Pittsburgh Coal Company

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Montour No. 4 Mine in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
Empty shuttle coal cars, Westland Mine, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh Coal Company was a bituminous coal mining company based in Pittsburgh and controlled by the Mellon family. In 1945 it merged with Consolidation Coal Company, controlled by the Rockefeller family.


The Pittsburgh Coal Company was a trust incorporated in New Jersey in 1899 by leading Pittsburgh industrialists, including Andrew W. Mellon, Henry W. Oliver, and Henry Clay Frick. Although a New Jersey corporation, it operated only in the Pittsburgh area. At its inception, the company took control of over 80 coal businesses and 80,000 acres (32,000 ha) of land on both sides of the Monongahela River.[1]

Pittsburgh Coal ran numerous coal mines in Allegheny County during the early 20th century. In 1915, it merged with the Monongahela River Consolidated Coal and Coke Company.

It operated the Darr Mine in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.


Near its beginning, the Pittsburgh Coal Company owned six collector railroads;[1] the company operated the Coal Hill Coal Railroad, a 1.5-mile (2.4 km), 3 ft 4 in (1,016 mm) narrow gauge railroad until 1871, when it was sold to the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad, which lengthened the line.[2] The company assumed control of the Montour Railroad in 1901.

Coal miner Louis Shafer, Pittsburgh Coal Company (1946).

Labor relations[edit]

Pittsburgh Coal paid compensation in the 1929 death of their union employee John Barkoski due to a beating by three officers of the Coal and Iron Police.[3]

The company was involved in labor disputes with John L. Lewis and the United Mine Workers.[4][5]

According to A. E. Hotchner's memoir, King of the Hill, the Pittsburgh Coal Company shot and killed photographer McShane, he apparently attempted to take pictures of the miners in Duquesne, Pennsylvania for a magazine. The company first shot McShane, and then shot some miners who ran to his aid, using machine guns.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Guide to the Consolidation Coal Company Records, 1854-1971 AIS.2011.03". Archives Service Center, University Library System, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad HAER no. PA-410" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2009-01-02. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ O'Conner, Harvey (1933). Mellon's Millions: The Biography of a Fortune; the John Day company. p. 225. OCLC 634189.
  4. ^ Ingham, John N. Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders. Greenwood Press, Westport, 1983. ISBN 0-313-23908-8.
  5. ^ "MINERS WIN LAST SOFT COAL STRONGHOLD; Pittsburgh Coal Company, Production 24,000,000 Tons Yearly, Signs Cleveland Agreement" (PDF). New York Times. 1922-08-31. Retrieved May 2, 2009.

External links[edit]