Biographical / Historical
The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company was formed on April 21, 1820 by the merger of the Lehigh Navigation Company and the Lehigh Coal Company. Both predecessor companies and the new company were organized by Josiah White, Erskine Hazard, and George F. Hauto. The LCNC was reorganized in 1821 and incorporated by the Pennsylvania legislature in 1822.
The company was involved in anthracite mining and transportation, initially, they made the Lehigh River navigable as a means of getting their coal to Easton and then to Philadelphia via the Delaware River. Later, through canal construction, railway construction and agreements with existing railroads, the company delivered its product to New York, New England, and elsewhere. In the 1820s, LCNC laid rails from its mines to the river landing at Mauch Chunk and also began its railroad from Summit Hill, in the late 1820s, construction of the Lehigh Canal was completed from Mauch Chunk to Easton. Between 1836 and 1838 the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad was completed from the northern anthracite field, connecting Wilkes Barre to White Haven.
In 1840, the first successful iron furnace blast was made with Lehigh coal, in 1844, the company began its first important underground mining. In the 1860s and 1870s, the company completed a railroad from Wilkes Barre to Easton, and the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad was leased to the Central Railroad of New Jersey, thereby guaranteeing LCNC access to New York. Early in the twentieth century, the New England area was opened to LCNC through railroad construction.
In 1930 the Lehigh Navigation Coal Company was founded essentially as a holding company for LCNC and other companies, and other organizational changes were made. The company went out of business in 1965.