Employee Record Cards
November 23, 2011 8 Comments
One of the most exciting research sources we found this summer are employee record cards from the Lattimer Coal Company. These cards span the early twentieth century, in the period after the massacre and the Big Strike of 1902. There are 2,685 cards in total. They contain a huge amount of information about each employee including name, date of employ, age, nationality, country of birth (not always same as nationality), church, doctor, occupation, wage rate, and whether they have a miner’s certificate. Some cards include the word “Dead” scrawled across the front of the card. Some of these include notes on the back describing the cause of death for miners. Other notes include health issues identified by the company doctor.
An example of a card can be seen here. The name on the card is Manus Gallagher, Jr., a resident of 799 Alter Street. He was born in Lattimer, PA in 1900. He began work at the colliery on the July 7th, 1917. He attended a Roman Catholic Church. The collection also includes a card for Manus’ father, who appears to have been killed in the mines.
We are in the process of transcribing all of the data on the cards to a searchable database. We hope to present it to the public. Ideally, members of the public could add details, stories and photographs of their family members to the project. In the next post, student Katherine Chen will describe a bit about the process of transcribing the cards,a project she has taken on for the semester. We will also report on a visit to Lattimer we made this past week and the discoveries we made.