Hardcoal Chronicles 40th

1973 - 2013

The Coal Breakers

King Coal's Castles

In the Bituminous industry, processing plants are called ‘tipples’, but Anthracite is a hard metamorphic rock which requires much more extensive crushing and sizing — thus the term ‘breaker’. In the Nineteenth Century, breakers were usually separate from washeries (where the sized coal was cleaned); In the Twentieth Century (and all references in this presentation), the term ‘breaker’ refers to an Anthracite processing plant where both functions were consolidated. Respective turf in corporate feudalism was fully evident in the dispersion of Anthracite collieries, their breakers, and railroad service. Even as late as the 1950s, just about every Coal Region town still seemed to have at least one breaker of its own, and sometimes several. Initially, most were from large company systems, and corresponded to their dedicated railroad system. But, just as the independent miners emerged after the large colliery consolidations, so did independent breaker operators. And, just like independent mines, they were almost exclusively family owned and operated. Today, some of these are virtually as prominent in their localities as are the few big remaining breakers of the successors to the large company systems which dominated Anthracite for over 100 years. Today, there are only two original large consolidated breakers remaining, both inactive, and only several dozen family ones left.


A1 Title plate
A2 Frontispiece
A3 Dedicatory
A4 Panels Intro
A5 The Region
A6 Overview
A7 Names & Titles
A8 Orientation
A9 Image Roster
A10 Farther Afield
A11 Portfolios
A12 Chronology
A13 thecoalman.com


C1 Metamorphic
C2 Mine Pits A
C3 Coal Holes
C4 Deep Mining
C5 Breakers
D1 People
D2 Pitch Black
D3 Coal Delivery
D4 PA Bituminous
D5 Soft Coal
D6 Mine Pits B
D7 Coaling Towers
E1 Coal Trains
E2 Coal Cars
E3 Non-Coal RR
E4 Car Shots
F1 Night Images
F2 Jim Lukens Art
F3 Anthracite Racing
F4 Racing Reunion


H1 Linking Up
H2 Homecoming
H3 Photographers
H5 “Last Call” continued
K1 Acknowledgements
K2 Thank You
K3 Honorees
K4 Ambassador
K5 Silver Images
K6 Framers
K7 Dan's Camera
K8 Rob-Win Press
K9 Lew Graver
K10 Avanti Cigars
N1 “Year in the Life”
N2 The Work in 2011
N3 Continuity
N4 “Parting Shot”


Q1 Calendar
Q2 Show Venues
Q3 Visitors Welcome
Q4 Links
Q5 “On Hold”
Q6 Copyright Notice
Q7 Gifting of Images
Q8 Site Update
R1 Return