Bradford Beck

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Bradford Beck




The textile industry in this city won it its own catchphrase: "As polluted as Bradford Beck" (Wohl 236). The poisonous chemicals dumped into the canal made it so that the air above the water could actually be set on fire (236). Upstream of Bradford Beck, there were fish; downstream, it received "the untreated waste of 168 woollen mills, ninety-four stuff mills, thirty-five dyeworks, seven size works, ten chemical works, three tanneries, and three grease-extracting works. . . .Add to all this the thousands of gallons of human sewage, and one has arrived at a partial chemical analysis of the composition of the rivers of the West Riding" (236). This was the water that people downstream of Bradford Beck had to use for their basic needs.


Frances Thielman


Wohl, Anthony. Endangered Lives.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1983.  Print.



Frances Thielman, “Bradford Beck,” Appalachian State University, accessed December 3, 2023,

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