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University of Pittsburgh Press
The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present / Edition 1

The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present / Edition 1

by Martin V. Melosi
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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.

Winner of:
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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822959830
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 03/28/2008
Series: Pittsburgh Hist Urban Environ Series
Edition description: Abridged
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 1,073,046
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Martin V. Melosi is Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor of History and director of the Center for Public History at the University of Houston. He is the author or editor of fourteen books, including Garbage in the Cities: Refuse, Reform and the Environment, and Effluent America: Cities, Industry, Energy, and the Environment.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     ix
Preface     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction     1
The Age of Miasmas: From Colonial Times to 1880
Sanitation Practices in Pre-Chadwickian America     11
Bringing the Serpent's Tail into the Serpent's Mouth: Edwin Chadwick and the "Sanitary Idea" in England     28
The "Sanitary Idea" Crosses the Atlantic     40
Pure and Plentiful: From Protosystems to Modern Waterworks, 1830-1880     50
Subterranean Networks: Wastewater Systems as Works in Progress, 1830-1880     61
The Bacteriological Reuolution, 1880-1945
On the Cusp of the New Public Health: Bacteriology, Environmental Sanitation, and the Quest for Permanence, 1880-1920     71
Water Supply as a Municipal Enterprise, 1880-1920     82
Battles at Both Ends of the Pipe: Sewerage Systems and the New Health Paradigm, 1880-1920     97
The Third Pillar of Sanitary Services: The Rise of Public Refuse Management, 1880-1920     113
The Great Depression, World War II, and Public Works, 1920-1945     129
Water Supply as a National Issue: The Federal Government, Expansion of Service, and the Threat of Pollution, 1920-1945     135
Sewerage, Treatment, and the "Broadening Viewpoint," 1920-1945     147
The "Orphan Child of Sanitary Engineering": Refuse Collection andDisposal, 1920-1945     158
The New Ecology, 1945-2000s
The Challenge of Suburban Sprawl and the "Urban Crisis" in the Age of Ecology, 1945-1970     171
A Time of Unease: The "Water Crisis" in an Effluent Society, 1945-1970     180
Beyond Their Limits: Decaying Sewers, Overflows, and Foaming Plants, 1945-1970     192
Solid Waste as "Third Pollution," 1945-1970     200
From Earth Day to Infrastructure Crisis: Forces Shaping the New Sanitary City     210
Beyond Broken Pipes and Tired Treatment Plants: Water Supply, Wastewater, and Pollution since 1970     225
Out of State, Out of Mind: The Garbage Crisis in America     240
Epilogue     259
Abbreviations     265
Notes     267
Bibliographic Essay     333
Index     343

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