Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rachel Carson Homestead

Rachel Carson was a pioneer in the fight for the environmental movement in the United States. She was born in Pittsburgh, PA and her book Silent Spring is considered a milestone in the environmental movement in which we still are aware of today. Her house known as the Rachel Carson Homestead is still preserved in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and I had the opportunity to visit this place where time seems to stand still.
Although its exterior blends in to the surrounding houses, its interior stands out for its preservation of an early 20th Century style house. The furniture reflects the style which was prevalent in that period of time. The beds were supported by ropes and not springs, the kitchen was extended outside the house, the stairs were narrow and the ceiling was low so it would provide a warm environment for those who lived there.
Though the house brings you back in time, Rachel Carson's ideas remain applicable to our own issues concerning the environmental movement in the present time. Her book Silent Spring ushered in the basic principles in the fight for environmental protection in the United States. She focused her research on the dangers of using pesticides on crops to prevent insects from destroying the farmer's harvest. Without her work the laws against the use of certain pesticides might not have come to light.
Her groundbreaking work still heavily influences the environmental movement today. Although the issues are not the same her pioneering spirit inspires people to continue the fight for the protection of our natural resources. As the first Latin American visitor of the Rachel Carson Homestead it was a great opportunity for me to get to know the work of such an influential Pittsburgh native.

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