Today’s Urine-Soaked Yet Truly Morbid Fact!
In city streets clogged with automobiles, the vision of a horse and buggy produces strong nostalgia. A century ago it produced a different feeling – distress, owing to the horse for what he dropped and to the buggy for spreading it.
Of the three million horses in American cities at the beginning of the twentieth century, New York had some 150,000, the healthier ones each producing between twenty and twenty-five pounds of manure a day. These dumplings were numerous on every street, attracting swarms of flies and radiating a powerful stench. The ambiance was further debased by the presence on almost every block of stables filled with urine-saturated hay.
During dry spells the pounding traffic refined the manure to dust, which blew “from the pavement as a sharp, piercing powder, to cover our clothes, ruin our furniture and blow up into our nostrils.”
The 15,000 horses of Rochester, N.Y., produced enough manure in 1900 to cover an acre of ground with a layer 175 feet high. This steadily increasing production caused the more pessimistic observers to fear that American cities would disappear like Pompeii – but not under ashes. The timely arrival of the horseless carriage prevented this, of course. It was widely hoped that the age of polluted air was coming to a close, that cities at long last would be healthier, cleaner, quieter places to live. But as Proudhon once observed, “Human history has a great propensity for surprises.”
Culled from: The Good Old Days – They Were Terrible! by Otto L. Bettmann
European DeSpair, Part Four: Nineteen Thirty-Six
I finally finished the fourth installment in my series of travelogues for my trip to Europe last summer. In this episode, we visit the crumbling 1936 Olympic Village, where Jesse Owens and co. stayed, practiced, and ate. And the Comtesse makes an enormous morbid blunder – one for which she will be eternally remorseful. Be kind… her remorse is punishment enough!
Fetus Du Jour!
Here’s another 1930’s fetus that I photographed at the Museum of Science and Industry. Much like the mood of these poor little guys as they get closer to birth, my newsletter’s membership has plunged the longer I keep subjecting you to fetus photos. And just like this guy I sit in a dark room and wonder what it can possibly mean?