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attacks vigorously everything with moisture in it; so that everything created by nature may ultimately be evaporated, diffused and given up to it, for its own atmospheric purposes, to be subsequently returned according to the natural and unfathomable laws that control the universe. This natural process of distribution, or action of atmospherical conditions, it is the absolute duty of humanity not to aid or inconsiderately feed with any impurities whatsoever, but where it can and as it can, stamp such unhealthy actions out. Hence, if water is used for getting rid of animal impurities-and which I see no avoidance of for reasons I have given elsewhere-it should only and solely be used under the following condition, viz.: to be held up at pleasure, and overflow so as to obtain increased power for removal, and to obtain at the same time the actually most favourable conditions and powers for the deodorization, the sterilizing and the destruction of all impurities within its grasp. With the short time at my command, the house drain less requires explanation as to how it can hold liquid and exclude air; but for sewer requirements I can best convey what I desire to do to the meeting, if our friend Mr. Honeyman, who read a paper here this morning, will kindly allow me to explain my views by a reference to the model he has favoured us with and brought here to explain his system for the better ventilation of drains: a condition I am taking the opposite view on. Mr. Honeyman's model shows a quasi sub-drain; that is, a drain with a smaller drain in it at the bottom, not joined in the middle, as the two divisions have a free communication with each other by a horizontal and longitudinal opening throughout: the object being, I understand, to contract a circular



for sewage at the bottom, and provide a permanent air circular reservoir at the top for ventilation. My view is, that it would be better that the semi-division between this dual form of drain should be entirely closed up, so that the two parts be without any connection one with the other; that the lower (the sewage) drain should be always full and running over and away, as before described by me; and that the upper one should be of the size for a man to pass through it easily, and otherwise should be only used for surface and storm waters: the lower drain would then, equally with the house drain, be in precisely the condition required for the artificial correction or sterilizing of all fouled liquids entering therein, and so that, by absence of emission of any deleterious vapour, a source of nuisance and ill-health to humanity may be removed. Though I should like to say a great deal more as to the considerations foreshadowed and as to many details, still I have, Mr. Chairman, in essence, expressed the views I have formed on the sewage question, holding firmly to the definite standpoint, that liquids must

[NOTE BY THE EDITOR.-It is presumed that, in Mr. Newton's case, the pipes would be kept full by the syphon being above instead of below the general level of the pipes. It is to be hoped that both Mr. Honeyman and Mr. Newton will hereafter prepare further details, showing the application of their respective principles to an ordinary London residence of the first class.]

be kept absolutely from all contact with air, so long as they retain, in the smallest degree, any foulness or constituents for fermentation; which fermentation can only arise from the conjuncture of the two elements-Air and Water. On these grounds I maintain that any ventilation whatsoever of fouled liquids or of refuse waters is a fatal error of the most profound character.

Mr. J. HONEYMAN, F.R.I.B.A. (Glasgow), said he must admit having spoken rather rashly with regard to the absence of traps altogether. Protection from smell was quite as good a reason for using traps as protection from cold draughts. He would not like it to be supposed that he advised the omission of all traps between waste pipes, &c., and the house, although he said that as a protection against air from the house drain they would be unnecessary. He was sorry he could not agree with Mr. Field regarding the necessity of more air in the drain; he thought it could be shown to be physically impossible to ventilate a drain only six inches in diameter sufficiently without mechanical force. Mr. Field said he got a six-inch pipe perfectly without smell; but even if he did he must be aware that a smell was not necessarily a test of the purity or harmlessness of the air. This was a point often forgotten. He would like it borne in mind that his remarks with regard to the doing away of traps were based upon the idea that the house drains were entirely disconnected from the common sewer, and that they were formed and ventilated and kept clean as he had suggested.

On "Health, Comfort, and Economy in Cottage Construction," By J. CORBETT, Sanitary Engineer.

IN studying this question, and the cognate ones of improving city slums and providing block-dwellings in populous districts, I have inspected the slums of our largest cities, and also their improved dwellings: visited and lectured in many manufacturing towns, and collected plans and useful information from

many sources.

The liberal offer made by Mr. William Westgarth, through the Society of Arts, for essays on the best means for providing dwellings for the poorer classes of Central London, induced me to prepare an essay and plans for block-dwellings, to which was awarded in 1885 the premium of £100.

Many of the special features of these plans for block-dwellings are equally applicable to ordinary cottage or small house construction, and so I have embodied them with some modifica

tions in the following paper, in order to bring them under the notice of cottage builders in this populous manufacturing


The recent tendency to return to Old English examples for middle class household furniture, and also for structure and arrangement, may with advantage be extended to cottage dwellings. By judicious modification and adaptation to modern ideas of comfort, many old features of cottage construction may be re-introduced, displacing the shabby imitations of classical architecture which are now the usual features of cheap building.

Before entering into structural details it will be well to consider what are the chief requirements of health and comfort, and what the chief hindrances to attaining health and comfort in cottages or cheap houses.

Health requires ample light, airiness, cleanliness, warmth and dryness in every room.

Comfort requires avoidance of draughts; avoidance of hollow floors or walls forming warrens for mice and other vermin; of weak plaster easily pierced by vermin; of weak floors, creaking and yielding underfoot; of fragile ironmongery, shelving, and other fittings.

Economy requires that the cheapest efficient materials, and the smallest quantity of materials compatible with efficiency, shall be used throughout the structure.

In order to put my suggestions into some definite order, I will endeavour to follow the several trades through the construction of an ideal group of cottages, beginning with the excavators' and bricklayers' work.

The less excavating the better, as a rule, for cottages without cellars. Surface soil should be removed because of its vegetable consistency, and it is generally saleable.

"Made ground" or filled up stuff is often a perilous foundation either for health or stability. A great sanitary authority is reported to have stated some years ago that midden refuse tips were not fit for building upon until two years after their formation: and this fatally misleading advice has been repeated again and again by careless writers. Common experience proves that such refuse tips remain foul and give out injurious emanations for scores of years, probably for centuries, after their first formation. In my opinion the only structure for a house floor on such a site compatible with health, comfort, and economy is that of raising the house floor two steps above the surface level, and covering the site with half-brick arching and a coat of pitch; thus providing for free ventilation between the foul ground and the floor, and preventing any direct emanations

from the ground into the house. The bricks used for these arches and their foundation walls may be of inferior quality and rough shape.

The outer walls need not be more than one brick (nine inches) in thickness. The great majority of middle-class houses in Lancashire have walls only this thickness, and it must always be remembered that to insist on a needless thickness of walls is to insist on a needless burden of rent caused by their

extra cost.

The outer facing-bricks must be of hard, impervious quality, and this for many reasons.-They will thereby prevent rain from soaking through to the rooms.-They will avoid liability of the bricks to bursting by frost and thaw. They will retain their warm colour, not becoming either mossy or soot-stained.But most important of all, they will keep the house warm by avoiding taking in moisture and gradually evaporating it out again, a process similar to that of a porous water carafe, by which the inside temperature is made many degrees lower than the external air.

Where the bricks are not sufficiently impervious, they may be protected externally by a couple of coats of boiled linseed oil, laid on hot while the walls are dry in summer time. Mineral oil or melted wax will also answer the purpose.

Stone walls may be similarly benefited by two coats of Portland cement wash, of the consistency of cream: and this may be slightly tinted where so required.

The most serious false economy commonly made in connection with external walling is the omission of overhanging eaves in all but the front walls. By an overhang equal to only onetwentieth of the height of a wall, about nine-tenths of the rainfall may be kept off it, and its dryness and warmth materially increased. At the same time such overhanging eaves on all sides give a much enhanced appearance to the house.

Cavity-walls are advisable where much exposed to driving rain, or where bricks are somewhat porous; but they are objectionable as forming harbours for vermin, and also means of airway and possible contagion between adjoining houses.

Artistic effects scarcely come within the range of this paper, but as comfort is certainly promoted by tasteful appearance, I may call attention to the excellent effects attainable by suitable corbellings, arches, salient courses, and other very inexpensive uses of common bricks, infinitely preferable to the patches of wrought stonework or fancifully coloured brickwork, often used as decorative features on cottages.

The smoke flues offer an opportunity for considerable economy and increase of comfort. We usually see similar flues, 14 in,

by 9 in., applied to the huge kitchen range of a mansion and to the little fireplace of a cottage. For a cottage such a flue is most inconveniently large; it is too large to heat, and therefore draws poorly, while in windy weather it causes an excessive draught through the room. A flue, 9 in. by 7 in., is large enough for a cottage kitchen or bedroom; it will draw better, and require less sweeping than a larger flue. It has been objected that by retaining less soot it evidently discharges more soot than a larger flue, but any such tendency is more than balanced by the great economy of fuel resulting from the avoidance of irregular and excessive draught.

By reducing the size of flues, the bulk and cost of chimneys is materially economised.

In connection with smoke-flues, I strongly advise the provision of vent-flues from the upper part of each dwelling room or bedroom. None of the outlet valves, from Dr. Arnott's original type down to the latest so called "improvement," will practically work satisfactorily; but a much simpler and cheaper appliance has long been proved efficient. This is simply a short vertical tube, 4 or 6 in. in diameter, built into the chimney breast or else placed beside it, open at one end to the room near the ceiling, and at the other end into the smoke flue close to the fire-place. A regulating valve may be added if desired; and it is well to have a damper or fire-board to close the fire-place opening when out of use, so as to cause the whole draught of the flue to act in extracting the hottest and least pure air from the room, thereby having an important advantage over ventilation by the fire-place, which carries off the lowest strata of air, the coolest and purest in the room.

An important economy of space may be effected in cottage parlour or bedroom fire-places by setting back the grate, &c., some six inches within the projecting chimney breast, turning the flue from the fire-place directly sideways into its smoke flue, and forming an arched recess over the mantel, deep enough to contain shelves for ornaments, &c. A similar recess may be made over a cottage kitchen range, where bright pans, &c. can be kept.

For flooring of kitchens and sculleries flagging is a very cheap and durable material, but coloured tileing on a good concrete bed is far preferable in appearance, and but little more in cost. It is much cleaner and freer from chinks and cavities than boarded flooring, thereby reducing the usual liability of kitchens to mice, cockroaches, &c.

Popular taste will scarcely tolerate yet the use of hard brick window cills and door steps, in place of the stone ones on which the cottage housewife expends so much bath stone and needless

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