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minute, that of the Exe to about 5000, and that of the Lea to about 5600, our readers will at once perceive what an overwhelming amount of fluid would within a very short space of time be added to the already enormous contents of the London sewers; and while the elements of heaven were raging over the venerable head of our metropolis-while the thunder was rolling-while the forked lightning was shivering from top to bottom one or two of our finest church-spires-and while the rain was reverberating from the pavement like myriads of fountains rising out of the groundif at this sufficiently awful moment the tell-tale wind were suddenly to inform us all that, Mr. Chadwick's 'infernal machines' having more work than they could perform, their neighbourhoods had become inundated; if the next blast were to announce to us that the main sewers were blowing up-and then, by evidence every moment becoming more and more insufferable, we were to learn that out of every gully-grate in the metropolis there was spouting up that which, like a legion of foul fiends,' no man could control; in short, if we were suddenly to find ourselves in danger of a pestilence, from which not even a cabinet council, hastily summoned for the purpose, could relieve us-we fear that this Somerset House Amendment Act' would be a theme of general execration, and that the Poor Law Commissioners, as they plashed homewards through the streets on their respective ponies, would receive viva voce and oviform evidence that, like their sewers, they were in bad odour.
But admitting for a moment that Mr. Chadwick may be enabled to demonstrate that the contents of the London sewers, even with the extraordinary additions to them during rains and thunder-storms, could not equal the quantity of water which in many parts of England is at present raised in draining our fens; in short that, the power of steam being invincible, a sufficient number of pumps, or rather of bucketed-wheels (say 500 engines of 100-horse power each)* might be prepared to meet any contingency that could occur; yet we maintain that the amount of fluid-manure so lifted would be infinitely more than could possibly--we need not say pleasantly-be applied by irrigation-that the superabundance must go somewhere-and that, after all, the greater portion of the quantity lifted would inevitably find its way to the Thames, from which, by so much labour and expense, we had attempted to divert it.
The next topic handled is the severe privations which the labouring classes are subjected to from want of water, not only for
In the Cornish engines it is supposed that each horse-power can raise 528 cubic feet of water per minute to a height of one foot.
ablution, house-cleaning, and sewerage, but for drinking and culinary purposes. For instance, Mr. Mott states in his report on Manchester, that there, as elsewhere, it is the custom of owners of small cottage property in neighbourhoods where there are no pipes laid, to erect for a given number of houses a pump, which is frequently rented by one of the tenants, who taxes the rest for using it. One poor woman told him that she was required to pay one shilling a month for permission to use this pump, while the watercompanies were giving an abundant supply to houses like hers for six shillings a-year exactly half the money. In various Scotch towns the people have to go to public wells, the supply of which is so tardy, that crowds of women and children are obliged to wait their turns,' as it is called-indeed, these wells are sometimes frequented throughout the whole night. In Edinburgh many have to travel to wells at a considerable distance, and afterwards to carry their stoups up five, six, or seven stories. But neither private nor public wells are always to be had. In many places the poor are often obliged to collect water from ditches and ponds, so impure, that even horses that have not been accustomed to drink it are apt to suffer from it. At Tranent some of the labourers use barrels drawn on carriages --others employ their children to bring it in small vessels; and during the cholera, Dr. Scott Alison reports, it became so scarce, that the poor people went into the ploughed fields to collect the rain-water retained in depressions in the ground, and even in the prints made by horses' feet.
On the foregoing facts Mr. Chadwick justly observes,—
'Supplies of water obtained by the labour of fetching and carrying it in buckets do not answer the purpose of regular supplies brought into the house without such labour, and kept ready in cisterns. The interposition of the labour of going out and bringing home water from a distance acts as an obstacle to the formation of better habits; and in the actual condition of the lower classes, conveniences of this description must precede and form the habits. Even with persons of a higher condition the habits are greatly dependent on the conveniences: it is observed that, when the supplies of water into houses of the middle class are cut off by the pipes being frozen, and it is necessary to send to a distance, the house-cleansings and washings are diminished; and every presumption is afforded that if it were at all times, and in all weathers, requisite for them to send to a distance for water, their habits of housebold cleanliness would be deteriorated. The whole family of the labouring man in the mannfacturing towns rise early, before daylight in winter time, to go to their work; they toil hard, and they return to their homes late at night it is a serious inconvenience to them to have to fetch water from the pump or the river, on every occasion that it may be wanted, whether in cold, in rain, or in snow. The minor comforts of
cleanliness are of course foregone, to avoid the immediate and greater discomforts of having to fetch the water.'
In our manufacturing towns (as we all know), those members of a family who are old enough to fetch water are thought strong enough to work: the mere value therefore of the time they expend at the pump is almost always more than the charge made by the companies for a regular and constant supply of water. For instance, in Glasgow the charge of supplying a labourer's tenement is five shillings a-year; in Manchester, six shillings; in London, ten shillings-for a tenement containing two families; for which sum two tons and a half of water per week may be obtained. Thus, for less than one penny farthing per week 135 pailfuls of water are taken into the house without the labour of fetching, without spilling, without being in the way, and yet in constant readiness for use: whereas, on the other hand, the cost to a labourer, or to any member of his family whose time can be employed in work, is very serious. In the Bath Union, a poor fellow, who had to fetch water from one of the public wells about a quarter of a mile from his house, quaintly observed to the Rev. Whitwell Elwin, It's as valuable as strong beer!'
At Paris, the usual cost of the filtered water, which is carried into the houses, is two sous per pailful, being at the rate of nine shillings per ton: while in London, the highest charge of any of the companies for sending the same quantity of water to any place within the range of their pipes, and delivering it at an average level of 100 feet, is sixpence per ton.
The mode, however,' says Mr. Chadwick, of supplying water by private companies, for the sake of a profit, is not available for a population where the numbers are too small to defray the expense of obtaining a private Act of Parliament, or the expense of management by a board of directors, or to produce profits to shareholders....The Poor Law Commissioners have been urgently requested to allow the expense of procuring supplies for villages to be defrayed out of the poor's rates in England; but they could only express their regret that the law gave them no power to allow such a mode of obtaining the benefit sought.'
As regards the supply of water, we are clearly of opinion that a case for the necessity of legislative interference on the largest scale has been made out.
III.- Circumstances chiefly in bad ventilation of places of work; dwellings, and the domestic habits labouring classes.
the internal economy and workmen's lodging-houses, affecting the health of the
In explaining the evils which arise from bad ventilation in places of work, Mr. Chadwick adduces first the case of the jour
neymen tailors, whose habits of life he was led to investigate from the number of early deaths observed to occur among them.
Thomas Brownlow, aged fifty-two, who had worked for Messrs. Stultze, Messrs. Allen, and in others of the largest establishments in London, stated that at Messrs. Allen's, in a room sixteen or eighteen yards long, and seven or eight yards wide, eighty men worked close together, knee to knee: in summer time the heat of these tailors and of their geese, or irons, raised the temperature twenty or thirty degrees; after the candles were lighted, it became so insufferable that several of the young men from the country fainted; during the season he had seen from 40l. to 50%. worth of work spoiled by the perspiration of the men; in winter the atmosphere became still more unhealthy, with so depressing an effect that many could not stay out the hours; too many, losing their appetite, took to drink as a stimulant-accordingly, at seven in the morning, gin was brought in, sometimes again at eleven, at three, at five, and after seven, when the shop was closed; great numbers died of consumption. The average age of these workmen was about thirty-two, but in a hundred there were not ten men of fifty: lastly, when they died, no provision was made for their families, who, if they could not do for themselves, were obliged to go on the parish. Yet Messrs. Allen's wages at the time the witness refers to were 6d, an hour,
In a well-ventilated room, it is stated by different witnesses, journeymen tailors would be enabled to execute two hours more work per day; they would do their twelve hours, whereas the utmost in a close, ill-ventilated room, is ten hours of work. Moreover, a man who had worked in these hot rooms from the age of twenty would not be as good a man at forty as another would be at fifty who had worked in well-aired shops in the country. The latter, in other words, would have gained ten years' labour, besides saving the money spent in gin.
Mr. Chadwick, therefore, calculates that, taking the average loss to a London tailor to be two hours per day for twenty years, and twelve hours for ten years, his total loss would amount to 50,000 hours of productive labour, which, at 6d. per hour, would have produced him 1250.; and this, is 2501. less than was actually earned and saved by Philip Gray, who worked all his life as a journeyman tailor, and was remarkable for his cleanliness and
It appears that, of the registered causes of death of 233 persons entered during the year 1839, in the eastern and western unions of the metropolis, under the head tailor,' no less than 123 were from disease of the respiratory organs: ninety-two died of consumption; in the whole number only twenty-nine died old.
The subscriptions,' says Mr. Chadwick, to the benevolent institution for the relief of the aged and infirm tailors by individual masters* in the metropolis appear to be large and liberal, and amount to upwards of 11,000. yet it is to be observed, that if they or the men had been aware of the effects of vitiated atmospheres on the constitution and general strength, and of the means of ventilation, the practicable gain of money from the gain of labour by that sanitary measure could not have been less in one large shop, employing 200 men, than 100,000/. Independently of subscriptions of the whole trade, it would, during their working period of life, have been sufficient, with the enjoyment of greater health and comfort by every workman during the time of work, to have purchased him an annuity of 14. per week for comfortable and respectable self-support during a period of superannuation, commencing soon after fifty years of age.
The effects of bad ventilation, it need not be pointed out, are chiefly manifested in consumption, the disease by which the greatest slaughter is committed. The causes of fever are comparatively few and prominent, but they appear to have a concurrent effect in producing consumption.'
The results of good ventilation in the prevention or alleviation of disease are clearly manifested in our hospitals. In a badlyventilated house-the lying-in hospital in Dublin-there died in four years 2944 children out of 7650; whereas, after this establishment was properly ventilated, the deaths in the same period, and out of a like number of children, amounted only to 279.
Glasgow supplies a striking example of the beneficial effects of ventilating a factory. In a range of buildings, called the Barracks,' 500 persons were collected. All attempts to induce them to ventilate their rooms failing, the consequence was that fever was scarcely ever absent. There were sometimes seven cases in a day; and in the last two months of 1831 there were fifty-seven. On the recommendation of Mr. Fleming, a surgeon, a tube of two inches in diameter was fixed in the ceiling of each room: these tubes communicated with a large pipe, the end of which was inserted in the chimney of the factory furnace, which, by producing a strong draught, forced the inmates to breathe fresh air. The result of this simple contrivance was, that, during the ensuing eight years, fever was scarcely known in the place!
It would be a task infinitely more easy than pleasing to show the havoc annually created among the manufacturing masses by defective ventilation and overcrowding. We will, therefore, only observe that in the case of milliners and dressmakers in the metropolitan unions during the year 1839, as shown by the mor
Mr. Stultze, for instance, has subscribed 7957. in money; is a yearly subscriber of twenty-five guineas; has made a present to the 'Benevolent Institution for the Relief of Infirm Tailors' of ground worth about 10007.; and has besides undertaken to build thereon six houses for the reception of twenty poor pensioners.