Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company Records

Collection ID:
Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company
Physical Description:
72 Cubic feet
245 boxes, 1 map folder

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of records primarily of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. Additionally, there are records of the Lehigh Navigation Coal Company and subsidiary companies including the Alliance Coal Mining Company. These records mostly describe anthracite mining in the vicinity of Mauch Chuck and Summit Hill, Pennsylvania. Also included is a smaller amount of material on railroad, canal, and river navigation work of LCNC.
Included are annual reports, 1913-1949, and a few other reports, 1912-1953. There are numerous types of fiscal records such as revenue statements, 1913-1949; ledgers, 1874-1906; financial forecasts, 1949-1953; trial balance books, 1920-1942; journals, 1874-1945; records of vouchers, 1882-1906; records of bills payable, 1907-1948; and individual ledgers, 1904-1944. Also included are records of coal production, 1900-1906; records of cost of coal mining and preparation, 1890-1954; and comparative statistical and cost data on coal mining and preparation, 1920-1939. In addition to fiscal records and records relating to coal production, there are inventories, 1898-1947 and records of improvements and special projects, 1909-1926. Also, there is a large group of payroll records, 1894-1907, and other records relating to employee compensation, 1870-1954.

This collection is organized into twenty-two series.
Series 1: Annual Reports, 1826-1961
Series 2: Other Reports, 1912-1953
Series 3: Revenue Statements, 1913-1949
Series 4: Ledgers, 1874-1947
Series 5: Inventories, 1877-1945
Series 6: Financial Forecasts, 1949; 1951-1953
Series 7: Trial Balance Books, 1920-1942
Series 8: Journals, 1874-1945
Series 9: Record of Vouchers, 1882-1906
Series 10: Records of Bills Payable and Collectibles, 1907-1948
Series 11: Individual Ledgers, 1904-1908; 1919-1936; 1941-1945
Series 12: Records of Improvements and Special Projects, 1907-1913; 1920-1926
Series 13: Records of Coal Production, 1856-1952
Series 14: Records of Costs of Coal Mining and Preparation, 1890-1907; 1894-1954
Series 15: Comparative Statistical and Cost Data on Coal Mining and Preparation, 1873-1939
Series 16: Payroll Records, 1882-1951
Series 17: Employee Compensation, 1870-1954
Series 18: Contracts, Agreements and Leases, 1879-1931
Series 19: Printed Materials Relating to the Anthracite Industry, 1815-1954
Series 20: Miscellaneous Materials, 1874-1966
Series 21: Oversize Materials, 1829-1945
Series 22: Photographs, 1829, 1929, undated

Biographical / Historical
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.

Jane Odom, Robert Ageton, and Alison Oswald
Custodial History
Collection transferred from the Division of Extractive Industries (now the Division of Work and Industry) to the Archives Center, October 1983.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, Pennsylvania.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Jane Odom and Robert Ageton; revised Alison Oswald, archivist, 2016.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
Preferred Citation
The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

Related Materials
Materials at Other Organizations
Pennsylvania State Archives
Penn State University Libraries
Lehigh University Special Collections

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Coal mines and mining -- Pennsylvania Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mining and minerals industry Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pennsylvania Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mining equipment Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Alliance Coal Mining Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
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Business Number: Phone: 202-633-3270
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