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Victorian London: Industrialization, Pollution, and Disease

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Julian Dodson

on 24 September 2018

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Transcript of Victorian London: Industrialization, Pollution, and Disease

Main Question:
Sewer Hunters
Night-soil Men

“Bone pickers” scavenged carcasses of all kinds

“Pure finders” collected dog excrement

“Toshers” waded in the muddy waters of the Thames scavenging

Victorian London: Industrialization, Pollution, and Disease
What are the connections between population growth, the urban environment, and human ecology in nineteenth-century London?
Before the 18th century, production was limited to craft manufacturing--small-scale stuff.

In the 17th century we get the growth of textile industries in Western Europe based on new technologies.

By 1700 Western Europe was not industrialized. At most, it was an advanced agricultural society. There was a large commercial sector, a lot of hand-driven manufacturing, but no industrialization
Three changes combined during the 18th century that accelerated manufacturing and generated the Industrial Revolution

1. New Agricultural methods in the late 1700s.

2. Massive advances in manufacturing technologies.

3. Proto-industrialization

The manufacturing sector begins to grow rapidly by the 1750s.

Then we get a steam engine fit for industrial use that could be used to power automated machinery. Small factories then replace household production sites.

This Industrial Revolution continues to pull former agricultural laborers from the countryside into the cities, which were rapidly growing.
Industrialization and output:

In 1830 Britain produced 24 million tons of coal, 80% of the world's total.

By 1880 they were turning out 110 million tons.

Rising output boosted industrial profits leading to further rapid development of industry.

1000 years ago there were only 5 urban centers in the world with more than half a million inhabitants.

By 1800, there were 6: Istanbul, Tokyo, Bejing, Paris, London, and Canton.

By 1900, there were 43 cities of over .5 million.

By 1990 800 cities far surpassed the .5 million mark, 14 of those had 10 million or more.
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