The Chimney of the World: A History of Smoke Pollution in Victorian and Edwardian Manchester, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Chimney of the World

A History of Smoke Pollution in Victorian and Edwardian Manchester, 1st Edition

By Stephen Mosley


276 pages

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In this innovative contribution to the field of environmental history, Stephen Mosley explores the devastating human and environmental costs of smoke pollution in the world’s first industrial city.


'The great strength of Stephen Mosley's The Chimney of the World is its melding of environmental and cultural history, which lends an added dimension to his rich and original study' - Matthew Osborn, Business History Review

'This is a joy to read, often unearthing some of the more suprising attitudes to smoke emissions, for example the once popular belief that sulphurous acid in coal acted as a disinfectant, purifying town air … [The book] establishes itself as not only a leader within the discipline of British urban environmental history, but as a benchmark for others to follow.' - Jodie Thorne, Albion Reviews of Books

'Mosley has given us a beautifully crafted and well-researched book, a pioneering contribution that should certainly be considered required reading for urban environmental historians'. - Christopher Hamlin, University of Notre Dame

Table of Contents

List of abbreviations. List of illustrations, figures, and tables. Acknowledgements. Map 1. The Cotton Towns of North-West England. Map 2. Manchester in 1838. Introduction: Manchester, Air Pollution, and Urban Environmental History. Part 1: The Nature of Smoke. Part 2: Stories About Smoke. Part 3: The Search for Solutions. Notes. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Stephen Mosley is senior lecturer in history at Leeds Metropolitan University. His research interests are in urban culture and environmental history.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century