Tackling the Slums: Inspectors of Nuisance and the Sanitary Inspectors: Part 1, 1848-1914

Municipal Dreams

I’m pleased to feature the first of two very interesting guest posts by Dr Jill Stewart, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health and Housing at Middlesex University.  They cover the important, sometimes neglected, work of our earliest environmental health practitioners. You can follow Jill on Twitter @Jill_L_Stewart and see more of her work on her personal website, Housing, Health, Creativity

The idea of a job dedicated to dealing with industrial smells, boiling bones, accumulations of filth, offensive trades, drains, effluvia from public graves, abattoirs and sewage contaminated basements may not be everyone’s ideal career path. Thomas Fresh apparently thought otherwise and practically invented this new job for himself in the progressive borough of Liverpool (1).

The aptly named Fresh effectively became the first Inspector of Nuisance statutorily appointed by Public Health Act 1848, setting the path for a professional trail of Sanitary Inspectors, Public Health Inspectors and latterly…

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