Charles Cist Compares Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in 1841

The author Charles Cist noted in 1841 the ways that coal had transformed Pittsburgh into a “dense cloud of darkness and smoke” with clanking chains and “jarring and grinding” machinery. The soot fell like snowflakes on Pittsburgh’s inhabitants.  Cist predicted that Cincinnati, which was still powered largely by water and wood, also would soon turn fully to coal.

How does Cist compare Cincinnati to the “perfect hive” of Pittsburgh?

What competitive advantages does he think Cincinnati might still possess in comparison with its rival?

Why does Cist think coal is superior to wood, and where does he think Cincinnati will obtain its coal supply?


Cist, Charles. Cincinnati in 1841: Its Early Annals and Future Prospects. Cincinnati: Forgotten Books, 1841.

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