Domestic Storage Problems and Transitions: Coal in Nineteenth-Century America


Sean Patrick Adams explores coal storage and expansion in nineteenth-century America. Spatial and economic restrictions hampered the conversion to coal, as working class consumers had neither the means to purchase large quantities of fuel nor the space to store it. Moreover, regular strikes in the late nineteenth century placed great strain on energy networks, necessitating an ultimate shift to natural gas and electricity in the years that followed. Adams posits that understanding the story of coal in the nineteenth century is significant because it forces us to consider the wider implications of energy transitions.