Coal and Iron Police were commanded by company officials, paid by company funds, and basically acted to protect company interests, especially when workers tried to organize and strike for higher wages. By 1900, when the United Mine Workers were actively organizing in Pennsylvania, these private police forces employed 5,000 men. With almost unchecked power to intimidate miners, the Coal and Iron Police flourished in the mining regions until 1929, when Governor John S. Fisher outlawed the use of “undue violence” when making arrests” and the “unnecessary display or use of weapons, and profanity.” Two years later, Governor Gifford Pinchot brought an end to the Coal and Iron Police.


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Created by   The Samuel Gompers Papers Project