The Schuylkill River is a river running northwest to southeast in eastern Pennsylvania, which was improved by navigations into the Schuylkill Canal. Several of its tributaries drain major parts of the center-southern and easternmost Coal Regions in the state. It flows for 135 miles from Pottsville to Philadelphia, where it joins the Delaware River as one of its largest tributaries.
In 1682 William Penn chose the left bank of the confluence upon which he founded the planned city of Philadelphia on lands purchased from the native Delaware nation. It is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River, and its whole length was once part of the Delaware people's southern territories.
The river's watershed of about 2,000 sq mi lies entirely within the state of Pennsylvania, the upper portions in the Ridge-and-valley Appalachian Mountains where the folding of the mountain ridges metamorphically modified bituminous into widespread anthracite deposits located north of the Blue Mountain barrier ridge.
Millions of tons of coal from Pennsylvania's Anthracite Coal Region flowed by waterway and rail into Philadelphia to feed the iron and steel industry.