Wednesday, March 4, 2015

18th Century Infrastructure

In her article in the LA Times "Some Perspective on What We Have to be Thankful for" Marian L. Tupy presents a startling summary of 18th Century infrastructure that sounds so remote from first world today yet it was only 300 years ago...

"The palace also was ill equipped to deal with human waste. People relieved themselves wherever they could. Thus, shortly before Louis XIV died [in 1715], an ordinance decreed that feces be removed from the corridors of Versailles once a week. All that filth meant that disease-spreading parasites were rife. Before the 19th century, people had no idea about the germ theory of disease, and doctors often caused more harm than good."

"If this was the life of Europe's richest and most powerful man, imagine what ordinary people's lives must have been like. People lacked basic medicines and died relatively young. They had no painkillers, and people with ailments spent much of their lives in agonizing pain. Entire families lived in bug-infested dwellings that offered neither comfort nor privacy."

And here is a depiction of 18th century London's life and hazards.

1 comment:

Cloudia said...

Not to worry! The 1% will reduce the lives of rest of us more and more as time goes on......the dark ages will be back