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Iron, Coal, Wood

1 Feb 2021, 16:33 UTC
Iron, Coal, Wood
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Maybe you don’t remember the days of the earliest coal-fired stoves. They changed domestic life, and that changed society. We take you back to that era, and to millennia prior when iron was first smelt, and even earlier, when axe-handles were first fashioned from wood, as we explore how three essential materials profoundly transformed society.  We were once excited about coal’s promise to provide cheap energy, and how iron would lead to indestructible bridges, ships, and buildings. But they also caused some unintended problems: destruction of forests, greenhouse gases and corrosion. Did we foresee where the use of wood, coal, and iron would lead? What lessons do they offer for our future? Guests: Jonathan Waldman – Author of Rust: The Longest War. Ruth Goodman – Historian of British social customs, presenter of a number of BBC television series, including Tudor Monastery Farm, and the author of The Domestic Revolution: How the Introduction of Coal into Victorian Homes Changed Everything. Roland Ennos – Professor of biological sciences at the University of Hull and author of The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization.

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