19th-Century Smell Detectives Tackle Public Health
Constant Wonder - Radio Archive, Episode 903 , Segment 1
Episode: Smell Detectives
- Mar 8, 2021 8:00 pm
- 39:26 mins
Smelling committees still exist today, to track down mysterious odors, like the maple syrup smell outbreak in New York. These committees can trace their origins to 19th century America, when people planted flowers to fight disease and New Yorkers sued over foul smells. Plumbing has now relieved most of us of the burden of smells, but bad stenches always end up somewhere. Guest: Melanie Kiechle, Associate Professor of History at Virginia Tech and author of "Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century Urban America"