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Metropolitan Commission of Sewers

60 second histories

This video covers:  Bazalgette's appointment as Chief Engineer with the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers and the beginning of the great sewer project.

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During my time as Assistant Surveyor at the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers in London, there was no unified system of sewage or drainage in London. In a small way the London mudlarks and toshers who sorted through sewage looking for anything valuable did help to move sewage along the existing small tunnels. Indeed, without these men, the tunnels could easily become blocked and in turn, sewage would saturate the shores of the river Thames. I began working on a project with Frank Forster, the Head Engineer at the Commission, to plan a more organised solution to the problem. unfortunately this gigantic undertaking was too much for Frank so he resigned from the project and died shortly afterwards. I continued on with the project and between eighteen fifty-three and fifty-four over ten thousand Londoners died from cholera. It was in eighteen fifty-four that I was finally able to submit my solution to the problem but it was to take me three decades to transform London.
Medicine & Health
Victorian Reformers
Key people
Victorian Reformers
Medicine & health
Joseph Bazalgette
Key words: 
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