The industrial revolution in 18th-century Europe and North America was propelled by a black rock called coal. Modern industrial civilization still continues to depend heavily on this rock. The word coal is of Anglo-Saxon origin from the word col, which means charcoal. Historians note that coal was already under use during the Bronze Age (around 2000 b.c.e.) in Britain. By 200 c.e., coal was being widely traded in Britain and used for fires to heat villas and military forts and also to dry grain. However, before 1000 c.e., the trade and use of coal was on a small scale. It was not until 1000 c.e. that coal began to be a prominent commodity in Britain. Initially, exposed coal seams were exploited, but by the ...

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