TCM Reviews,
March 26, 2010

Review - When Coal Was Queen
by Muhammed Hassanali

Olyphant is a borough in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, approximately five miles northeast of Scranton on the Lackawanna River in the heart of the anthracite region of the State. The borough was originally named “Queen City” but later it was named after George Talbot Olyphant, president of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. It was also known as “Jewel of the Mid Valley.” Its economy was built upon the Anthracite Coal Industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As coal was its main source of employment, its heyday was in the 1920s, when it had a population of over 10,000. During the twentieth century, it experienced a decline, and today its population is less than 5,000.The book is an assembly of grey scale reproductions and black-and-white photographsthat reveal a collection of fascinating stories about the people, the various fire companies, the life and times of the people who worked in and about the mines and especially the coal miners from the area. It also includes some of its famous residents and visitors who have walked its streets during the course of its years.

It is difficult to call this work a history of Olyphant as its scope is narrower. It does not, for example, thoroughly cover the railroad industry, migration patterns, religious history, or everyday life outside the mining industry. All the reproductions are in grey scale. Reproductions of some of the more contemporary pictures would have added greater impact if they were reproduced in color. However what is covered, is covered well, and this book would appeal to those interested in the history of Mid Valley.
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Published on March 26, 2010 08:43 • 143 views

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