In 1872 an outbreak of equine influenza crippled the US economy. With 80-99% of horses too sick to work, the transportation of people, materials for construction, food, and garbage essentially ceased. The wheels of government and industry ground to a halt. Firemen were forced to pull their own wagons. Weddings and even funerals had to be postponed. The epidemic was central to the establishment of veterinary medicine as distinct from human medical practice. But it was also a crystal clear illustration of how important horses were to virtually all aspects of 19th century American life.
linkurl:Ann Norton Greene's; __Horses at Work__, which includes a vivid description of the 1872 equine influenza epidemic, is a must-read, not just for horse lovers, but for anyone interested in the scientific and technological advances that helped shape early American history. This book is refreshing in that it does not play on anthropomorphic paradigms or...

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