Scranton, city (1990 pop. 81,805), seat of Lackawanna co., NE Pa., in a mountain region, on the Lackawanna River; settled in the 1700s, inc. 1866. Named for George W. Scranton, it is a commercial and industrial center of the surrounding anthracite coal region of NE Pennsylvania. Iron was first forged there in 1797. Early products were coal-mining machinery, locomotives, and rails. Mining decreased after World War II; the unemployment that resulted was largely offset by a successful citizens' program that developed service industries. The city still has manufacturing (foods; electrical equipment; cigars; apparel and textiles; ordnance; and plastic, concrete, and metal products), but production declined sharply, as did Scranton's population, in the late 20th cent. The Univ. of Scranton, Marywood Univ., and a branch of Pennsylvania State Univ. are in the city. Of interest are are the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science, and Art; the main public library; a former coal mine and historical museum; a large Masonic temple–Scottish rite cathedral; historic blast furnaces; and Steamtown National Historic Site (see National Parks and Monuments, table). Many lakes, state forests, and recreation sites are in the area.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Political Geography