Friday 28th March
1.30pm Eagle House, Meeting Room

Professor Robert Ayres (Emeritus, INSEAD)

How Black Became Gold

The Industrial Revolution came about because (1) charcoal was getting expensive (well known) and (2) coal was not useful as such, except in fireplaces, but (3) when people figured out how to use coal in iron-making (as coke) the 'iron ceiling' came off. Watt's inventions were important but secondary. In other words, unlike discoveries of gold or silver or copper, that could be converted into money directly to pay soldiers, coal turned into money by incubating a series of new technologies.


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