• An engineer inspects the running gear of a steam locomotive at Steamtown NHS

    Steamtown

    National Historic Site Pennsylvania

Steamtown Receives New Archival Collection from Syracuse University

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Date: May 15, 2012
Contact: Kip Hagen, 570-340-5182

SCRANTON, Pa - Steamtown National Historic Site has received a significant archival collection dealing with three railroads that served the Scranton area. Park Superintendent Kip Hagen reports, "We would like to announce the transfer of ownership of the archival collections of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, Erie and the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railroads, as well as the papers of Samuel Sloan from Syracuse University. We originally approached Syracuse with an offer to help process some of their collection tied closely to northeast Pennsylvania to make it more accessible to the public." Senior Director of Special Collections at Syracuse University, Sean Quimby, after visiting Steamtown and inspecting its facilities countered with an offer to transfer these collections outright. "I am pleased that these collections will reside in a repository well known to the railroad history community and anticipate they will see great use."

Park Historian and Archivist Patrick McKnight states, "This addition will almost double the archival collection at Steamtown. We already had a good collection of regional railroad archives, now we have a great collection. I hope we can continue to build on the good work Syracuse has done with the collection."

"This acquisition will be a research tool for our region. I am sure our local partners in preservation, institutions of higher education, rail historians and the general public will find these documents of particular interest," adds Mr. Hagen.

Located in downtown Scranton, Pa., Steamtown NHS is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. From I-81 follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); then, follow the brown and white signs to the main entrance at Lackawanna and Cliff Avenues.  The full 2012 Excursion Schedule is available to view and print online at www.nps.gov/stea; additional general park information is available by phoning (570) 340-5200 during regular business hours, or by visiting the Park website anytime!

Did You Know?

USS Olympia

Many railroads, particularly Eastern roads, used anthracite coal for locomotive fuel during the early steam era. During World War I, the US Navy and the Allied Forces used anthracite coal to power the steam boilers of warships such as Admiral Dewey's USS Olympia, which is berthed at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Burning anthracite resulted in low-smoke emissions from steamship boilers and gave the Allies a strategic opportunity to close-in on the enemy in a battle. With anthracite coal diverted to the war effort, locomotive builders adapted to using bituminous coal in their future designs.