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Fueling the Gilded AgeRailroads, Miners, and Disorder in Pennsylvania Coal Country$
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Andrew B. Arnold

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814764985

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814764985.001.0001

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Organization and Industry, 1890–1894

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Fueling the Gilded Age

Andrew B. Arnold

NYU Press

This chapter examines the Central Pennsylvania coal industry's attempts to create a national organization in the late nineteenth century. Between 1890 and 1894, coal operators, coal miners, and railroads sought to achieve a national scale through simple, consistent approaches. Whereas operators lobbied for a single price for coal as well as simpler, more stable freight rates, and a single sales agent, coal miners experimented with a call for the eight-hour day. Railroads, for their part, wanted to create a single total freight rate for all coal shipped to the East Coast regardless of its point of origin in the region. This chapter considers the failure of Central Pennsylvania's coal operators, coal miners, and railroads to arrive at simple solutions to various issues confronting the two industries and their decision to adopt ad hoc piecemeal improvisations. It also discusses the United Mine Workers of America's efforts to organize on a national scale.

Keywords:   coal industry, national organization, coal operators, coal miners, railroads, freight rates, Central Pennsylvania, United Mine Workers of America

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