The Great Stink of London

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In the sweltering summer of 1858 the stink of sewage from the polluted Thames was so offensive that it drove Members of Parliament from the chamber of the House of Commons. Sewage generated by a population of over two million Londoners was pouring into the river where it was carried to and fro by the tides. The Times called the crisis 'The Great Stink'. Parliament had to act - drastic measures were required to clean the Thames and to improve London's primitive system of sanitation. The great engineer entrusted by...
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Overview

In the sweltering summer of 1858 the stink of sewage from the polluted Thames was so offensive that it drove Members of Parliament from the chamber of the House of Commons. Sewage generated by a population of over two million Londoners was pouring into the river where it was carried to and fro by the tides. The Times called the crisis 'The Great Stink'. Parliament had to act - drastic measures were required to clean the Thames and to improve London's primitive system of sanitation. The great engineer entrusted by Parliament with this enormous task was Sir Joseph Bazalgette, and this book is a fascinating account of his life and work. Bazalgette's response to the challenge was to conceive and build the system of intercepting sewers, pumping stations and treatment works that serve London to this day. In the process he cleansed the River Thames of the capital's sewage and helped to banish cholera which in the mid-nineteenth century carried off over 40,000 Londoners. His revolutionary system and the buildings associated with it were an astonishing achievement, and they represented a turning point in the modern history of London.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750919753
  • Publisher: Sutton Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.95 (w) x 9.82 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Foreword
Preface
Chronology
Introduction: who was Joseph Bazalgette? 1
1 London's Sanitation before 1850 17
2 The Water-closet: 'No filth in the sewers, all in the river' 35
3 A Government for London 58
4 'The most extensive and wonderful work of modern times' 77
5 Where there's Muck there's Brass? 108
6 Cholera 124
7 Building the Embankments 144
8 Thoroughfares, Housing and Open Spaces 164
9 Conclusion 181
Notes 192
Bibliography 201
Index 207
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