Scranton, George Whitefield, 1811–61, American manufacturer, b. Madison, Conn. With his brother Selden he bought (1839) the lease and stock of the ironworks of Oxford Furnace, near Washington, N.J. The next year, with several other businessmen, Scranton formed a company to obtain large tracts of coal-bearing lands in the Lackawanna valley, including the site of Scranton, Pa., which he laid out. By 1842 he had developed the use of anthracite for smelting ore. Later he organized and was president of the Northumberland division of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR and was a Republican Congressman from 1859 until his death.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.