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Black Country

The Black Country is an area of the conurbation[?] to the north and west of Birmingham in the English West Midlands, including the city of Wolverhampton and the towns of Dudley[?], Sandwell[?], Tipton[?] and Walsall. During the Industrial Revolution, the area became known for its pollution, particularly from iron and coal industries and many associated smaller businesses, which has led to speculation that it was for the soot and smoke, which often coloured the buildings, that it was unofficially named "The Black Country". However, many maintain that it was because of the black colour of the ground. In 1862, Elihu Burritt[?], the American Consul to Birmingham, described the region as "black by day and red by night," because of the smoke and soot generated by the intense manufacturing activity.

The heavy industry which once dominated the black country has now largely gone. Much of the area now suffers from high unemployment.

There is a museum located in Tipton[?] called the "Black Country Living Museum" which re-creates life in the Black Country in the early 20th century, and is a popular tourist attraction.

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