Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/914

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The Money That Goes Up the Chimney

What smoke costs the cities of the world Illustrations by Bureau of Smoke Regulations of the City of Pittsburgh

���Smoke issuing from the plant of a great steel company. This was a daily occurrence

" I ^HERE was a time," said the great I German chemist, Dr. Otto N. Witt, in the course of an address a few years ago, "when smoke was considered a neces- sary evil, which had to be endured. After a while smoke began to be looked upon as a nuisance, and war was declared against it by those who suffered from its disagreeable properties; but now we know that smoke is a waste, and that nobody has better cause to wage war against it than the man who produces it.

"Smoking chimneys are thieves, and their misdeeds should not rise unavenged to Heaven. It is, perhaps, not too much to say that the saving of national wealth effected by regenerative gas heating may amount to a sum sufficient to pay the aggregate national debts of all civilized nations." With the cost of the nuisance thus emphasized the producer grows thoughtful.

���The same plant as it looks today after strict adherence to smoke-abatement ordinances

��The smoke problem is no novelty. The smoke of London was a cause of complaint in the Middle Ages, and a man was executed in that city early in the fourteenth century for burning "sea coal." The first smoke- abatement invention was patented by James Watt in 1785.

In recent times the war against smoke has been carried on by numerous societies in Europe and America; it has included the adoption of a great many laws and ordinan- ces, which, for one reason or another, have not generally been effective; it has been the occasion of international conferences and national expositions; and its literature is so voluminous that an incomplete list of the books and papers on the subject, published by the Mellon Institute, of Pittsburgh, Pa., fills 164 pages. The facts and figures ad- duced in the arraignment of this evil are stu- pendous. It has been said, for example, to

��� ��Dense smoke issuing from the numerous stacks before air was admitted above the arches

��The same plant after arrangements were made for the admission of a regulated air supply

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