Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/873

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839
SKETCH OF DR. CHARLES F. CHANDLER.

complete discussions of gas-purification which has ever appeared. The Board decided against the company, and the gas nuisance ceased.

As President of the Health Department of New York, Professor Chandler has held a most responsible position for the past six years. During this time he has had associated with him in his work Dr. S. O, Vanderpoel, the Health Officer of the Port, and Dr. Stephen Smith for the first two, and Dr. Edward G. Janeway for the past four years. These men have always worked in complete harmony.

The present Board of Health was organized under the charter of 1873, which was a modification of that of 1870, which abolished the Metropolitan Board. This latter was established in 1866, and a very perfect system of sanitary legislation and supervision was inaugurated by the health laws of that year. The Sanitary Code of Kew York was the first result of that legislation. New enactments have been made from time to time, and it is believed that New York City now possesses a more extensive and perfect system of sanitary supervision than any other city in America or Europe; and its laws and code, as well as its work in general, have been made the model for similar work throughout the country. When the present Board organized, it adopted a thorough civil-service system, and there has not occurred a single instance since that time in which it has been departed from. Dr. Chandler's first labors in 1873 were directed to the purification of the atmosphere of New York, and his first summer was spent in the most active warfare on all kinds of stench-producing trades.

The war was not confined to the land, as a naval engagement occurred on more than one occasion. At last there were no odors left save those which were wafted across the East River from Newtown Creek and Hunter's Point, and which the Board of Health was diligently combating when the farce of the indictment of its members was enacted by the grand jury.

Judge Sutherland promptly quashed the indictment on the ground that neither a moral nor a legal excuse existed for it. That the Health Board was not inactive is shown by the fact that suits were brought against the city for nearly five hundred thousand dollars for their acts in suppressing nuisances in 1873 and 1874; and that the members acted with judgment is shown by the fact that in every one of these suits they were victorious.

One of the most creditable acts was the removal of the two-story structures, which had been erected over the half of the roadway of the public streets adjacent to Washington Market, and almost entirely surrounding the block which the market occupies. Every effort had been previously made by other boards to remove them, but in vain. After exhausting every other method, the Board of Health in 1873 decided to use force, and one quiet summer evening Dr. Chandler led an army of one hundred and fifty carpenters and laborers, three hundred policemen, and a corps of surgeons to the market, and before