This blog was jointly authored with Ed Amoroso. See their previous blog for more!
Towards the end of the 19th century, large cities like New York were facing a vexing problem so devastating that many questioned whether such cities could be sustained at all. People could no longer cross the street without assistance, stumbling was a common problem, disease was spreading, and even those issues had nothing on the horrendous stench emanating from every corner.
We are talking, of course, about horse manure.
150,000 horses in service to pull streetcars, freight wagons, and private carriages resulted in millions of pounds of manure carpeting the city streets with a wet muck every day. All manner of ingenuity was used to remedy the situation: City drainage was improved; Manure was sold as fertilizer; Men with shovels were employed to constantly clear the streets; There were even “crossing sweepers…