Category Archives: Economics

A random history of energy economics (3) – The life cycle of fuels

Fuels like any other product have life cycles.  The stages of the classic life cycle are growth, maturity and decline.  For some fuels like wood, the length of the cycle is measured in millennia, that of coal looks like it … Continue reading

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A Random history of energy economics (2) – The Horse and the Lorry

By 1900 railways were the most important element in Britain’s transport infrastructure, but they only provided town-to-town communication.  The distribution of goods within a town was done with men with barrows and horses with carts.  In the rural areas “carriers” … Continue reading

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A Random History of Energy Economics (1) – Gas Engines in the Home

Over the past year I’ve been acquiring a few copies of the “The Model Engineer and Amateur Electrician” at car boot sales.  I now have about 15 examples dating from 1899 to 1919.  Models make up a large part of … Continue reading

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The price of house coal

The starting point for this post was some old family accounts which extended, with gaps from the 1920s to the 1940s.  This was augmented by some figures found in the online version of Hansard.  Some local history material provided a human … Continue reading

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The early days of electricity in Hove (3)

As with previous posts in this series, this one is work in progress and subject to corrections and revisions. As I mess with this, I realise I am working backwards.  The story starts with an Act of Parliament of 1890 whose objective … Continue reading

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The consumer’s relationship with coal and gas

I recently read “the world did not run out of coal, it just stopped using it”, with the implication that a similar process might take place with other fuels such as oil and gas.  A back-burner project has been to collect … Continue reading

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Firing: Stoves, Ranges, and Economical Management of Fuel

This post is chapter XIV of 1894 edition of “The Handbook of Household Management and Cookery” by W.B. Tegetmeier.  As I have another similar work, I’m guessing that that there were quite a few variations on this theme.  The book was … Continue reading

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