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Carson, Rachel (1907–1964)

Patricia DeMarco


Rachel Louise Carson was born on May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania, a small industrial town on the banks of the Allegheny River. She was the third child of Marion and Robert Carson, people of modest means, who settled in the Allegheny Valley in 1906. Rachel Carson's father had a dream to develop his 65 acres of land for residential use to offer homes for the burgeoning town of Pittsburgh. This dream never materialized in his lifetime, but the area surrounding the Carson homestead is now a suburban neighborhood with a high school and junior high school on the former Carson property. Rachel Carson grew up in Pittsburgh at a time when the industrial age was at a pinnacle. The Allegheny Valley and the Monongahela Valley were bordered with factories that manufactured steel, chemical products, and power for a growing city. The workers of Pittsburgh who manufactured steel and other products were crucial to the further expansion of the US into a major industrial era. Many of the public and private institutions that flowed from its wealth, once driven by steel production, stand to this day. But Rachel Carson saw the production of steel and metal products as detrimental to conserving the natural environment. When she looked out her windows over the Allegheny Valley, the view looked like this: From whatever direction one approaches the once lovely conjunction of the Allegheny and Monongahela, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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