Looking back at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, it is difficult to realize how what took place then is having such complicated and vast effects today. This is the principle of environmental unity – a change in one system will cause changes in others. Certainly, the seeds of progress – and the ramifications of that progress – were planted then. And with the very same mechanisms and effects that brought about both the progress and the indelibly connected results of that progress to our ecology – the good, the bad and the ugly – over the last 250 years, we are entering a new era of sustainability. That is the next revolution.
This was followed by Abraham Darby, who made great strides using coke to fuel his blast furnaces at Coalbrookdale in 1709. However, the coke pig iron he made was used mostly for the production of cast iron goods such as pots and kettles. He had the advantage over his rivals in that his pots, cast by his patented process, were thinner and cheaper than theirs. Coke pig iron was hardly used to produce bar iron in forges until the mid 1750s, when his son Abraham Darby II built Horsehay and Ketley furnaces (not far from Coalbrookdale). By then, coke pig iron was cheaper than charcoal pig iron.