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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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10. King Coal

It is no exaggeration to say that without the development of a coal mining industry the Industrial Revolution would have stalled before it had gathered any momentum. Just to contemplate powering machinery using wood burning boilers alone on any but the most modest of scales nullifies the idea of an industrial age. And the arrival of electricity, which transformed industry and society, would not have been possible without coal. This may seem strange to us now as the post Revolution age that we are living in, turned its back on coal as a resource for anything but power stations, as other fuels – cleaner and more efficient – were utilised, and now we face a new age where we may be forced to ultimately reduce the use of fossil fuels ...

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