The night men of Victorian London had it rough. Tasked with hauling away "night soil"—human waste—under the cover of darkness, night men ventured into the city's 200,000 cesspits armed with only buckets, rope, and the desire to make money at any cost.
Between midnight and 5 a.m., night men climbed down into the pits of human effluvia, filled their buckets, and hauled the waste into carts. It was dangerous, disgusting work: beyond the appalling stench and hard physical labor, night men risked death by asphyxiation due to the overpowering gases and fumes.
Prior to the installation of the sewer system, London was a city of overflowing cesspits that drained into a putrid Thames. Cholera ran rampant and the air was a miasma of human waste smells, slaughterhouse run-off, and factory emissions.
Conditions were particularly noxious during the summer of 1858, a time known as The Great Stink. The smell of the sewage-filled Thames was so horrid that it affected operations at the Houses of Parliament. A transcript from parliamentary proceedings on June 11, 1858 notes that "Gentlemen sitting in the Committee Rooms and in the Library were utterly unable to remain there in consequence of the stench which arose from the river." In an attempt to mask the smell, the parliamentary curtains were soaked in chloride of lime. But the distracting odor remained.
Many microcar designs came out of post WWII Europe - cheap transportation for a devastated, but rebuilding economy. A few designs, like the Fiat 500A, began before the war but saw production continue afterwards. 127" long, 50" wide and 54" high, 13 horsepower, a top speed of about 50 mph and roughly 40 mpg. The engine is tiny and almost on top of the front wheels giving enormous legroom. It was said seven foot tall drivers could be accomodated.
The Lunar Orbiter V took the first image of the full Earth from space in 1967. Taking the image was not in the mission plan and the image was recently recovered in its original high resolution forma from an archived tape. Funny how we think nothing of books that are several hundred years old, but deal with digital storage from fifty years ago is often difficult and noteworthy.
Fifty years ago the Savannah cargo ship was supposed to showcase commercial nuclear propulsion.. it was an expensive flop.
Sleek in shape, painted red and white, its interior decorated in what was then ultra-modern chrome, the NS Savannah wasn't quite like any other cargo ship.
It had facilities for passengers. The 600ft, 12,000-ton ship boasted a cinema, veranda bar and swimming pool. The cabins had no curtains. Instead, "polarised" windows, designed to cut glare, lined the sides of staterooms.
The ship was one of the few to spring directly from the imagination of a US president. In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower had made his famous Atoms for Peace speech, attempting to balance the growing fear of nuclear apocalypse with optimism about the possibility of civilian use of atomic energy.
A crash program to cobble together a fast train with a few surplus jet engines mounted on a lightweight commuter train car. The frontal area is low on trains and a slightly more aerodynamic shape was added. Low rolling resistance and long areas for acceleration permitted some high speeds for the day.