Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Tales of the Month

Monthly tales from the city's archives

Dec 20, 2011

Concerns about air pollution levels in the city are not new.

A letter to the Scotsman on 29 December 1868 suggests that, whatever their ailment, patients at the Royal Infirmary were suffering additional malodorous discomfort!

‘Sir, I send you the enclosed table, taken from Professor Playfair’s eloquent and masterly Lectures on Chemistry. The table proves that the present site of the Infirmary is surrounded by a locality nearly as half as filthy as a pig sty . . .

 Organic Matter in Air – ammonia (ml) per metre of air:

Pig Sty: 94.0

Cowgate: 40

High Street: 30

Princes Street 22.0

Calton Hill: 12.0

EWH are grateful for permission to use this extract from “The Edinburgh Book of Days” by Michael T.R.B. Turnbull, published by The History Press.

http://bit.ly/nxNKIh  (www.thehistorypress.co.uk)

Another tale from Edinburgh’s archives will appear in the New Year.

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