Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/768

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748
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ditions as cause heavy snows to be melted suddenly, together with the absence of forests which tend to absorb moisture and to give it out but slowly, produce disastrous floods, such as have so frequently occurred. That there is any effectual remedy for the floods can scarcely be maintained; that their violence can be mitigated, the adherents of reforesting devoutly believe; and that the great dearth of water can be largely prevented by allowing the hills to become clothed again with forests, and the springs give out their stores perennially instead of drying up in seasons of drought, all must admit. But the problems of a great river are not worked out in a few years, any more than its own history has been. Time is necessary for all things. We firmly believe that man will in the end find a cure for the evils of drought and flood to which the mighty Ohio has been subject since civilized man has planted himself upon her hilly shores.


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STREET-CLEANING IN LARGE CITIES.

By General EMMONS CLARK.

ALTHOUGH it is an unquestionable fact that cleanliness of the streets is necessary to the health and comfort of the people, few, if any, of the large American cities have as yet satisfactorily accomplished this important sanitary object. European cities have generally been more successful in this particular, and their success is due mainly to their earlier attention to sanitary subjects, to their more arbitrary methods of enforcing police and sanitary regulations, and to the comparative absence of political and personal influences in their municipal governments. A difference is noticeable in the cleanliness of the streets of American cities, which may be attributed to the great disparity in the character and condition of their population, and the variety of plans upon which the streets are laid out, and the building blocks or squares are constructed. In those cities and parts of cities where the people of the laboring class and the poor are crowded in tenement-houses, and where a considerable part of the population is foreign-born and from countries where personal and public cleanliness have not been enforced by proper police regulations, it is no trifling task to secure cleanliness of the streets; but this desirable result is obtainable with comparative ease in those cities whose founders provided lanes or alleys in the rear of all dwellings, through which house refuse can be removed without any use of the public streets except for its transportation in carts to places of deposit.

New York, from its insular position, from its large foreign-