1879 Lorenz Large Antique Map Coal Seams Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Reading

Cartographer :William Lorenz

  • Title : Map Showing Coal Laterals of the Philadelphia & Reading Rail Raod company William Lorenz Chief Eng. 1879
  • Date : 1879
  • Size: 29in x 19 1/2in (735mm x 495mm)
  • Condition: (A) Very Good Condition
  • Ref:  93520

This original, large folding rare lithograph map of the Coal Fields of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, owned at the time by the Pennsylvania & Reading Railroad Company by William Lorenz was engraved and published in 1879 - dated.

The Definition of a Coalseam lateral is any system of development in coal seams or thick orebodies in which headings are driven horizontally across the coal or ore and connected to main haulage drifts, entries, or shafts. There are many variations and modifications depending on the thickness, shape, and inclination of the deposit.(Ref Tooley M&B)

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Pink, blue
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 29in x 19 1/2in (735mm x 495mm)
Plate size: - 29in x 19 1/2in (735mm x 495mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - Chipping to map edges not affecting the image
Plate area: - Light wear along sectioned edges
Verso: - Backed in linen

Schuylkill is a county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is located in the heart of Pennsylvanias Coal Region and is part of Northeastern Pennsylvania. As of the 2020 census, the population was 143,049. The county seat is Pottsville.
The county was created on March 1, 1811, from parts of Berks and Northampton counties and named for the Schuylkill River, which originates in the county. On March 3, 1818, additional territory in its northeast was added from Columbia and Luzerne counties. The county is part of the Pottsville, Pennsylvania Micropolitan Statistical Area.
The lands that today constitute Schuylkill County were acquired by William Penns proprietors by treaty executed August 22, 1749, with representatives of the Six Nations and the Delaware, Shamokin and Shawnee, who received 500 pounds lawful money of Pennsylvania. The territory described included all of Schuylkill County except the northern part of Union Township, which was included in the purchase of 1768.
In the year 1754, the area that would become Schuylkill County along with the areas that today are Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Lehigh counties were settled by German immigrants. The earliest settlers in southeastern Schuylkill County, which was then part of Northampton County, were primarily Moravian missionaries from Saxony. Other early settlers in southern Schuylkill County were German Palatines.
An early mill in the county was built in 1744 by John Finscher, but it later burned down. The first log church in the county was built in 1755. Native American massacres were commonplace in Schuylkill County between 1755 and 1765. Warrant for tracts of land in the vicinity of McKeansburg were in existence as early as 1750. Found by Sammy Hepler in 1789.
Anthracite coal (then called stone coal) was discovered by Necho Allen near the area where Pottsville was ultimately developed in 1790. In 1795, a blacksmith in Schuylkill County named Whetstone learned how to use the coal successfully for smithing purposes. In 1806 coal was found while the tail-race was cut of the Valley (Iron) Forge, on the Schuylkill. Daniel Berlin, another blacksmith, also used it successfully, and smiths in the neighborhood adopted using the coal.
Schuylkill County was created via an Act of Assembly on March 1, 1811, from portions of Berks and Northampton counties. More land was added to the county in 1818, from Columbia and Luzerne counties. At the time of its creation, the county had a population of about 6,000. An early book of Schuylkill County history was written by Daniel Deibert in 1802.
Orwisgsburg was the first community in Schuylkill County to be laid out. During the early years of Schuylkill County, there was an attempt to make McKeansburg the county seat; Orwigsburg was also a contender. Orwigsburg was agreed upon to be the county seat, as it was deemed to be well-suited for industries. Beginning in 1831, sentiment began to rise for moving the county seat to Pottsville. In 1846, the Legislature passed an Act that was approved by Governor Francis R. Shunk on March 13, submitting the question to the voters. The change was desired principally because the railroad and canal connections with Orwigsburg were problematic to transport the public to that town without losing valuable time while Pottsville had such facilities and was within easy access from all parts of the county.
In 1812, George Shoemaker who, with Necho Allen, had discovered stone coal at Centerville in Schuylkill County, personally delivered some coal to Philadelphia. He gave away most of the coal, intending to encourage individuals to find ways to use it. Most of the experiments failed and though Shoemaker was nearly run out of town and called an imposter, Mellon and Bishop of Delaware County successfully used it in their rolling mill. When other rolling mills also adopted the fuel, a large industrial market and demand developed.
The Schuylkill Navigation Company was chartered in 1815 to build a series of navigation improvements in the Schuylkill River. This was during a period when the much larger Erie Canal along the Mohawk River in New York also was being developed. It was well ahead of other key canals fueling the Industrial Revolution, such as the Delaware and Hudson, the Lehigh, the Chesapeake and Ohio, Delaware and Raritan, and Morris canals. The originators of the project did not count upon the coal trade to promote the success of the undertaking. They looked forward mainly to transporting the agricultural products being produced below the mountains, the lumber of Schuylkill County, and the grain and other products of the counties between the Susquehanna and Schuylkill rivers. The first shipments of coal by canal were made in 1822 when 1,480 tons were sent down the line.
With a regular supply of anthracite coal ensured, the southern anthracite coal field in Schuylkill County attracted speculators and fortune hunters. They were inspired by dreams of becoming millionaires. This was the first speculative era of the Schuylkill coal trade. Pottsville became the center of the movement. The more successful explorers revealed numerous veins of coal, extending over a vast stretch of county and with a seemingly inexhaustible quantity of coal. These discoveries brought excitement and speculation; lands were bought (and sold); roads were laid out in the forest, mines were opened and railroads projected, and innumerable town plots planned. The demand for houses was so great that the lumber for many was framed in Philadelphia and sent by canal to the burgeoning coal region.
At this stage, coal-mining firms were small and family owned. The residents and entrepreneurs of the Schuylkill region opposed the entry here of incorporated coal companies. In these years, coal mining operations in the Schuylkill region were conducted with economy, and relatively little capital was required. As the workings were all above the water level, no machinery was required for water drainage or for hoisting coal to the surface. Coal breakers and other expensive fixtures and appliances for the preparation of coal had not then been introduced. Numerous operators produced from five to six thousand tons for market annually (which was then considered a respectable business), who had never committed thousands of dollars to their enterprises, including their first land purchases of coal mines. It was commonly asserted that coal land could be bought and mines opened for less capital than the purchase and stocking of a decent farm. Such mines could be worked for less capital than that required to establish a line of stagecoaches or transportation wagons.
Eventually, railroads replaced the canals as the primary means of transporting coal to markets. Mining was taken over by major corporate business, especially after the Civil War. As a result, the Middle Coal Field was developed in the 1860s and the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad created a subsidiary (Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company) to buy or lease, and develop the expanding industrial coal trade. Consumption of coal along the Schuylkill above Philadelphia in 1839 was 30,290 tons when the Pioneer at Pottsville, the first anthracite furnace in the United States, became operational. By 1849, consumption had increased to 239,290 tons, to 554,774 tons in 1859, and to 1,787,205 tons in 1873.
The numerous jobs in the mining industry comprised a catalyst for mass immigration to Schuylkill County from the British Isles and Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. As mines became more numerous (by 1846 there were 110 operators in the region and 142 collieries in Schuylkill County) and more complex (in 1846 there were 35 collieries below water level), mechanical breakers, steam locomotive, it became more labor-intensive both for accomplishing mining tasks and supporting minings peripheral industries. Such industries included manufacturing of explosives, metal screens, pump components, piping, and timber for support. This led to an influx of population into Schuylkill and other anthracite counties to fill these jobs. Beginning with the Irish immigration in the 1840s (fueled by the Great Famine), after the Civil War, beginning in the 1870s, newcomers arrived from Eastern Europe. Poles, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Slovaks, Rusyns and Ukrainians (Ruthenians), often from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy settled in the villages of Schuylkill County and took their place among the laborers in the coal mines. By the 1880s and 1890s, thousands of Italians immigrated for jobs related to mining.