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9HI Industrial Revolution - Great Britain: Urban Health & Sanitation
Repairing the London Fleet Sewer. This was one of the main channels beneath London, and carried the waters of what had once been a substantial river–until the expansion of the city caused it to be built over and submerged. (1890's)
A tosher at work c. 1850, sieving raw sewage in one of the dank, dangerous and uncharted sewers beneath the streets of London. From Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor.
The movement known as the Industrial Revolution started in Britain in the 18th Century. By 1850, industrialization was taking root in parts of Western Europe and the USA, and by the end of the 19th Century, it had spread to Russia and Japan. It created the modern, industrial world in which we live today. The book charts the development of power-driven machinery, improvements in transport and the growth of towns. It also looks at the effects, both good and bad on how people lived and worked.
Describes what day-to-day life was like in Victorian times for ordinary people. Suggested level: intermediate.A picture-led book that illustrates many different features of Victorian life, which includes information on child workers, trams, music halls and people's clothes. One of a series, it has easy-to-read text linked to each picture. Looks at life in Victorian Britain, with topics including work, city life, transport, country life, health and sanitation, education, and social problems.
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"From Dr William Duncan, Report on the Sanitary Condition of Liverpool, 1839:
"In the streets inhabited by the working classes, I believe that the great majority are without sewers, and that where they do exist they are of a very imperfect kind unless where the ground has a natural inclination, therefore the surface water and fluid refuse of every kind stagnate in the street, and add, especially in hot weather, their pestilential influence to that of the more solid filth... "
Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890) had taken an active part in the reform of the Poor Law and in factory legislation before he became secretary to a commission investigating sanitary conditions and means of improving them. The Commission's report, of which the summary is given below, is the third of the great reports of this epoch. The following material comes from Report...from the Poor Law Commissioners on an Inquiry into the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain London, 1842, pp. 369-72.]
On his death The Bradford Observer commented: "Titus was perhaps the greatest captain of industry in England not only because he gathered thousands under him but also because, according to the light that was in him, he tried to care for all those thousands."
In June 1832. Earl Charles Grey, the British Prime Minister, set up a Poor Law Commission to examine the working of the poor Law system in Britain. Chadwick was appointed as one of the assistant commissioners responsible for collecting information on the subject. He soon emerged as one of the most important members of the investigation and he was eventually responsible for writing nearly a third of the published report.
The period quickly became one in which there was a struggle between reformers and traditionalists. Those who wanted to invest in cleaning up cities with those who baulked at the incredible cost of doing so. Slowly, under great political pressure, changes were made. Government legislated and thanks to scientific breakthroughs diseases were tackled more efficiently. The story of public health in the Industrial Revolution truly is one of the fight against the most unimaginable squalor and desperate conditions
When Titus Salt (1803-1876) founded the industrial community of Saltaire, among the amenities that he was committed to developing were those for education. The following is a summary of where the provision of education began and how the educational amenities developed and grew.
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Explore the way one philanthropic mill-owner, Titus Salt, tackled the problems and divisions of early industrial Britain.
Sir Edwin Chadwick was an English social reformer, noted for his work to reform the Poor Laws and improve sanitary conditions and public health.