1950 Tonnage - Origin & Termination of Coal mined or used in PA

Tim Gilbert <tgilbert@...>


The 1957 book AMERICAN COMMODITY FLOW (1957) by Ullman has maps showing what states terminated Anthracite and Bituminous Coal mined in Pennsylvania in 1950, and what states mined Bituminous Coal for consumption in Pennsylvania (no other state mined Anthracite consumed in PA). Pennsylvania was the only state in Ullman's book where the origins & destinations of coal was cited; for other states, the Products of Mines tables are the closest alternative which may not be that good.

First, the destination by states (or regions) of Coal mined in PA.

(000's of Tons) Anthracite Bituminous
1950 Tons % Total Tons % Total
North N Eng. 742 2.5% 450 0.8%
South N Eng. 2,832 9.4% 2,435 4.2%
New York 9,367 31.0% 16,428 28.6%
New Jersey 7,713 25.5% 8,997 15.7%
Pennsylvania 7,551 25.0% 15,697 27.3%
DE, MD, DC, VA 865 2.8% 2,388 4.1%
West Virginia 23 0.1% 44 0.1%
Ohio 176 0.6% 10,565 18.4%
IL, IN, MI, WI 933 3.1% 404 0.7%
FL, AL, TN, TX 35 0.1% -0-
MN, IA, MO, CA 47 0.2% -0-
Total 30,249 100.0% 57,408 100.0%

1) In terms of coal fields, Anthracite was mined in Northeastern Pennsylvania while Bituminous was mined in the Western part of the state.

2) These figures represent the states where all-rail transport from Pennsylvania terminated. The figures do not measure where the coal was consumed. The table measures only where hoppers (or gons) loaded with PA-mined coal were terminated.

3) Some of the PA Coal mined was delivered to ports for transshipment into barges or ships for transport to other states. In terms of where the consumers were the figures for New York may be bloated for transshipment at Sodus Point NY for points in Ontario (plus the transfer of hoppers at Rutland's Albergh NY Trestle). Transshipment of PA Coal at Erie and Ohio's Great Lake Ports for destinations on the Upper Lakes bloated the Pennsylvania and Ohio Terminating Tonnage at the expense of states served by the Upper Lake Ports. New Jersey's figures may have been bloated by transshipment across the Hudson River to New York and Connecticut. Exports of Coal through Atlantic Ports may have bloated PA's & NJ's tonnage. It is difficult to assess how much of the individual tonnage for particular states includes transfers to barges & ships - nor are these tonnages being placed on barges at or near the mines for transit down the Ohio River to other states included.

4) Any all-rail transit to Ontario via Buffalo or Suspension Bridge is not reflected in the table.

5) States not cited in the table above did not receive any all-rail shipments of PA Coal. This means that "Other States" could have received PA-mined Coal after the coal was loaded into barges and ships, and then back into hoppers (& gons) at another transshipment point.

24,588,000 tons of Bituminous Coal were terminated in Pennsylvania of which 15,697,000 tons (63.8%) were mined in Pennsylvania. Other states originating Bituminous Coal were West Virginia (7,693,000 tons or 31.3% of the total); Maryland (466,000 tons or 1.9%); Kentucky (384,000 tons or 1.6%); Ohio (274,000 tons or 1.1%); Virginia (50,000 tons or 0.2%) and Tennessee (24,000 tons or 0.1% of the total). There is no distinction within Pennsylvania where this Bituminous Coal was terminated - Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, etc..

Tim Gilbert


Tim's informative discussion answered a question I've had for a long
time - how far from the source was anthracite coal sold?

Most anthracite was sold in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania -
thus the anthracite hoppers didn't go much further than that. More
importantly, hoppers from afar weren't returned in exchange for
anthracite region hoppers.

The only thin I found surprising was that so much anthracite went to
the region below

IL, IN, MI, WI 933 3.1%

Maybe rich people were willing to pay a premium for a sweeter smelling