Activists decry the automobile’s impact upon the environment, but few take time to consider what life was like in the days before motor vehicles came along
More than 500 tons of horse manure was collected from the streets of New York City daily in the early 1890s, according to the above video by the New-York Historical Society and NYC Media.
That’s 1 million pounds of road apples, for those of you scoring at home.
All that horse hockey was produced by 62,000 horses in 1,300 stables, according to Jean Ashton of the New York Historical Society.
It was taken – with human waste – to the aptly named “Barren Island,” where it was reduced to fertilizer.
In addition to the horrible stench that emanated from the horse manure and urine, the waste products were obvious breeding grounds for insects and disease.
In addition, dead horses were often left to molder in the streets of major cities, rotting where they fell.
One can concede that a mouthful of auto exhaust can be unpleasant, but it beats the heck out of the overwhelming stench of tons of horse manure on a hot summer day or walking to lunch and stumbling upon a dead carcass infested with maggots.