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Immigrant Employees of the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company

A Steelworks Center of the West Digital Humanities Project

Christopher J. Schreck, Author

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The Mines of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company

The coal mines of Southern Colorado were owned and operated almost exclusively by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) to help fuel trains for the vast rail road network that was pushing its way through the American West, and to fire the furnaces of the steelworks plant in Pueblo, Colorado. In all, there were approximately 53 mines operating in the region over the course of the company’s history. Several grades of coal were mined by CF&I in Colorado, the most significant being bituminous coal as it is especially abundant in Southern Colorado, and its low-ash and low-sulphur content make it suitable for producing coke. CF&I’s coal mines have also been a source of intense controversy over the years, especially concerning labor relations between the company and its employees. One of the most famous incidents in American labor history, the Ludlow Massacre, resulted from a dispute between CF&I and its coal miners in 1914. 

Map by Megan Hedberg and Chris Schreck
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