Start Date

1-5-2019 12:30 PM

End Date

1-5-2019 1:45 PM

Disciplines

European History

Abstract

This paper traces the development and legacy of livestock improvement by selective breeding in 18th and 19th century England, focusing on the contributions and economic motivations of Robert Bakewell (1725-1795). Bakewell notably impacted the English livestock industry by popularizing selective inbreeding techniques, amplifying preferred characteristics like proportions of edible meat to develop his own breeds of sheep and cattle. His efforts, seemingly motivated by economic hopes alone, influenced the work of Central European sheep breeders. They applied more scientific language to selective breeding, adding to an accumulating body of knowledge that would establish the context for Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin's scientific discoveries.

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/28513

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May 1st, 12:30 PM May 1st, 1:45 PM

Turning Herbage Into Money: The Economic Inducement and Scientific Legacy of 18th and 19th Century Livestock Improvement in England

This paper traces the development and legacy of livestock improvement by selective breeding in 18th and 19th century England, focusing on the contributions and economic motivations of Robert Bakewell (1725-1795). Bakewell notably impacted the English livestock industry by popularizing selective inbreeding techniques, amplifying preferred characteristics like proportions of edible meat to develop his own breeds of sheep and cattle. His efforts, seemingly motivated by economic hopes alone, influenced the work of Central European sheep breeders. They applied more scientific language to selective breeding, adding to an accumulating body of knowledge that would establish the context for Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin's scientific discoveries.