Coal Company Scrip, 1911
began in McIntyre in 1910, under the auspices of the Jefferson and Clearfield
Coal and Iron Company, a subsidiary of the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal and
Iron Company. In later years the name of the company was shortened to the Rochester
and Pittsburgh Coal Company. Subsidiary coal companies, often having the same
administrators, were formed to avoid federal monopoly regulations.
Early miners were paid not in cash but in scrip. Scrip was a cash substitute that miners could use only in the company store which was owned by the coal company. This was true not only in McIntyre but in both bituminous and anthracite coal towns in Pennsylvania and other states. A line from the popular 1950s hit, Sixteen Tons, summed up the feeling of the underpaid miner: "I owe my soul to the company store."
Document: courtesy Archives Department, Rochester and Pittsburgh
Coal Company Records, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.