Views of smoke in England, 1800-1830

Kasuga, Ayuka (2013) Views of smoke in England, 1800-1830. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (4MB) | Preview


This thesis explores urban smoke and its nuisances in Georgian England, especially focusing on the period, 1800-1830. During this period, a number of English towns experienced accelerated industrialisation and many of them first experienced air pollution. In 1821, Michael Angelo Taylor, MP, passed a parliamentary bill on smoke abatement, Taylor’s Act. Although it has generally been believed that the Act did not have much of a social impact, this thesis argues that the Act diffused the usage of smoke abatement technology and triggered dozens of legal cases.

The geographical focus of this thesis is Leeds and London. The Leeds case study examines the Leeds smoke abatement campaign and the smoke nuisance court case against Benjamin Gott, a leading merchant/ manufacturer in Leeds. It shows that the confusion over the effectiveness of smoke abatement technology represented the main difficulty in the smoke abatement campaign. The court case between the Duke of Northumberland and Clowes represents an example of the London nuisance cases in the 1820s. After the introduction of the steam press, the printing business became a polluting business. Because the plaintiff was the aristocrat, the case was interpreted as a class issue between aristocrat and middle-class printer. However, it was the Duke’s servants who suffered most from the nuisance and the case shows more complex class politics.

This thesis also explores smoke nuisance caused by conventional smoke-producing industries in London, waterworks and brickmaking. Some water companies adopted smoke abatement technology but the confusion over the effectiveness of the technology can be observed in London, too. Taylor’s Act did not directly influence brickmaking business but it could cause nuisance to its neighbours, especially nurseries and gardens.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Endfield, G.
Daniels, S.
Keywords: smoke abatement, smoke prevention, england, georgian, 19th century, leeds, london, industrialisation
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General). For photography, see TR
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Geography
Item ID: 13991
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2014 08:35
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 06:43

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View