$tow High in Transit ($HIT)

I've added new work to the website. The $tow High in Transit ($HIT) project explores the tensions of globalisation through the Peruvian guano boom of the 19th century. More info here.

The title comes from the fact that - when transported by ship - guano, like other natural fertilisers, had to be stowed high enough off the lower decks so that it wouldn't be wetted by seawater. Not only would this have increased the weight of the guano, but contamination by seawater could have led to a build-up of methane, which, in turn, could have triggered an explosion.

Volume VI of The Chemist journal (1845) includes an account of this happening to a vessel off the east coast of England. (Click on the image for a larger view.)

By the way, the word "shit" does not come from the acronym for "stow high in transit" - this is a common false etymology. It still makes a fitting acronym for my project, though.