and Union Switch and Signal plants, demanding union recognition and protesting against the work organization imposed under the ‘scientific management’ theories of Frederick Taylor.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Miners went on strike in the city of Scranton.
Cement City. “Built 1916-17 as housing for employees at American Steel & Wire’s Donora plant. A community of 100 units in 80 Prairie-style buildings, noted for the innovative use of poured-in-place concrete construction. One of several concrete communities built in the U.S. during this era, Cement City survived to house successive generations of families. A National Register Historic District.” (#131)
“Electrical workers from the Westinghouse plants in the Turtle Creek Valley [southeast of Pittsburgh] [marched] on the Edgar Thompson steel works, where two workers [were] killed by company guards.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“Federal passage of a child labor law, later declared unconstitutional.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Established by the Pew family, the company operated in the city of Chester from 1916 to 1982. “During WWII, Sun was the largest single shipyard in the world, with over 35,000 employees. It introduced the all-welded ship, which significantly increased ship production, and the T-2 oil tanker, which became the standard at all US shipyards. Sun built over 250 WWII tankers, 40% of those built in the world, and repaired over 1500 war-damaged ships.” (#51)
K. Leroy Irvis. “Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, serving fifteen consecutive terms. In 1977, he became the first African American Speaker of a state legislature since the era of Reconstruction, and was the state’s longest serving Speaker. He was influential in enacting 264 bills, including establishment of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and laws enhancing equal access to education. Active in state and national Democratic Party politics, his office was in Pittsburgh. (#17)
Longshoremen went on strike in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Farm Show. “First held in January 1917, the Farm Show took place each year at various Harrisburg locations until 1931, when it moved to the new Main Exhibition Building [in the city]. The Large Arena first opened for the 1939 show. From modest beginnings, the Farm Show ultimately grew into one of the world’s largest indoor gatherings devoted to the celebration and promotion of agriculture.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552741&mode=2)
John Nelson. “Chief Steward and President, United Electrical Workers Union Local 506, 1942-1959. Accused of McCarthy-era Communist activity he was the first union leader fired by General Electric, 1953. He defended workers’ civil liberties while UE represented him in court. He died prematurely at 42.” (#54)
Maritime Transportation Workers Union went on strike in Philadelphia.
Labor leader Mary Harris “Mother” Jones arrested & jailed in the city of Homestead for speaking to striking steelworkers. (#6)
United Mine Workers organizer Fannie Sellins gunned down by company guards in the town of Brackenridge “on the eve of a nationwide steel strike, on August 26, 1919. Her devotion to the workers’ cause made her an important symbolic figure. Both she and Joseph Starzelski, a miner who was also killed that same day, lie buried here in Union Cemetery where a monument to the pair was erected.” (#135)
“United Mine Workers [went on] strike, then [earned] a 27 percent wage increase during arbitration with a presidential commission.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
The Great Steel Strike began on September 22. At least 350,000 steel workers went on strike for union recognition. The AFL Iron and Steel Organizing Committee called off the strike on January 8, 1920. Strikers did not realize their objectives. (#13)
Unity House. ”A vacation and labor education retreat was operated here, 1919-1989-, by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU). Each year it hosted several thousand visitors–including union members, retirees, and public officials –and offered cultural events significant to the labor movement. The only workers’ resort of its size in the U.S., it closed due to declining employment in the domestic apparel industry.” (#115)
Maritime Transportation Workers Union went on strike in Philadelphia.
Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry. “A pioneering liberal arts school for working women was held here on the campus of Bryn Mawr College, 1921-1938. Led by Hilda Worthington Smith, it graduated over 1,700 students from diverse racial, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds; some became community, labor union, and public leaders. The school served as a model for workers’ and labor education programs at colleges and universities across the nation.” (#90)
Anthracite coal miners went on strike.
Bituminous coal miners went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Railroad workers went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Railroad Shopmen’s Strike of 1922. “Over 300,000 skilled tradesmen went on strike against US railroads to defend gains by unions during WWI. The Pennsylvania Railroad shops in Altoona led the anti-union opposition. The bitter struggle led to the 1926 Railway Labor Act that upheld unions’ right to organize.” (#26)
Windber Strike. “Windber-area Berwind White workers joined a national strike by United Mine Workers of America in April 1922 for improved wages and working conditions, civil liberties, and recognition. The strike lasted sixteen months; families of strikers were evicted from company housing. A City of New York inquiry exposed deplorable living and working conditions and urged nationalization of coal mines.” (#123)
Pioneer Short-Wave Station.“On this site [in Forest Hills suburb of Pittsburgh] in 1923, Westinghouse opened a special radio facility to experiment with long-distance transmissions. Led by Frank Conrad, engineers here demonstrated the vital role of high-frequency short waves in sending broadcasts around the world.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
Ku Klux Klan Riot. “April 5, 1924 Lilly was targeted for a massive Ku Klux Klan demonstration because local coal mines had hired Catholic immigrants and fired Klan members. Four hundred hooded Klansmen arrived by train early on this April evening and paraded to Piper’s Hill where they burned two crosses and exploded multiple dynamite charges to intimidate the locals. But the townspeople were not cowed! During the parade back to the trains, the Klansmen were jeered, pelted, roughed-up and hosed down. Gunfire broke out and lasted for several minutes. The Klansmen then fled in disarray to the trains, leaving Lilly residents Philip Conrad, Cloyd Paul and Frank Miesko to die from gunshot wounds. Lilly’s resistance to the Klan’s demonstrations proved to be the beginning of the end of the Klan’s advance in the north-eastern United States.” (#30)
Hastings UMWA – District 2 Labor Chautauquas. Hastings UMWA – District 2 Labor Chautauquas “From 1924 to 1926 the United Mine Workers of America held innovative workers’ education programs in bituminous coal towns throughout western Pa. Hastings recorded the largest attendance in 1925. With the leadership of district President John Brophy, the Chautauquas featured nationally prominent speakers and educators as well as local entertainers. They received national press attention and recognition from progressive activists. (#27)
Anthracite coal miners went on strike.
“The Railway Labor Act [required] employers to bargain collectively and not discriminate against employees who want to join a union.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Rossiter Strike Injunction. “On April 1, 1927, 200,000 bituminous coal miners nationwide struck to protest wage reductions. In November, strikers in Rossiter were prohibited from assembling, marching, and hymn singing by a sweeping injunction issued by Indiana County Judge Jonathan Langham. The injunction and mine-workers’ conditions drew national interest and a U.S. Senate inquiry that included Senator Robert Wagner, key architect of the 1935 National Labor Relations Act.” (#63)
One hundred ninety-five coal miners died in a mine explosion in the town of Mather.
John J. Casey became the fourth President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation).
“The stock market [crashed] in October, [beginning] the worst and longest economic collapse in American history.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
James E. Kelley became the fifth President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation).
Workers in Greater Pittston’s Garment Industry. “From the 1930s to the 1980s, Pittston emerged as a national center for clothing manufacturing. Thousands of workers, mainly women, labored in many factories throughout the Greater Pittston area. Most were members of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) that gained higher wages, workplace health & safety improvements, and employee rights. The ILGWU was active in civic and political life throughout Pennsylvania.” (#79)
John A. Phillips became the sixth President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation).
“The Davis-Bacon Act [provided] for the payment of the prevailing wages to employees of contractors and subcontractors on federally funded construction projects.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“The Norris-LaGuardia Act [limited] use of injunctions against unions.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Frances Perkins, U.S. Secretary of Labor, 1933-1945. “Visited Homestead in July 1933 to discuss New Deal policy. Local authorities barred her from meeting with aggrieved steelworkers in nearby Frick Park. Undeterred, she moved the assembly to federal property here, at the former U.S. post office.” (#7)
Civilian Conservation Corps. In March 1933, the federal government created the CCC to combat the Great Depression. During nine years, the CCC enrolled some 3,000,000 youths nationwide–including 194,572 men at 114 camps in Pennsylvania.
Members of the 367th CCC Company first arrived [at Trout Run, Lycoming County], May 30, 1933. Here arose camp S-126, which became home to hundreds of men before it closed in 1936. Many of its members then went to Camp S-145 near Montoursville [Lycoming County].” (#86)
“The CCC planted billions of trees, built roads and dams, fought forest fires, and developed parks, including Leonard Harrison and Colton Point State Parks [in Wellsboro].” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552751&mode=2)
American Federation of Teachers Local 500 (Pennsylvania State University) began. AFT Local 500 received its charter from the AFT in 1937. It ceased to exist in 1962. (http://www.libraries.psu.edu/findinggaids/1869.htm)
“Harry Block (1908-1988) was financial secretary of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) local 18368 (1933-1936), vice-president of the UE (1936-1946), president of its successor, the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (IUE) (1949-1972), and secretary-treasurer of the Pennsylvania CIO Council (1946-1960). Having organized production workers of Philco Corporation into locals 101 and 102 of the IUE, Block headed a bitter strike of its 8,000 members (1954). Block later played a role in the contentious merger in Pennsylvania of the AFL and CIO (1960), the national organizations having merged five years previously. He then became secretary of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO (1960-1982).” (http://www.libraries.psu.edu/findingaids/1443.htm)
Norvelt. “Originally called “Westmoreland Homesteads,” Norvelt was established April 13, 1934, by the federal government as part of a New Deal homestead project. With 250 homes, Norvelt provided housing, work, and a community environment to unemployed workers and their families during the Great Depression. It was renamed “Norvelt” in 1937 in honor of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her interest in the project.” (#132)
The Wagner Act (officially known as the National Labor Relations Act of 1935) established “the first national labor policy of protecting the right of workers to organize and to elect their representatives for collective bargaining.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Enactment of the Social Security Act of 1935. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“The Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) . . . formed [within the AFL] in Pittsburgh to foster industrial unionism.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4) The organization left the AFL in 1936 and reorganized and renamed itself as the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1938.
Union Local 274, American Federation of Musicians. “Chartered 1935 after African-American musicians were denied admission to Local 77. John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie were members. At its 1971 demise, it was last predominantly Black AFM local in the U.S. Union office was here.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552749&mode=2)
Born in Philadelphia in 1935 and active in the labor movement first in greater Philadelphia, then nationally, “Gerald W. “Jerry” McEntee is an American former union executive. McEntee began his career as a labor leader in Pennsylvania in 1958 by going to work as an organizer for his father who was an AFSCME official in Philadelphia. He was elected Executive Director at the founding convention of AFSCME Council 13 in Pennsylvania in 1973 and an International Vice President of AFSCME in 1974. From 1981 to 2012, he was the president of the 1.4 million-member American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the largest union of public employees in the United States and an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). McEntee succeeded Jerome Wurf as AFSCME President in 1981, serving until his retirement 2012. (Sources: Wikipedia; AFSCME at http://www.afscme.org/members/conventions/resolutions-and-amendments/2012/resolutions/honoring-gerald-w-mcentee)
Steel Workers Organizing Committee formed in Pittsburgh. SWOC joined with the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel & Tin Workers to organize the steel industry. (#5) In 1942, the organization renamed itself the United Steel Workers of America. The USWA “became one of the world’s largest unions, embracing over a million workers. Phillip Murray was its first president.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
Berkshire Knitting Mills workers went on strike in the city of Reading.
Rural Electrification. “In 1936 seventy-five percent of Pennsylvania farms had no electric service. During the next five years, with Federal support, fourteen consumer-owned cooperatives were formed in this Commonwealth.”
“Here [near Woodcock Creek Lake] on August 5, 1936, the State’s first rural electric pole was placed by the Northwestern Rural Electric Cooperative Association [based in Crawford County]. Incorporated on April 30, 1936, this was Pennsylvania’s first such cooperative.
Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative, serving parts of eight northeastern Pennsylvania counties [from Wysox], was incorporated October 24, 1936.
Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, serving much of north-central Pennsylvania from Mansfield, was incorporated October 24, 1936.
Sullivan County Rural Electric Cooperative, serving users in Sullivan, Lycoming, and Bradford counties [from Forksville], was incorporated December 3, 1936.
Southwest Central Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation, serving users in seven counties [from Indiana County], was incorporated March 4, 1937.
“Serving users in seven counties of western Pennsylvania, Central Electric Cooperative at Parker was incorporated July 12, 1937.
Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, serving seven counties [from Huntingdon County], was incorporated November 1, 1938.
Serving users in Bedford, Fulton and Huntingdon counties [from New Enterprise], New Enterprise Rural Electric Cooperative was incorporated November 18, 1938.
Somerset Rural Electric Cooperative, which serves four counties in Pennsylvania and one in Maryland [from Somerset County], was incorporated on March 14, 1939.
Bedford Rural Electric Cooperative, which serves members in Beford, Fulton and Somerset counties, was incorporated on June 2, 1939.
Adams Electric Cooperative at Gettysburg, serving members in south-central Pennsylvania [from Adams County], was incorporated on August 21, 1940.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
Chocolate Workers’, Local 1 (CIO), Strike in April 1937, in the city of Hershey. “First sit-down strike in Pennsylvania and in the confectionary industry. Strike-breaking violence and government mediation ended the strike.” (#44)
“United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America Local 506, an independent, industrial union, founded in” May 1937, “was the first to gain official recognition from General Electric.” (#53)
“US Steel [recognized] the Steel Workers Organizing Committee as the official bargaining agent of its steel workers. A five-week strike [failed], however, to force ‘Little Steel’ companies to permit union representation.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Little Steel Strike occurred in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Thomas Kennedy of the United Mine Workers elected Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania.
NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin, U.S. Supreme Court case, a landmark ruling, upheld the constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Board. One of the “Little Steel” corporations, Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation had fired unionized workers at its Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, plant, but the court ordered their reinstatement and established workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. (#20)
“The CIO . . . expelled from the AFL over charges of “dual unionism.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Penn-Craft. ”This experimental community for coal miners unemployed during the Depression was developed, 1937-1943, by the American Friends Service Committee. On the 200-acre tract, fifty families built their stone houses, a cooperative store, and a knitting factory. A model for other self-help projects elsewhere, Penn-Craft was a successful example of the back-to-the-land movement of the 1930s.” (#56)
Public Sector Collective Bargaining. ”In 1938, 3,000 Philadelphia municipal workers launched a strike protesting wage cuts and layoffs, among the first in a major American city. After 8 days, a collective bargaining agreement was reached, leading to the formation of AFSCME District Council 33.” (#114)
Congress of Industrial Organizations. Originally the Committee for Industrial Organization from 1935 to 1938, the Congress of Industrial Organizations, held its founding convention in Pittsburgh. The CIO merged with the AFL in 1955. (#11)
Pennsylvania Industrial Union Council—CIO. The Pennsylvania affiliation of the CIO was founded in 1938. It merged with the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor in 1959.
John A. Phillips became the first President of the Pennsylvania Industrial Union Council—CIO.
James L. McDevitt became the seventh President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation).
The Second World War was to date the world’s bloodiest, most devastating war, an estimated 70 million people worldwide, most of whom were civilians, perished. The war ended the Great Depression in the United States.
Invention of the Jeep.“In September 1940, a team headed by Karl Probst delivered to the U.S. Army a prototype for the World War II jeep. This small, four-wheel drive vehicle was produced by the American Bantam Car Company, located [in Butler]. Here, Bantam manufactured 2,675 jeeps. Although larger companies ultimately received the chief wartime orders, it was Bantam—in cooperation with the Army—that originally created the jeep.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
Johnsville Naval Air Development Center.“This site [in Warminster] was acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II from the Brewster Aircraft Corporation; it served as a strategic locale for weapons development and testing of modern aircraft. Later, it was a training facility for America’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552739&mode=2)
“The United Auto Workers . . . recognized by Ford Motor Company, which [signed] a union-shop agreement- the first in the auto industry.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“After United States entry in World War II the AFL and the CIO [announced] a no-strike pledge for the duration of the war.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Civilian Public Service. “During World War II, some 12,000 men who were classified as conscientious objectors to war—about fifteen percent of them from Pennsylvania—served in non-military occupations across the United States. Under the leadership of Mennonite, Quaker, and Church of the Brethren agencies, they were engaged in mental health care and medical experiments, in forestry and on dairy farms, and in other important civic projects.” (#102)
Dravo Corporation. “During World War II, Dravo’s shipyard here [in Pittsburgh] was a leader in the manufacture of Landing Ship Tanks — LSTs — for the U.S. Navy. Dravo’s over 16,000 workers produced a total of 145 LSTs. This and four other inland yards, all using techniques pioneered by Dravo, contributed two-thirds of the Navy’s fleet of over 1000 LSTs. These amphibious craft proved vital to the success of Allied landings on enemy shores, 1943-45.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552738&mode=2)
“The United Steelworkers of America . . . [replaced] the Steel Workers Organizing Committee.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
The federal government created “the National War Labor Board, which [established] the ‘Little Steel Formula’ for wartime wage adjustments. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Federal government designed and built Mooncrest housing for World War II defense workers who produced munitions, armor plate, etc. in Moon Township. (#8)
“President [Franklin Delano] Roosevelt [issued] an executive order creating a Committee on Fair Employment Practices to eliminate discrimination in war industries based on race, creed, color or national origin.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“President [Franklin Delano] Roosevelt [sent] federal troops to run the streetcars after white Philadelphia Transit Company workers [struck] to prevent the hiring of African Americans as trolley operators.] (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Harry Boyer became the second and last President of the Pennsylvania Industrial Union Council—CIO when the organization merged with the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor in 1960.
The largest strike wave in American history [broke] out as pent up worker demands [were] unleashed by the end of war-time controls. Successful job actions in steel, electrical, and auto [won] substantial wage increases, which [fueled] post-war prosperity for blue-collar workers and their families. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Bituminous coal miners went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Electrical manufacturing workers went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Pittsburgh Power workers went on strike.
Railroad workers went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Steel workers went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Federal government ordered troops to seize railroads and coal mines.
Telephone workers went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere
Congress [passed] the Taft-Hartley Act [a.k.a. Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947], which [restricted] union activities and [permited] the states to pass “right-to-work” laws. The Supreme Court [struck] down the Norris-La Guardia Act’s prohibition against injunctions in labor disputes in Government in U.S. v. John L. Lewis. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“A strike [achieved] first pension plan for steel workers.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Anti-Communist union forces split the United Electrical Workers. Central battlegrounds include the East Pittsburgh Westinghouse plant, the Erie GE plant, and the South Philadelphia plant.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Leidy Natural Gas Boom. “Against expert advice, Dorcie Calhoun drilled Leidy Township’s first successful deep gas well about a quarter-mile south of Leidy. On January 8, 1950, the well hit natural gas at a depth of 5,659 feet, and for a time it brought up an estimated 15 million cubic feet per day. This news attracted national attention, and within months more than thirty companies and independents were drilling here before production ceased.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552740&mode=2)
Charles J. Sludden was an officer and active member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen in the 1950s and 1960s (http://pennsyrr.com/index.php/data/94-operations/passenger/139-steelton-pa-accident-report) (http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/EAD/htmldocs/KCL05149.html), a delegate to the Democratic Party National Convention from Pennsylvania in 1956, 1960, 1964, and 1972 (http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/sloane-slusarev.html), and Director of the Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety, Department of Labor and Industry (http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol36/36-5/176.html)
After steel manufacturers rejected the Wage Stabilization Board’s recommendations, President Truman ordered the U.S. Army to seize steel mills to avert a strike. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the order illegal. Steel workers went on strike for eight weeks in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Joseph McDonough became the eighth President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_AFL%E2%80%93CIO)
American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO, strengthening labor unions and the labor movement in Pennsylvania and across the nation.
Longshoremen went on strike in Pennsylvania and other east coast states.
Steel workers went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Twelve coal miners drowned in the Knox Mine Disaster near the town of Pittston. (#76)
Nationwide steel strike lasted 119 days.
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO “was formed in 1959 after the merger of the parent national organizations. It brought together the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation), formed in 1902, and the Pennsylvania CIO Council, formed in the late 1930s. The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO was responsible for protecting workers’ rights with regard to collective bargaining, conducting member political education and training programs, monitoring legislative politics in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., and endorsing candidates that supported the organization’s agenda. In the early twenty-first century it had 900,000 members affiliated with fifty-one international unions and 1,422 locals, and its activities were coordinated by thirty-four regional councils within the state.” (http://www.libraries.psu.edu/findingaids/1694.htm)
“Joseph McDonough resigned as president of the Pennsylvania AFL on June 7, 1960, to protest the election of Earl C. Bohr as the state federation’s secretary-treasurer. McDonough backed Mullin, and the Philadelphia caucus (which represented a majority of votes at the convention) initially recommended Mullin for the post. But Bohr supporters successfully challenged this motion on the floor, arguing a recommendation was out of order. Both men were nominated, but Bohr beat Mullin, 1,074 to 754. McDonough, who was in line to be co-president of the merged AFL-CIO, immediately quit. Joseph F. Burke became president of the Pennsylvania AFL for the next two days.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_AFL%E2%80%93CIO)
Joseph F. Burke became the eighth and last President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation). In 1959 the PFL merged with the CIO Pennsylvania Industrial Union Council.
James F. Burke, President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor (second formation), and Harry Boyer, President of the Pennsylvania Industrial Union Council—CIO, became co-presidents, functioning as the first President when the two organizations merged to form the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.
Harry Block was Secretary of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO during the 1960s and 1970s. (http://www.libraries.psu.edu/findingaids/1694.htm)
Thirty-seven coal miners perished in an explosion at U.S. Steel’s Robena No. 3 coal mine in the town of Carmichaels, Greene County.
Harry Boyer became the second President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.
The federal government enacted the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits wage differences for workers based on sex.
The federal government enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law’s Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Opportunities Industrialization Centers.“Established here [in Philadelphia] in an abandoned jailhouse in 1964, Opportunities Industrialization Centers was founded by Reverend Leon H. Sullivan and achieved worldwide recognition as a self-help vocational training center for blacks which opened job opportunities formerly closed to them.” (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552749&mode=2)
Pennsylvania enacted Black Lung legislation. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Convicted for defrauding the Teamsters’ Union and jury tampering, Teamster Union President Jimmy Hoffa began an eight-year prison term at the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. President Nixon commuted Hoffa’s sentence in 1971.
Pittsburgh Teachers Strike led by Al Fondy of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.
Public Sector Unionism. “Efforts to organize public workers in Pennsylvania resulted in the state legislature in Harrisburg to pass Act 111 in 1968. Tens of thousands of public employees joined unions. The movement to unionize public workers began in the 1930s, was legislatively restricted in 1947, and given partial recognition in 1957.” (#46) (See also http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“Murder of UMWA insurgent Jock Yablonski [led to the] founding of Miners for Democracy, in 1972. Black Monday demonstrations in Pittsburgh [resulted in] the Pittsburgh Plan agreement, which [increased] minority participation in construction trade unions. The Department of Labor [started] to actively promote minority placement in the Philadelphia construction industry.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Public Sector Unionism. “Efforts to organize public workers in Pennsylvania resulted in the state legislature in Harrisburg to pass Act 195 (Pennsylvania Public Employee Relations Act) in 1970. Tens of thousands of public employees joined unions. The movement to unionize public workers began in the 1930s, was legislatively restricted in 1947, and given partial recognition in 1957.” (#46) (see also https://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=552991&mode=2)
Postal Workers staged first nationwide strike of public employees. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Centre County Labor Council was chartered by the AFL-CIO. The Council’s founding President was Tony Riglin of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry Local Union 520. The Council met at the UAW Hall in Bellefonte. At that time the UAW had a production and maintenance bargaining unit at a company called Cerro Metals. The Council was a testament to the unity of the Pennsylvania labor movement as, at the time, the UAW was not an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
Schoolteachers went on strike in Philadelphia led by Frank Sullivan, John Ryan, Sunny Richman, and Jack Steinberg of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.
“30,000 construction workers [marched] in Norristown to protest an injunction against the picketing of non-union construction sites.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Pennsylvania Labor History Society founded November 17, 1973.
At its founding convention Pennsylvania AFSCME Council 13 received its charter from the national AFSCME.
“Congress [enacted] the Employment Retirement Income Security Act, which [regulated] all private pension plans. Consent decree in steel [opened] many job categories to African-Americans and women.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“80,000 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) [went] on strike in the first legal, large-scale strike of public employees.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Council of Labor Union Women established its Philadelphia chapter.
Philadelphia Association of Cooperative Enterprise (PACE) “promoted worker ownership through worker cooperatives and democratic ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans) in the Philadelphia area. According to Andrew Lamas, PACE was originally a local chapter of a “short-lived national organization, the Federation for Economic Democracy.” http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/
Bituminous coal miners went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Newspaper workers went on strike in the city of Wilkes-Barre for four years. (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“U.S. Steel [announced] the closing of 16 facilities, including its American Bridge plant, and the loss of 13,000 jobs. Pittsburgh steelworkers [joined] Youngstown Ohio steelworkers in two hour occupation of U.S. Steel’s Pittsburgh headquarters.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. President Ronald Reagan fired strikers who defied his order to return to work.
“Pennsylvania is struck by a wave of plant and store closings: Kroger [closed] 54 stores, including Armstrong in Lancaster (600 employees), Continental Rubber in Pottstown (1500 employees), Two Guys department Store in Delaware Valley (1600 employees).” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“Bitter United Electrical Workers strike against American Standard’s Westinghouse Airbrake and American Switch and Signal strike near Pittsburgh against concessions [lasted] six months and [led] to American Standard’s decision to move operations to Georgia.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Professional league baseball players went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
“USWA [accepted] concession contract in effort to save jobs in the steel industry. Later in the year, U.S. Steel [announced] the closing of 28 facilities affecting 15,000 workers.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Julius Uehlein became the third President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.
“Formation of the Steel Valley Authority [united] eight communities including the cities of Pittsburgh and McKeesport in job retention and development effort. Shut down of historic US Steel Homestead mill, Westinghouse Electric East Pittsburgh plant, and Union Switch and Signal. 40,000 construction workers [marched] in Pittsburgh protesting the use of a non-union contractor in renovation of former Pennsylvania Railroad station. USWA strike against U.S. Steel [lasted] six months and [gained] a continuous caster for the Edgar Thompson mill in Braddock.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Professional league football players went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
“Midfield Terminal Agreement between Pittsburgh Building Trades Unions, Allegheny County, and U.S. Air [guaranteed] labor peace during the massive rebuild of the Pittsburgh International Airport. This agreement [became] the model for the Heinz plant reconstruction, new sports stadiums and other Western Pennsylvania construction projects.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“Pennsylvania Workers Cooperative Corporation Law is passed.” http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/
“United Mine Workers’ Strike against Pittston Coal Company [stimulated] numerous solidarity activities in Pennsylvania.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
William M. George became the fourth President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.
“The United Food and Commercial Workers Union [staged] a successful strike against Giant Eagle stores in western Pennsylvania after UFCW workers [mobilized] broad community support.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“Canterbury Coal strike [ended] in defeat for the UMWA after the longest sustained strike in Pennsylvania history. The Canterbury mine [closed] in the mid-1990s.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Steel workers went on strike at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation.
Teamsters’ Union employees of United Parcel Service went on strike in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
“Closing of Nabisco plant in Pittsburgh thwarted a second time by labor and community activists. Steel Valley Authority and Pittsburgh’s Building Trades’ ERECT fund [played] key roles in launching of Atlantic Baking Co.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“Allegheny General Hospital successfully organized by 1199P SEIU.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
“Seven major national unions, representing six million workers, [disaffiliated] from the AFL-CIO and, in September, [formed] a new coalition called ‘Change to Win,’ devoted to organizing.” (http://explorepahistory.com/storydetails.php?storyId=1-9-22&chapter=4)
Transit workers went on strike in metropolitan Philadelphia.
Native Pennsylvanian Richard Trumka elected president of the AFL-CIO at the organization’s convention in Pittsburgh
Richard Bloomingdale became the fifth President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.
Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah introduces the Creating Jobs Through Cooperatives Act. “The Creating Jobs Through Cooperatives Act, H.R. 2437, seeks federal funding to support cooperative development. The bill is an updated version of the National Cooperative Development Act which was introduced by Representative Fattah in 2011.” (http://www.philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/)
“Mike Johnson, a staff member with the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, was elected as one of the Vice Presidents of the ILCA [International Labor Communications Association], and will be the sole representative on the Council from the state of Pennsylvania.” (http://www.paaflcio.org/?p=2673)