SCRANTON, a city and the county-seat of Lackawanna county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., at the confluence of the Lackawanna river and Roaring Brook, about 162 m. by rail N. by W. of Philadelphia and about 146 m. W.N.W. of New York. Pop. (1890) 75,215; (1900) 102,026, of whom 28,973 were foreign-born (including 7193 Irish, 4704 Germans, 4621 Welsh and 3692 English) and 521 were negroes; (1910, census) 129,867. Scranton is served by the Erie, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Central of New Jersey, the New York, Ontario & Western, the Delaware & Hudson, and the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley railways. It occupies an area of about 20 sq. m. Among the principal public buildings are the United States Government building, the County Court House, the City Hall, the Albright Memorial building, housing the public library (55,800 vols. in 1908), the armoury of the 13th Regiment, State National Guard, the Board of Trade building, some fine churches and school-houses, a Young Men's Christian Association building and a Young Women's Christian Association building. Scranton is the see of a Roman Catholic bishop, has a good public school system, and is the seat of the International Correspondence Schools (1891), which give instruction by mail in the trades and professions to large numbers of students; Mt. St Mary's Seminary (1902) for girls, and the W. T. Smith (Memorial) Manual Training School (1905), a part of the public school system. The city has an Institute of History and Science, and the Everhart Museum of natural history, science and art (dedicated 1908), founded and endowed by Dr I. F. Everhart (b. 1840) of Scranton, a Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, and monuments to the memory of Columbus and Washington. Scranton is the largest city in the great anthracite-coal region of the United States; and 17,525,995 long tons of coal were produced within the county in 1905. The chief manufactures are silk goods (21-6% of all in value) and other textiles, but large quantities of foundry and machine-shop products, malt liquors, flour, and planing mill products are also manufactured. The total value of the city's factory products in 1905 was $20,453,285. The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railway has since built large machine and car shops.
A permanent settlement was established within the present limits of Scranton in 1788, and a primitive grist-mill, a saw-mill and a charcoal iron-furnace were erected during the next tew years; but there was little further development until 1840, when the Lackawanna Iron Company was formed for the manufacture of iron here. The limestone and iron ore of the vicinity proved to be of inferior quality, and the failure of the enterprise was prevented only by the persistent efforts of George Whitefleld Scranton (1811-1861), aided by his brother Selden T. Scranton and his cousin Joseph Hand Scranton. Under the leadership of George W. Scranton better grades of iron ore and of limestone were procured, and within a decade a rolling mill, a nail factory and a manufactory of steel rails were established, and adequate facilities for railway transportation were provided. Scranton was incorporated as a borough in 1854, was chartered as a city of the third class in 1866, and became a city of the second class in 1901.
See B. H. Throop, A Half-Century in Scranton (Scranton, 1895).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)