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Presentation on theme: "THE HISTORY OF AIR POLLUTION ANCIENT TO VICTORIAN TIMES."— Presentation transcript:


2 SUMERIAN/BABYLONIAN ATTITUDES TOWARDS SMOKE my mood and heart. As if during the night watch ……like excrement.…… my countenance like smoke. A hymn to Inana for Išme-Dagan: c Don't cause the oven in a man's house to smoke… it will ruin the bread. Proverbs: from Nibru: c Temple of Inana

3 RELIGIOUS CONTEXTS l Typically religions see a relation between cleanliness and closeless to God l Hence pollution and defilement often linked… Mary Douglas: Purity and Danger - an analysis of concepts of pollution and taboo (1966)

4 VICTORY STELA OF KING VICTORY STELA OF KING PIANKHI TEXT Ur was a stench to the nose for lack of air to breathe and threw itself on its belly… Seige of Hermopolis 734 BC

5 ASTYMOMOI l In Aristotles Athenian Politics - duties of the astymomoi who are responsible among other things for rubbish to be deposited beyond city walls

6 RECORDED FREQUENCY China 1150BC Korea 174AD Koryosa Young-Sin Chun KMA Byun, Kwan Shik (1939) Nu Gak...

7 AIR AND HEALTH l The Hippocratic Corpus had linked air and health l Vitruvius on Architecture sought the proper location of dwellings l Seneca and culinary odours

8 LEGISLATING THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT l Sextus Julius Frontinus (Curator Aquarum) Governor of Britain ~AD75-78 l Improved Rome's water improved the air (miasmatic theory) l Rise of the professional administrator l Moving industry (glass making) to suburbs Infamis aer… Gravioris caeli… Frontinus The Aqueducts of Rome

9 SMOKE LIKE WATER l Urban servitudes l Roman nuisance law treated neighbourly behaviour l Smoke often treated like water… you could no more let water drain across a house than smoke

10 BLACKENNED BUILDINGS Your fathers' guilt you still must pay, Till, Roman, you restore each shrine, Each temple, mouldering in decay, And smoke-grimed statue, scarce divine Odes and Carmen Saeculare Horace

11 MIDDLE EAST Hebrew Bava Batra and Ktubot describe laws: You can't take a wife out of the village to a city… Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaqi (Rashi ) says this is because the city is crowded and has no air.... In the village the air is nice" Arab inheritance of classical learning meant an understanding of focus air pollution and health by 10 th C.

12 At-Tamĭmi ( ) l The black storm which is located in Hijaz and surroundings – is the smoky vapour which asphyxiates and kills

13 MEDIEVAL ENGLAND l Fuedal society at its height in 13 th century l London an active capital l Fast developing law under Edward I Edward I

14 AIR POLLUTION INCIDENTS BIG CHANGE LATE 13 TH C Royal proclamations in 1285, 1288, 1306

15 l l Order of 23 July 1264 purvey for the King in London… a boat load of sea-coal FUEL FOR MAKING CEMENT l Building at Westminster 1253 Henry III ordered oak brushwood Henry III


17 POLLUTION SEASONS c1300 Summer building works: extensive production of lime Air pollution incidents mostly in summer In 1950s smoke a winter problem - household heating

18 l Extramurality l Punishments: Hanging Decapitation Grievous Ransoms Apollo November 2004, p68 MEDIÆVAL SOURCES NO CHIMNEYS


20 Braun and Hogenberg Civitates Orbis Terrarum (1572) from woodcut Sebastian Munster (1550)

21 INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION in ASIA l Use of coal relatively late, so sulphur emissions comparatively low. l Nevertheless early complaints of pollution, e.g 18 th C breweries in Bangkok Hiroshige: Lime kilns at Hashiba Ferry, Sumida River One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

22 YORK 1381 l Poll Tax establishes industrial locations l Annual wood use to calculate smoke concentrations OUSE FOSS 4 ug/m 3 Dyers Bakers Tanners Butchers Metal workers Chandlers Glaziers, Tilers

23 SO 2 IN YORK (μg m -3 ) l Fuel imports l Hearth tax

24 AIR POLLUTION IN 17 th 18 th C

25 William LAUD l Losing you head over air pollutants l boring or brewing

26 Sir Kenelme DIGBY - errant mountebank Coal hath… volatile salt very sharp… dissapated to atoms in smoke A Discourse on Sympathetic Powder 1658 Acid atoms Alkali atoms Van Dyck

27 Margaret CAVENDISH - the ornament of England Why that a coale should set a house on fire Is, Atomes sharpe are in that coale entire Being strong armed with Points, do quite pierce through; Those flat dull Atoms, and their forms undo. Poems and Fancies 1653 Her personal excess was legendary… men and women lined the streets of London to catch a glimpse of her.

28 l Diarist, gardener and environmentalist l Fumifugium 1661 l Many schemes to improve London and its air John EVELYN Robert Walker 1648

29 Ballad of Gresham College l 22. l To guesse by one everyone's meritt, A Booke call'd Fumifugiam read. Its Author hath a publique spirit And doubtlesse too a subtile head He must be more than John an Oake Who writes soe learnedly of smoake.FumifugiamAuthor l 23. l He shewes that 't is the seacoale smoake That allways London doth Inviron, Which doth our Lungs and Spiritts choake, Our hanging spoyle, and rust our Iron. Lett none att Fumifuge be scoffing Who heard att Church our Sundaye's Coughing.seacoalesmoake l 24. l For melioration of the Ayre Both for our Lungs and eke our noses, To plant the Fields he doth take care With Cedar, Juniper and Roses, Which, turn'd to trees, 't is understood, Wee shall instead of coale burne wood.

30 DEATH by FOG Weekly observations John Graunt, Natural and Political Observations Made Upon the Bills of Mortality, London: 1662 l The winter of 1679 l Deaths very high after l weeks of fog l Especially from tisick and among elderly


32 RAINWATER AND PUBLIC HEALTH l Robert Angus Smith the first Alkali Inspector former student of Liebig network of rain sampling sites across the UK (1869/70) The purpose of rain is primarily to purify the air and not to fertilize the soil

33 URBAN POLLUTION R.A.Smith placed tin cans on fire-stations in London – used term acid rain

34 WHY HISTORY? l Film companies l Art history – labelling paintings

35 COLONIAL AMBITIONS l Pigeon-post linking Auckland and Great Barrier Island choose to emphasise urban- industrial not rural aspirations. l Victorians associated smoke and wealth. JCW Wright 1897 NZ Public Works Dept

36 AUCKLAND l Auckland, isthmus with sea breezes l Shallow harbours - emissions from mudflats gave odour problems or fume attacks 1840's problems from putrefying waste in the Port of Auckland PJ Hogan 1852 Auckland No 2

37 CALCUTTA - problems from the 18 th C l l Victorian experts Grover and Nicholson went and pushed for stringent smoke inspection l l Some measure of success smoke observation are not always reliable NICHOLSON VISIT


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