To Quell the Raging Wastes: The American Response to Industrial Pollution, 1840-1930

Faculty Mentor(s): 
Christine Rosen (Haas School of Business)
Student Apprentice(s): 
Swetha Doraiswamy

The project developed the first book-length work to provide an in-depth analysis of how Americans dealt with the air, water, and noise pollution associated with industrial development prior to the advent of strict federal pollution regulation in the 1970s. Utilizing case law records and a wide variety of other materials, it analyzed the evolution of popular American beliefs regarding the nature and effects of industrial pollution and the need for pollution abatement from the 1840s through the 1930s. It also explores the development of scientific understandings of the impacts of industrial air, water, and noise pollution, as well as developments in the technology of pollution abatement and changes in public policies for dealing with industrial pollution as they are reflected in the common law and state and local pollution regulations.

The apprentice, Swetha Doraiswamy, learned how to identify, collect, analyze, and summarize case law reports meaningful to the research.