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19th century sewers

19th century sewers

V255/0013

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Credit

CCI ARCHIVES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CCI ARCHIVES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Engraving of a tour of the sewers of Paris, France, from about 1860. Sewers in Paris date from around 1200, but a proper sewer system was not built until the 19th century. From 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned the building and repair of 290 kilometres of sewers. From 1850, the system was extended using new digging methods, and the system was 580 kilometres long by 1878. In the mid-19th century, tours were given of sections of the sewers, and proved very popular. Here, the tourists are being pushed along rails and lamps are being used to illuminate the sewers. Sewage is seen flowing down the tunnel at right. This is the sewer under the Rue Laffitte.

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