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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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14. Coal in the Western Economies

Whilst uranium may well be the future for electricity generation, the Industrial Revolution was built, as we have already seen, on king coal, and coal remained the prime source of power well beyond the end of the Second World War. When the 20th century opened the US was the largest coal producer in the world at 350 million tons, with Great Britain in second place at 236 million tonnes and Germany in third place at 173 million tons. By the end of the century the US had fallen into second place behind China although its output had trebled over the period, and Germany had slipped to seventh place with output largely in line with 100 years previously. In contrast Great Britain had fallen off the map, producing ...

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