By S. Sugiyama (eds.)
This ebook is the 1st quantity of a monograph sequence released by means of the Socio-Economic background Society, Japan. the aim of the sequence is to make works by means of jap students obtainable to a much broader readership and to extend the information of students during this box, relatively with regards to Asia. This quantity comprises 4 chapters on strength and the surroundings of Japan, China and Britain and 4 brief publication reports on contemporary educational works released in jap and English. The 4 chapters disguise the next subject matters: the connection among deforestation and the improvement of the silk reeling in a district of Nagano Prefecture (central Japan) from the 1870s to the 1900s and the next shift from firewood to coal; the significance of trees offers for the advance of as illustrated by way of a case research at the provide of bushes to be used as rail sleepers within the jap nationwide railway community through the prewar interval; a methodological survey of the historical past of ecology and the surroundings in China; and an research of the British Smoke Nuisance Abatement Act of 1821 as a degree that integrated the pursuits of politicians, landlords and industrialists.
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Additional resources for Economic History of Energy and Environment
Against this background, this paper considers wooden sleepers in the railway industry as an example of the use of timber as an industrial construction material. Like the mining industry, the railway industry was a central target for government support under the industrial promotion policy of the Meiji government, and approximately 50 % of the Ministry of Industry’s total expenditure for industrial promotion 2 The Government Railways and the Procurement of Railway Sleepers. . 33 from December 1870 (when the Ministry was established) through December 1885 (when it was abolished) was channeled to the railway industry (Kobayashi 1977).
In Suwa as a whole, as we have seen, there were variations in the shift to coal, and dependence on water power continued. A combination of factors account for this contrast: a lack of skilled boilermen, difficulties in the transport of coal, the dramatic rise in firewood prices of the late 1890s, and the availability of cheap water power from the Tenry¯u river. These factors caused silk producers either to make the temporary investment of funds needed to switch to combined steam boilers that used coal for both heating and power generation, or to find a short-term solution to their fuel problems by maximizing their exploitation of traditional water power.
As a consequence, the fuel shortage was mitigated to some extent, but the business did not continue beyond the 10 year initial contract (HYe; Hiranomura 1932, vol. 2). Meanwhile, a similar petition to the Imperial Forest Bureau made by four Hirano silk associations in 1894 had given the following bleak description of the local landscape: “every mountain bares its bones in unspeakable desolation; our hopes of obtaining firewood in the future are gone” (HYe). As a result of this fuel shortage, firewood and other fuel had to be transported from neighbouring districts.