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discomfort has been inflicted. To add of view, is unexceptionable in facilitating, to what in itself was trying enough, pro- by the peculiarly favorable character of gress developed new types of disease the rock on which it is built, a ready dehitherto unknown, and the disturbed liverance of its rainfall and sewage to the and conflicting views of our medical au- conveniently near sea outlet at Portothorities added substantially to the dan- bello. The solid and substantial characgers of the situation. Hence, like in ter of the buildings, and wide and wellother matters of a domestic character, conditioned streets of the Modern Athens, an unsettled feeling of distrust has are also good and useful factors in searisen, leading the afflicted—we might curing a tolerably fair state of sanitary even say the oppressed-to grasp at any comfort. We refer generally to the seeming chance of relief from the un- newer portions of the city, for the Cancomfortable and dangerous character of ongate and other similarly circumstanced their unsanitary surroundings. Modern ancient localities are not by any means unsanitaries, when dissociated from the perfect in their sanitary surroundings. complex and bewildering phrases which The city of Edinburgh also, has another engineering and medical scientists have and special advantage from its having surrounded it, is a very simple question been the first large community which indeed, for it only really means that the derived any benefit from the utilization dwelling and its inhabitants have become of its sewage, as the long continued ferendangered by a neglect of the most tility of a portion of the Portobello sands ordinary bealth-preserving precautions. testify. Whether these dangers are self sought A city so circumstanced and occupied or vicariously inflicted, does not very by a comparatively limited high-class materially affect the question, for their population, offers peculiar facilities for existence, under any circumstances, ne- the successful treatment of its sewage, cessitates the most serious attention to due, primarily, to the precipitous charactheir remedy or removal. We may take ter of its site securing a high velocity for it, however, that much discord and its passage to a good and contiguous disagreement prevails amongst those sea outfall. There are few, if any cities, professing to have special knowledge which command similar advantages, and of what is now generally accepted as under intelligent control, sewer gas, as sanitary science and its complex teach understood in London, need not have ings.

any existence in Edinburgh at all. ConThese considerations readily occur to structive science generally is in a much us at the present time from the recent better condition, the quality and characorganization of a sanitary insurance so- ter of the masonry being better than ciety, launched under doubtless credita- work for similar purposes in London ; ble auspices, and framed on the model for, in the northern city, the "jerry of a similar institution, believed to be builder” has not yet, nor is he likely doing good and honest service in the to obtain a footing equal in importmetropolis of Scotland. All things must ance to that which he commands in have a beginning, and it is a healthful London. sign of progress in any direction, when We have thus glanced at the conditions it is founded on a basis practicable and which, by their exceptionally favorable trustworthy in character. Such, we may influence on the sanitary state of Edinfairly assume, the parent Sanitary Insur- burgh, and which are being offered as ance Society of Edinburgh to be; but, the model, whereby a protection society before accepting its teachings or im- is to be established for the well-being of plicitly pinning our faith to its guidance the inhabitants of London. Under any for dealing with a great city like Lon- circumstances, the difference in extent don, we need not be blamed for examin- between the two cities would interpose ing the relative surroundings of the two difficulties in the way of establishing cities, and considering whether what is sound and healthy sanitary control and good for Edinburgh is equally good for government, let alone the almost insupthe Metropolis.

erable obstacles, the inheritance of govEdinburgh is favorably circumstanced ernmental supineness and constructive as to site which, from a geological point defects. Like unto many other great

cities of ancient as well as modern times, ' accumulated sewage produced from a London is placed upon the banks of a population of something like 4,000,000 tidal river which, until very recent times, of people, is not, by any means, an easy received all its drainage, and sometimes task, but to provide for its removal or worse, of whatever kind which its inhab- extinguishment is even more difficult. itants could not otherwise dispose of. It We shall endeavor to describe the mawas not until the abandonment of cess-, chinery by which this task is accompools and the introduction of larger sup- plished. plies and use of water that any evil Tidal influences prevent the free and effects were recognized in the use of the continuous discharge of the accumulated Thames as the main scavenger, to whose sewage, and it is therefore desirable only care was entrusted the waste of London's to pump out the contents of the north citizens. When, however, increasing and south reservoirs at flood tide, or population, and a better appreciation of practically twice during every twentywhat may be termed “personal cleanli- four hours. The obvious reason for this ness" developed to an alarming extent, arrangement is that, theoretically at the river was no longer competent to ac- least, the receding tide conveys the sewcept its ancient office without rendering age and its associated belongings to disits waters so impure as to create a nui- tant points which are not supposed to be sance which, during certain seasons, al- prejudiced by its deposit, for, according most prohibited its use for pleasure pur to all natural laws, its total extinguishposes. The malodorous stream, there- ment is impossible. fore, in all its nastiness on one hand, Such, then, under normal conditions, and the congestion of inland sewage on is the position of the London main drainthe other, ultimately resulted in the or: age, as now controlled, and to the govganization of a powerful body invested ernment of which all other subsidiary with popular authority to undertake the drainage is amenable or subordinate. government and control of the main or The householder, however desirous he arterial drainage of London. The area may be of rendering his home proof apportioned for the exercise of the Me- against the insidious influence of sewer tropolitan Board of Works' rights and gas, cannot control the insuperable deauthority was limited and prescribed in fects inherent in the very inception, excharacter, embracing, however, all the ecution, and government of the main parishes proper of the city and suburbs. drain proper itself. He is bound to conThe physical conditions, however, of the nect his house, and to pour into the space to be dealt with, were much more main channel all and every iota of exunfavorable than those at Edinburgh, creta, &c., produced by him and his surneither was the authority so concentrated roundings into a noisome stream, which or effective in its capacity of control. already contains, according to the posiThe interception of the drainage of all tion in which it is emptied, the outpourkinds, was the first condition on which ings of hospitals and divers populations. the Board purposed to base their ulti- It is this kind of unavoidable bondage mate operations, and accordingly the main which creates one of the most dangerous sewers were designed to receive and con- difficulties of the sewerage system, for it vey to outfalls the whole filth of London complicates and intensifies the dangers and its affiliated parishes. The natural of the ordinary householder. To clear fall of the river Thames in its circuitous his house of what, under the modern course was not very considerable, and as system of cleansing is regarded as a danthe selected points of outfall were on its gerous common nuisance, he becomes banks, any improved gradients of the intimately associated with the almost drains were only possible by reduced illimitable, and certainly indefinable aclength and depressed reservoirs of dis- cumulated refuse of, it may be, millions charge. The conditions, therefore, con- of his fellow subjects, who, in the unitrolling the scheme of London drainage versal thraldom of main drainage slavery are very different, and much more oner- are helplessly compelled to submit to the ous than those existing at Edinburgh, lot apportioned them by the controlling or, indeed, anywhere else in this country. authorities. The cleansing of the river Simple collection and controlment of the Thames by the interception of the Lon

don sewage, not only overcame the cry- barges deposited in a deep loch upwards ing evil of a polluted stream, but it of 25 miles distant from that city. Carepromised comfort to the luxurious in- ful medical examination, influenced by habitants of a great city, who disregarded the appearance of new types of disease, the evils likely to follow from such a sys- proves that they are engendered by the tem when it apparently secured present deposit of Glasgow sewage mud, which immunity from the dangers and annoy- gradually, even from the depths of its ances of a complex system of cesspools deposition, forms, on the shores of a and imperfect drains.

beautiful loch, posonous matter, which The new dispensation, however, in its converts one of the healthiest seaside complicated surroundings begets evils resorts into a pestilential fever center. hitherto unknown, and it is from such London, in like manner, although, by dangers that the modern sanitary engineer somewhat different means, is freed from and scientist promises relief and safety. its filth ; but unlike Glasgow, its popuThe main sewer traverses in its tortuous lation suffers during the process of colcourse all sorts of conditions of locali- lection and storage from the poisonous ties and neighborhoods, and becomes sewer gases which its accumulation uncharged with the most heterogeneous avoidably occasions. contributions from pure as well as pol The difficulty, therefore, in contending luted sources. Under such circumstances, with sanitary improvements in London therefore, the huge and, in constructive is much greater than any other city, sense, substantial sewer conduit becomes because the length and capacity of its a retort for the production of gaseous main drains create and store up poisonproducts, which, from uncontrollable ous matter, difficult of controlment, or natural laws ascend, finding vent in the even elimination. Under certain condiweak points of the concomitant sub- tions, indeed, such as those created by sidiary drains, thus insidiously entering heavy rainfalls and floods, an hermeticalthe dwelling, thus engendering disease, ly-sealed house-drain connections would and inducing death. From the extreme be almost incompetent to withstand or west to the distant east of the huge ag- , resist the pressure of the pent-up gases gregation of streets and dwellings of of many miles of main drain. There London, and its affiliated suburbs, the is no present possibility of increasing slow wending stream of pollution drags the velocity of these sluggishly-driven its slow course along, receiving from sewage streams, and therefore the sanivarious tidal aud other influences, checks tary expert, in setting about his task of to its onward progress towards the point remedy, must first deal with an evil over of its ultimate river discharge. Con- which he can exercise no appreciable served for a brief and naturally defined control. He must fight the demon of space of time in the huge reservoirs, it disease by remedial rather than by preis emptied by mechanical agency on the ventive means, and the Herculean task full tide, which theoretically is supposed of effectively rendering a sewage-conto float it seawards, thus securing its nected London dwelling proof against removal beyond further baneful influ- ! the entrance of gases is one of difficult ences. This question of removal is of performance. Even if the surroundings great and paramount importance, which, of the case were in themselves simple in the future, will receive some sensible and easy, the perfect isolation of a house solution, for at present there is much from its associated sewer, if not practidiversity of opinion as to the efficacy of cally impossible, is one of more than existing means of sewerage disposal. A ordinary difficulty. but recent alarm in the Firth of Clyde, Examine the character and quality of on the banks of one of its numerous and the subsidiary sewers of London, with beautiful lochs, seems to show that sew-! their faulty lines and gradients, and bad age matter, however carefully dealt with materials imperfectly connected with the is the source of ultimate danger at the houses along their course. Houses hurseat of its disposal. · The dredged mud riedly and badly built on yielding foundfrom the malodorous Clyde, into which ations cannot be effectively or permently Glasgow empties its sewage and other sewered, and disjointed pipes readily abominations, is by means of hopper afford the means of sewage saturation in

foundation basements, if not in the up-built ·with the house, and, like the ail. per walls, of a large proportion of the ments of a helpless child, inheriting "jerry built" dwellings of a London parental taints, may be regarded as suburb. The house so circumstanced practically incurable. Walls (placed on may be for a time regarded as less liable manure-charged soil) composed of bricks, to the entrance of sewer gas, because its competent to absorb in many cases their virulence is absorbed in the soil and own weight of moisture, and jointed with porous materials of which it is con- mortar produced from road sweepings structed, although in the long run it must and sometimes worse; timber, which if essentially become a “diseased house." not primarily defective, speedily from

There are, unfortunately for the Lon- its position becomes rotten, and walls don householder, none of the favorable plastered with porous and spongy maconditions attached to his case which terials, which have their surfaces covered secure for the citizen of Edinburgh the with poisonous papers stuck on with advantages of a Sanitary Protection vegetable paste, which soon engenders & Society; and which, in the interest of fungus growth capable of destructive public safety, has been extended to the and malignant influences; the carpets, metropolitan house dweller. There are curtains, and indeed, every item of furni. obstacles of a formidable nature to be tnre of such a house, and the clothing of encountered; not the least of which con- its inhabitants, are, in themselves, calcusists in the fragile structural character of lated to create disease, without the supthe house itself, which would, in too plemental danger of sewer gas. Absence many cases, be incompetent to withstand of ventilating appliances intensifies the the disturbing influence of the necessary dangers arising from the conjuction of works to ensure its sanitary perfection. so many formidable and, under the cirThe machinery of remedy offered by the cumstances, uncontrollable evils. The new Sanitary Society, is quite voluntary, windows and doors are fortunately not and may, we trust, exert some beneficial capable of being hermetically closed, influence in dealing with favorably-cir- which should be regarded as a signal cumstanced cases of an exceptional char. advantage, for it permits of some degree acter. We are not hopeful, however, of of relief, by the entrance of air in and seeing much improvement realized by its through this dwelling of undoubtedly exertions, for the evil is too deep rooted "shoddy" surroundings. for private enterprise to overcome or London and its doings is looked upon remedy. In the direction of guarantee by provincial cities and towns as a model ing sanitary perfection in newly-built for imitation, and in the matter of drainhouses there would be better prospects age we fear the lesson has been read too of success, for a dwelling so circum- slavishly, leading to the general adoption stanced would secure a rental higher of sewage disposal into sea or river outeven than the extra cost required for its lets. What has been done in the invulnerability against disease.

Metropolis is considered a guide as to In the absence of sufficient controlling what should be done elsewhere, and so authority London is allowed to extend main drains, and wasteful and dangerous itself in all directions, by the building of water outfalls, have become fashionable. new houses, many of which, under proper Look, say the servile imitators of a challenge, would not be allowed to be vicious system, at the main drainage of built. There is a lamentable want of London: it cost millions, and conveys accord all round on this vital ques- away, in the most perfect manner, all tion, notwithstanding the abundance of the waste of so great a city. The bill remedial authorities, which would have for all this supposed comfort has not yet but little employment or attention be- been settled, for suffering, disease, and stowed upon them, if the necessary death are still sending in their ever-reprimary measures of prevention were curring claims, which must be met, and fairly considered and insisted upon. while they continue to be presented, they

Apart from what may be termed for. 'record the incontrovertible fact that the eign or external danger, produced by the source of their origin is due to a lamentcauses we have referred to, there are able infringement disregard of domestic ard internal sources of diseases nature's laws.




A Paper read before the Boston Society of Civil Engineers. Some two or three years ago, an inquiry It seemed to me that if the moving was made as to making the gauge of rail- trains were bound to take more room beroad tracks wider upon curves than upon tween the rails, that it would be better straight lines. The editor asked for in- to give it to them at the first. Then the formation upon that subject, but, so far rails would be firmly seated and remain as I know, the matter has had no further in their places. If this is not done, and attention, though it is a very important the rails are laid to straight line, or close

gauge, then the heads of the rails will be As long ago as 1870, in laying track, I forced apart, the rails will be tipped on widened the

gauge upon curves, but hav- to their outer edges, either cutting into ing turned over the road to the operating the ties or pulling their interior spikes, department upon its completion, I had or both, thus loosening and disjointing no opportunity to further study the ex- the whole permanent way. So long as periment, and have therefore remained the gauge remains too narrow for the silent.

trains, there must result from the friction During a recent visit to the road re- between the wheel flanges and the rails ferred to, I learned something further great wear and destruction of both. about it, which may, perhaps, be inter If the gauge of curves be made open esting to the members of our Society; and loose, the coning of wheels will be certainly to those who have to do with utilized. railroads.

And, further, an engine will haul a The experiment alluded to above was larger load than if the train is pinched made upon the Burlington and Missouri between rails too closely laid. River Railroad, in Nebraska.

And, what is perhaps of more importPrevious observation had shown me ance than anything else, greater safety that, though the tracks upon the straight is secured upon a track with an open. lines and upon the curves had been gauge, in which the rails are firmly originally laid to the same gauge, the secured in the places where they are to gauge upon the curves was soon widened remain, than upon a loosened and deout by use. I do not now remember formed track. whether


observation showed a move. Upon the main line of the Nebraska ment of but one, or of both rails, but I road, the curve of greatest radius is a concluded that the widening of the gauge 30' curve, and of least radius a 3° 30' was due to the stiffness of our trucks, curve. In laying tracks on all curves of and their failure fully to traverse upon less than 2° the gauge was increased from the curves, and not to centrifugal motion. straight line gauge & inch, or to 4 feet If this were the fact, it would even then 8 inches, and 2o curves add over were be probable that the exterior rail of the laid to a gauge of 4 feet 9 inches, being curve would suffer the greater movement. an increase of an inch over straight Simple stiffness of trucks would be likely line gauge. Three sets of gauges were to affect both rails equally, but adding to furnished the section men, of the lengths this influence that of centrifugal force, stated above for the curves, with the unless it be fully counteracted by differ- usual straight line gauge of 4 feet 84 ence of elevation, and the exterior rail inches, and the men were held to the use would show the greater displacement. of them, until the road was turned over

This condition of things showed a to the operating department by the want of fitness between the track and the engineering and constructing departrolling stock, and a consequent unneces- ment. sary, if avoidable, wear and tear upon At that time a new road-master came both, and a waste of motive power. in, who either did not understand, or did

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