Early 20th Century Pennsylvania Coal Mining, 1981

Creator: Indiana University Center for Documentary Research and Practice
Title: Early 20th Century Pennsylvania Coal Mining
Collection No.: ohrc123
Dates: 1981
Quantity:

Quantity: 5 Interviews

(Audio files )
Quantity: Contains interviews consisting of audio .wav files.
Scope and Content Note: This collection contains 5 interviews with 7 people conducted by John Bodnar in 1981 for the Pennsylvania State Archives oral history project "Nanticoke Women Oral History Project." The people being interviewed were born in the late 19th and early 20th century and lived in the mining towns of Nanticoke and Plymouth, Pennsylvania. These towns were involved with the coal mining unions and strikes of the 1920's and 1930's. Some of interviewees worked in the mines while others had other occupations. Of the 7 people interviewed, 6 are of Polish descent with either their parent(s) or grandparent(s) immigrating to the U.S., while the other person was born in Italy and moved to the United States at the age of 15. Among the topics brought up, there is a lot of emphasis on the strikes that went on in the 1920's and 1930's involving the United Mine Workers and the union that broke off from them, the United Anthracite Miners. Many key figures from this time are discussed including John L. Lewis, Thomas Maloney, John Fine, Judge W. A. Valentine, and Rinaldo Capellini. The interviewees discuss the impact that the strikes and politics of the coal mines had on their jobs and towns. They speak of the violence that occurred at the time including dynamite attacks, fighting during the strikes, and the assassination of Thomas Maloney, who was a president of the United Anthracite Miners.
Location: Interviews are housed in Franklin Hall, Room 0030A. Contact ohrc@indiana.edu for more information. For other locations housing the interviews from this project, please contact the Center for Documentary Research and Practice office.
Language: English .
Repository: Center for Documentary Research and Practice
Franklin Hall 0030B
601 E. Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Business Number: 812-855-2856
ohrc@indiana.edu
URL: https://cdrp.mediaschool.indiana.edu/

Restrictions

Usage Restrictions:

The archive of the Center for Documentary Research and Practice at Indiana University is open to the use of researchers. Copies of transcript pages are available only when such copies are permitted by the deed of gift. Scholars must honor any restrictions the interviewee placed on the use of the interview. Since some of our earlier (pre-computer) transcripts do not exist in final form, any editing marks in a transcript (deletions, additions, corrections) are to be quoted as marked. Audio files may not be copied for patrons unless the deed of gift permits it, and a transcript is unavailable for that interview. The same rules of use that apply to a transcript apply to the audio interview. Interviews may not be reproduced in full for any public use, but excerpted quotes may be used as long as researchers fully cite the data in their research, including accession number, interview date, interviewee's and interviewer's name, and page(s). For any use of these interviews in broadcast or publication, the Pennsylvania State Archives must be contacted for permission at ra-statearchives@pa.gov.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[interviewee first name last name] interview, by [interviewer first name last name], [interview date(s)], [call number], [project name], Center for Documentary Research and Practice, Indiana University, Bloomington, [page number(s) or tape number and side if no transcript; if digital audio and no transcript, cite time when quote occurs].

Manuscript Group 409, Oral History Collection Nanticoke Women Oral History Project 1977-1978, 1981 (series #m409.22) Courtesy of Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Pennsylvania State Archives

Collection Inventory

Brozena, Chester , April 15, 1981

No(s): 24-001

Physical Description: 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 60 minutes

Language: English .

Scope Note and Content Note : Chester Brozena was born in 1908. Both him and his parents were born in Plymouth, Pennsylvania and are of Polish descent. Brozena's grandfather and father worked in the mines in Plymouth. Brozena was the eldest of 7 children. At the age of 14 he dropped out of school to work in the mines. He later became the president of the Local United Anthracite Miners in Plymouth. He talks about the strikes of the 1920's and 1930's, as well as knowing Thomas Maloney. He talks about the United Mine Workers and his dissatisfaction with John L. Lewis. Brozena was one of 29 people who were thrown in jail in 1935 for not calling off the strikes along with Maloney. After 1937, Brozena worked in various jobs including at a courthouse and building a gas station.

Indexed Terms:

  • Subjects:
    • coal mining
    • coal mining strikes
    • union violence
    • union leaders
  • Occupations:
    • coal miner
    • gas station owner
  • Places:
    • Plymouth, Pennsylvania
    • Poland
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • United Mine Workers of America
    • United Anthracite Miners of Pennsylvania
    • Susquehanna Coal Company
    • Avondale Colliery
    • Nottingham Colliery
    • Loomis Colliery
  • People:
    • Lewis, John L.
    • Maloney, Thomas
    • Valentine , Judge W.A.
    • Cappelini, Rinaldo
    • Dreier , Father
    • Boylan, John

Access Status: Restricted: Contact center staff for more information

Conditions Governing Use: For any use of these interviews in broadcast or publication, the Pennsylvania State Archives must be contacted for permission at ra-statearchives@pa.gov.

Glowacki, Louis; Glowacki, Margie , March 2, 1981

No(s): 24-002

Physical Description: 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 56 minutes

Language: English .

Scope and Content Note: Louis Glowacki was born in 1895 in Nanticoke, PA. Him and his wife Margie got married in 1926. Both he and Margie were children of Polish immigrants. Louis's father came to Nanticoke, Pennsylvania from Lipno, Poland and started a meat market business in 1892. Louis graduated from Valparaiso University with a pharmacist diploma. Shortly after the First World War broke out and Louis joined the service. During his time in the service, he witnessed the 1918 Flu Epidemic which killed many of his fellow servicemen. After returning from the war, his father desperately needed help running the company since it had become very big, so Louis gave up his career as a pharmacist and took over the meat market business. His father also created the Nanticoke National Bank which Louis eventually became Vice President of. In Margie's family, she says 13 of them were undertakers. She dropped out of school in the 7th grade since at the time school was not mandatory and worked at A&P until she was married. The Glowacki's talk about the effects the coal mining companies had on their town. They say the next generation of men did not want to work in the mines since they witnessed their fathers develop diseases such as asthma, so they moved away. This new generation also started buying meat from chain stores that had moved into the town in the 1940's. Louis eventually quit the business in 1965.

Indexed Terms:

  • Subjects:
    • coal mining
    • coal mining strikes
    • World War I
    • 1918 Influenza Epidemic
  • Places:
    • Nanticoke, Pennsylvania
    • Plymouth, Pennsylvania
    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Poland
  • Occupations:
    • Meat company owner
    • vice president of bank
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • United Mine Workers of America
    • Susquehanna Coal Company
    • Nanticoke National Bank
    • Avondale Colliery

Access Status : Restricted: Contact center staff for more information

Conditions Governing Use: For any use of these interviews in broadcast or publication, the Pennsylvania State Archives must be contacted for permission at ra-statearchives@pa.gov.

Grevera, Ben; Piscotty, Anthony , March 19, 1981

No(s): 24-003

Physical Description: 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 69 minutes

Language: English .

Scope and Content Note: Ben Grevera was born in 1913 in Nanticoke, PA. His parents were from the German controlled sectors of Poland. Throughout his career he worked various jobs including working at the Susquehanna collieries. Anthony Piscotty was born in 1908 in Plymouth, PA. He is of Polish descent. Throughout his career he worked various jobs including working at the Loomis colliery. Piscotty was a big supporter of the United Anthracite Miners and talks about the strikes of the 1930's. He talks about the politics of the mines and the fights between the unions. Grevera also discusses how he developed third stage asthma because of working in the mines.

Indexed Terms:

  • Subjects:
    • coal mining
    • coal mining strikes
    • unions
    • labor strikes
  • Occupations:
    • coal miner
    • Tavern owner
  • Places:
    • Plymouth, Pennsylvania
    • Nanticoke, Pennsylvania
    • Chester (Pa.)
    • Scranton, Pennsylvania
    • Prussia
    • Poland
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • United Mine Workers of America
    • United Anthracite Miners of Pennsylvania
    • Susquehanna Coal Company
    • Loomis Colliery
    • Chauncey Colliery
    • Glen Alden Colliery
  • People:
    • Maloney, Thomas
    • Cappelini, Rinaldo

Access Status : Restricted: Contact center staff for more information

Conditions Governing Use: For any use of these interviews in broadcast or publication, the Pennsylvania State Archives must be contacted for permission at ra-statearchives@pa.gov.

Micocci, Louis , March 2, 1981

No(s): 24-004

Physical Description: 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 92 minutes

Language: English .

Scope and Content Note: Louis Micocci was born in 1895 in Gavignano Italy. In 1906 is father moved to the United States to find work. In 1910 Micocci and the rest of the family moved to join their father in Pennsylvania. He worked with his father and brother in the mines but in 1915, Micocci went back to Italy to fight in World War 1. While there he became a major corporal. In 1920 he moved back to the United States in Nanticoke, PA with his wife and child. There he worked at the Susquehanna Coal Company at first in a labor gang, but in 1921 became a painter for the company. He worked there until 1957. Micocci talks about his time working in at the coal mine and the strikes that happened during this time.

Indexed Terms:

  • Subjects:
    • coal mining
    • coal mining strikes
    • World War I
  • Occupations:
    • painter
  • Places:
    • Nanticoke, Pennsylvania
    • Chester (Pa.)
    • Gavignano, Italy
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • United Mine Workers of America
    • Susquehanna Coal Company
    • West End Coal Company
  • People:
    • Lewis, John L.
    • Maloney, Thomas
    • Fine, John
    • Cappelini, Rinaldo

Access Status : Restricted: Contact center staff for more information

Conditions Governing Use: For any use of these interviews in broadcast or publication, the Pennsylvania State Archives must be contacted for permission at ra-statearchives@pa.gov.

Znaniecki, Vincent , February 25, 1981

No(s): 24-005

Physical Description: 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 84 minutes

Language: English .

Scope and Content Note: Vincent Znaniecki was born in 1903. He was the son of Polish immigrants from Prussia. He was born in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. Znaniecki had many different jobs in his life including mailman, owner of a gas and oil company, city councilman, chief of police, and mayor. He talks about the Coal Companies and the politics surrounding them, as well as the labor strikes of the 1930's. He speaks of his five brothers, one sister and their jobs. A few of his brothers worked in the mines as well as his father. He also speaks about the Great Depression and the effects it had on his business.

Indexed Terms:

  • Subjects:
    • coal mining
    • coal mining strikes
    • Great Depression
  • Occupations:
    • police officer
    • city council
    • mayor
    • gas and oil company
  • Places:
    • Nanticoke, Pennsylvania
    • Prussia
    • Poland
  • People:
    • Lewis, John L.
    • Maloney, Thomas
    • Dreier , Father
    • Fine, John
    • Cappelini, Rinaldo
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • United Mine Workers of America
    • Susquehanna Coal Company
    • United Anthracite Miners of Pennsylvania
    • Glen Alden Colliery

Access Status : Restricted: Contact center staff for more information

Conditions Governing Use: For any use of these interviews in broadcast or publication, the Pennsylvania State Archives must be contacted for permission at ra-statearchives@pa.gov.