UNDERGROUND

William 'Strata' Smith: A life of many layers

Methods originally developed to build canals in England’s Industrial Revolution became critical to mining’s future

Sean Daly
 Engraving from William Smith's 1815 monograph on identifying strata by fossils - Credit: W. Arding, London

Engraving from William Smith's 1815 monograph on identifying strata by fossils - Credit: W. Arding, London

  The Industrial Revolution required vast quantities of coal. Previously, for centuries, people relied on charcoal for cheap fuel. Industry before 1700 also used coal, but coal at or near the surface,...

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