Re: Retail coal dealers, brand names and railroads

Mark Heiden

Hello Ian,

Thanks for the reply. I've done some more research since I posted
this query, and I've come up with the following:

1. Did dealers tend to carry a single brand, or was it common to
carry more than one?

Allandale Lumber & Fuel Co.--"Old Company's Lehigh" and "Olga
Barrie Fuel & Supply--local supplier of "Blue Coal" (DL&W
Anthracite), also Cavalier stoker coal
Cameron & Ellis--local distributor for "Lehigh Valley Anthracite"
Lewis & Robertson--Cavalier stoker coal
Sarjeant Co.--"Famous Reading Anthracite" and Cavalier stoker coal
J. G. Scott--"Famous Reading Anthracite"
I haven't come across any definitive answer for this question. Most
of the dealers I've been able to locate seemed to carry one brand
only. Only one dealer carried two brands.

2. Were there independent coal dealers, who would simply carry
whatever brand gave them the best deal at the time?

The coal dealers cited above were all independent local
(as the majority of the yards were). However, they could act as a
local agent (some exclusively, it would appear) for one or more
I've come to the same conclusion, with the majority of dealers
carrying only one brand.

3. What railroads were connected, through ownership, mines located
on-line, etc, with the following brands:

Blue Coal (Glen Alden Coal Company)

Cavalier Stoker Coal
Consol Cavalier
Red Jacket Lump
Famous Harlan Seam Stoker Coal
unknown, off the top of my head

Famous Reading Anthracite

Sterling Coal

Lackawanna Coal
Jeddo-Highland Coal

Lehigh Valley Anthracite

Morgan Anthracite

Old Company's Lehigh

Olga Pocahontas
Patsy Home Stoker Coal
Susquehanna Anthracite
(some of these may be Canadian brands)
This one was rather interesting. Blue Coal (Glen Alden Coal
Company) was affiliated with the DL&W, but the photos I've found of
the Huber Colliery (home of Blue Coal; more about that later) show
Reading and a stray N&W hoppers. Were there car-pooling agreements?

Jeddo-Highland coal may have travelled in Lehigh Valley hoppers.
Two Jeddo-Highland breakers were served by the LV in the late 1960s:
Jeddo #5 was on the Freeland Branch, and Jeddo #7 was on the
Tomhicken Branch. Were these branches always LV, or were they
acquired from another railroad after the steam era?

Lackawanna Coal was affiliated with the Delaware & Hudson through
the Hudson Coal Company.

Susquehanna Anthracite may have travelled in Pennsylvania hoppers.
This company had an interesting history. It was originally owned by
the PRR, but sold to the M.A. Hanna Company by 1917. The breaker
was originally (around 1870) served by the PRR, by the Erie sometime
before 1900, then the D&H after 1900, then by the PRR again. Having
said all this, I'm not entirely sure that I've linked the brand name
to the correct company.

Morgan Anthracite might be an old brand name. This is pure
speculation, but the Susquehanna Anthracite breaker was located in
Glen Lyon, PA, originally named Morgantown. Morgan Anthracite may
have been the name this coal was marketed under prior to the sale to
the M.A. Hanna Company.

As for the others, I've found little or nothing. Consol Cavalier
appears to be a corporate name as well as a brand name. I discovered
a picture of a bituminous breaker in Kentucky with the Consol
Cavalier name emblazoned on it. More speculation, but Olga
Pocahantas may have travelled in Southern hoppers. The name
suggests the coal originated in the Virginia area, and there was a
small deposit of anthracite or semi-anthracite in western Virginia.
There's a photo in one of your books (might be the Palmerston book)
of a couple of Southern hoppers in Mildmay, Ontario. The town had a
coal dealer, but it also had some industries that may have received
bituminous coal.

6. Were there any spatial patterns evident in specific brand
dealer distribution (eg - eastern Pennsylvania was mostly Brand A,
while southern New York was Brand B)?

Not evident here in Southern Ontario. Keep in mind that virtually
all our anthracite came from the same small geographical area--
Eastern Pennsylvania.
I haven't found any evident spatial patterns in the eastern United

Want a good origin for CNJ and/or CNP (Central Railroad of
Pennsylvania--same company) hopper car loads of anthracite?
Enter "Huber Colliery, Ashley, PA" on your waybills.
The Huber Colliery, in Ashley, Pennsylvania, acted as a regional
breaker for the Glen Alden Coal Company. Glen Alden purchased
several mines and breakers in the Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, area in
the 1920s and 1930s. The Huber breaker was built in the late 1930s,
and allowed Glen Alden to close many smaller, older breakers.
Subsequently, all mine-run coal was shipped to the Huber breaker for
cleaning and sorting. It appears that all of the Glen Alden mines
were located on CNJ branches, so all raw coal travelled in CNJ

Mark Heiden

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