The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present
Immersed in their on-demand, highly consumptive, and disposable lifestyles, most urban Americans take for granted the technologies that provide them with potable water, remove their trash, and process their wastewater. These vital services, however, are the byproduct of many decades of development by engineers, sanitarians, and civic planners.
In The Sanitary City, Martin V. Melosi assembles a comprehensive, thoroughly researched and referenced history of sanitary services in urban America. He examines the evolution of water supply, sewage systems, and solid waste disposal during three distinct eras: The Age of Miasmas (pre-1880); The Bacteriological Revolution (1880-1945); and The New Ecology (1945 to present-day).
Originally published in 2000, this abridged edition includes updated text and bibliographic materials. The Sanitary City is an essential resource for those interested in environmental history, environmental engineering, science and technology, urban studies, and public health.
George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History Urban History Association Prize for the best book in North American Urban History
Abel Wolman Prize from the Public Works Historical Society
Sidney Edelstein Prize from the Society for the History of Technology
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Marvin Melosi's The Sanitary City presents the ongoing attempt by Americans to create a "sanitary city" by devising methods of water supply, and wastewater and solid waste removal. The Sanitary City's major thesis is that sanitation technology was largely influenced by "the prevailing environmental theories of the day" (2). As new theories were developed, and attitudes concerning sanitation and the environment shifted, what was considered to be acceptable changed. Early sanitation techniques rested largely upon individual households—privy closets, for example—and private enterprises such as scavengers and water contractors. Municipal sanitation was rudimentary if not outright nonexistent. Beginning in the early 1800sa new 'sanitary ideal' became more widespread thanks to the efforts of individuals such as Edwin Chadwick. This ideal linked filth to the spread of disease; thus more effective methods of waste removal and pure water supply would have a greater impact upon the prevention of disease (4). This ideal was refined as the nature of disease and germs became more widely known. Because privately owned companies were either unable or unwilling to embark upon sewerage development, this became a service of the city government. Though not widely accepted at first, the idea of 'out of sight, out of mind' lent itself to the construction of underground sewage systems; eventually the idea that preventing human contact with waste to prevent disease would extend from sewage to solid waste disposal in landfills. Melosi's groundbreaking integration of water supply, wastewater and solid waste disposal won several awards for the breadth of his scholarship. Melosi grounds his work in extensive research in both primary documents—industry documents, court cases, legislation, etc.—and the secondary literature.
Review: The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the PresentUser Review - Goodreads
A magnificent account of how American cities developed systems to free their populations of the dangers of epidemic disease even as the cities grew in size and density. This edition is abridged from ...
Effluent America: Cities, Industry, Energy, and the Environment
Martin V. Melosi
Limited preview - 2001
THE AGE OF MIASMAS From Colonial Times to 1880
Sanitation Practices in PreChadwickian America
Bringing the Serpents Tail into the Serpents Mouth EDWIN CHADWICK AND THE SANITARY IDEA IN ENGLAND
The Sanitary Idea Crosses the Atlantic
Pure and Plentiful FROM PROTOSYSTEM TO MODERN WATERWORKS 18301880
Subterranean Networks WASTEWATER SYSTEMS AS WORKS IN PROGRESS 18301880
THE BACTERIOLOGICAL REVOLUTION 18801945
The Orphan Child of Sanitary Engineering REFUSE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL 19201945
THE NEW ECOLOGY 19452000s
The Challenge of Suburban Sprawl and the Urban Crisis in the Age of Ecology 19451970
A Time of Unease THE WATER CRISIS IN AN EFFLUENT SOCIETY 19451970
Beyond Their Limits DECAYING SEWERS OVERFLOWS AND FOAMING PLANTS 19451970
Solid Waste as Third Pollution 19451970
From Earth Day to Infrastructure Crisis FORCES SHAPING THE NEW SANITARY CITY
Beyond Broken Pipes and Tired Treatment Plants WATER SUPPLY WASTEWATER AND POLLUTION SINCE 1970
On the Cusp of the New Public Health BACTERIOLOGY ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION AND THE QUEST FOR PERMANENCE 18801920
Water Supply as a Municipal Enterprise 18801920
Battles at Both Ends of the Pipe SEWERAGE SYSTEMS AND THE NEW HEALTH PARADIGM 18801920
The Third Pillar Of Sanitary Services THE RISE OF PUBLIC REFUSE MANAGEMENT 18801920
The Great Depression World War II and Public Works 19201945
Water Supply as a National Issue THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EXPANSION OF SERVICE AND THE THREAT OF POLLUTION 19201945
Sewerage Treatment and the Broadening Viewpoint 19201945