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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  Environmental History

Powering Up Canada The History of Power, Fuel, and Energy from 1600

By: RW Sandwell(Editor)
496 pages, 8 plates with colour photos; 41 illustrations, 1 map, 21 tables
Powering Up Canada
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  • Powering Up Canada ISBN: 9780773547865 Paperback Aug 2016 Usually dispatched within 1 week
  • Powering Up Canada ISBN: 9780773547858 Hardback Aug 2016 Usually dispatched within 1 week
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About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

With growing concerns about the security, cost, and ecological consequences of energy use, people around the world are becoming more conscious of the systems that meet their daily needs for food, heat, cooling, light, transportation, communication, waste disposal, medicine, and goods. Powering Up Canada is the first book to examine in detail how various sources of power, fuel, and energy have sustained Canadians over time and played a pivotal role in their history.

Powering Up Canada investigates the ways that the production, processing, transportation, use, and waste issues of various forms of energy changed over time, transforming almost every aspect of society in the process. Chapters in Powering Up Canada's first part explore the energies of the organic regime – food, animal muscle, water, wind, and firewood – while those in the second part focus on the coal, oil, gas, hydroelectricity, and nuclear power that define the mineral regime. Contributors identify both continuities and disparities in Canada's changing energy landscape in this first full overview of the country's distinctive energy history. Reaching across disciplinary boundaries, these essays not only demonstrate why and how energy serves as a lens through which to better understand the country's history, but also provide ways of thinking about some of its most pressing contemporary concerns.

Engaging Canadians in an urgent international discussion on the social and environmental history of energy production and use – and its profound impact on human society – Powering Up Canada details the nature and significance of energy in the past, present, and future.


Illustrations vii
Acknowledgments xi
Colour plates follow page 36

1 An Introduction to Canada’s Energy History 3
      R.W. Sandwell

2 Food Energy and the Expansion of the Canadian Fur Trade 39
      George Colpitts
3 Ox and Horse Power in Rural Canada 59
      J.I. Little
4 Horse Power in the Modern City 99
      Joanna Dean and Lucas Wilson
5 Hewers of Wood: A History of Wood Energy in Canada 129
      Joshua MacFadyen
6 Wind Power: Sails, Mills, Pumps, and Turbines 162
      Eric W. Sager
7 Water Power before Hydroelectricity 185
      Jenny Clayton and Philip Van Huizen

8 Coal in Canada 213
      Andrew Watson
9 Hydroelectricity 251
      Matthew Evenden and Jonathan Peyton
10 Petroleum Liquids 274
      Steve Penfold
11 Manufactured and Natural Gas 300
      Colin A.M. Duncan and R.W. Sandwell
12 Nuclear Power 329
      Laurel Sefton MacDowell
13 Reflections, Questions, and Tentative Conclusions 353
      R.W. Sandwell

1 Primer on Terminology 359
      Colin A.M. Duncan
2 Selected Sources of Energy Statistics: General and by Energy Carrier 401
3 Selected Energy Consumption Statistics 408
4 Preliminary List of Communities with Manufactured Gas Plants in Canada 415
      Colin A.M. Duncan and R.W. Sandwell

Bibliography 425
Contributors 473
Index 477

Customer Reviews


R.W. Sandwell is associate professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and author of Contesting Rural Space: Land Policy and Practices of Resettlement on Saltspring Island, 1859- 1891.

By: RW Sandwell(Editor)
496 pages, 8 plates with colour photos; 41 illustrations, 1 map, 21 tables
Media reviews

"This fascinating and well-conceived collection brings together an impressive array of scholars to address the evolution of Canada's energy regimes over the past four centuries. A sustained look at the vitally important field of Canadian energy history, Powering Up Canada will be of interest to anyone grappling with the nature of Canada's energy transitions."
– Daniel Macfarlane, Western Michigan University

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