Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/915

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Popular Science Monthly

��899

��1912

���cause an annual waste and damage of half a billion dollars in this country alone. Yet dollars — not to mention health — continue to go up in smoke.

��Pittsburgh's Record of Smoky Extravagance

Things are improving, however; partly owing to the increased use of gas and electricity in place of coal, and partly to better applian- ces for burning coal. Pitts- burgh furnishes an example not only of the smoke evil at its worst, but also of what may be done to mitigate it. Exhaustive studies of the subject were made in that city by the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research. Ac- cording to data published in that connection the smoke evil was then costing Pitts- burgh $9,944,740 per annum, not including depreciation in the value of property, ab- sence of various industries which cannot flourish in a smoky atmosphere, and in- jury to human health. The smoke makers themselves were losing $1,520,740, which might have been saved by more perfect combustion of fuel. The laundry bills of the people of Pittsburgh were $1,500,000 bigger than they would have been with a clean atmosphere, and their dry cleaning bills $750,000 bigger. Yet the city has a large population of unskilled laborers who have little use for laundries, and Hght-

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���ll/^e Smoke

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��The smoke abatement results in Pittsburgh for the first months of the years 1912 to 1916 inclusive, as contained in the United States weather reports. Until three years ago the smoke evil was costing Pittsburgh ten million dollars g^nnually

��colored clothing is such a rarity in Pitts- burgh that the city has been called "the mourning town." Houses in Pittsburgh were, on an average, painted every three years, as compared with every six or eight years in other cities. The sheet metal of roofs, gutters, spouts, etc., deteriorated twice as fast in the smoky atmosphere of Pittsburgh as in an average large city, and needed painting twice as often. Pittsburgh

��� ��Smoke generated with part of the plant idle. On a busy day it seemed a veritable volcano

��The plant as it looks today, with every fur- nace working. Smoke is hardly noticeable

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