Cool Books

cool booksThe Dawn of Innovation. Cincinnati slaughterhouses were the birthplace of America’s industrial revolution, reports John Steele Gordon in a Wall Street Journal review of The Dawn of Innovation, by Charles R. Morris (11/20/12). In the early 1800s, America’s agrarian economy was booming in the Midwest, resulting in “huge surpluses of grain and meat, especially pork.”

The pig fat — lard — that was a byproduct of Cincinnati slaughterhouses “served as the basis for the country’s first chemical industry … when lard processing was industrialized to make soap, it led to an array of byproducts such as glycerin, used in tanning and in pharmaceuticals.” Another byproduct, stearine, “made superior candles … read >>

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