Two case studies in nineteenth century environmental history focus upon health as an issue central to understanding social organization. They explore the relationship between urban, industrial expansion, deteriorating environmental conditions and health. One study deals with assumption of responsibility for public health by the municipality of Pittsburgh. It focuses upon the relationship between public health and deteriorating urban environment in a burgeoning industrial city. The other is concerned with the response of coal miners to health and safety issues related to industrial expansion and techlogical developments in that industry.