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Peter Thorsheim

Peter Thorsheim is a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Photo of Peter Thorsheim

On the web: Website

Listed in: Environmental Policy · Public Health · Victorian Studies · British History · Environmental History

Cover of 'Inventing Pollution'

Inventing Pollution
Coal, Smoke, and Culture in Britain since 1800
By Peter Thorsheim
· Preface by Peter Thorsheim

Inventing Pollution examines new understandings of pollution, centered not on organic decay but on coal combustion, that emerged in the late 19th century in Britain. This change, Thorsheim argues, gave birth to the smoke-abatement movement and to new ways of thinking about the relationships among humanity, technology, and the environment.

Cover of 'Inventing Pollution'

Inventing Pollution
Coal, Smoke, and Culture in Britain since 1800
By Peter Thorsheim
· Preface by Peter Thorsheim

Inventing Pollution examines new understandings of pollution, centered not on organic decay but on coal combustion, that emerged in the late 19th century in Britain. This change, Thorsheim argues, gave birth to the smoke-abatement movement and to new ways of thinking about the relationships among humanity, technology, and the environment.

Cover of 'Inventing Pollution'

Inventing Pollution
Coal, Smoke, and Culture in Britain since 1800
By Peter Thorsheim

Britain's supremacy in the nineteenth century depended in large part on its vast deposits of coal. This coal not only powered steam engines in factories, ships, and railway locomotives but also warmed homes and cooked food. As coal consumption skyrocketed, the air in Britain's cities and towns became filled with ever-greater and denser clouds of smoke.

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