The Road to Ludlow: Work, Environment, and Industrialization in Southern Colorado, 1870-1915

EPA Grant Number: U915609
Title: The Road to Ludlow: Work, Environment, and Industrialization in Southern Colorado, 1870-1915
Investigators: Andrews, Thomas G.
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 1999 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $74,224
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Environmental Justice , Fellowship - Environmental


The objective of this research project is to use the coal- and steel-producing area of southern Colorado in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a case study to examine the interrelationships between workers, the environment, and industrialization in the United States. Labor versus the environment has been a perceived conflict since a trade-off between environmental protection and blue-collar jobs was first posited. Policymakers, environmentalists, economists, sociologists, and others have debated this perceived conflict in a number of ways. With few exceptions, they have done little to incorporate historical perspectives into these analyses. This is regrettable, as the past promises to provide important insights into current and future debates on labor and the environment.


I will explore the ways in which environmental concerns provoked coal miners to strike in the "coal war" of 1913-1914 that resulted in the infamous Ludlow Massacre, and to uncover the broader historical processes of environmental, social, and technological change that led to the emergence of heavy industry in southern Colorado in the first place.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, Colorado, CO, coal mining, labor, landscape change, steel making, railroads, industrialization, Pueblo, American West, landscape change, industrial accidents, industrial hygiene, Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, workers, environmental decision making.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final