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Stoneware gutter trap, England, 1850-1865

A gutter trap is used to stop debris such as leaves and rubbish clogging and blocking up drains and gutters. Blocked drains are foul-smelling and at a time when diseases were believed to be carried in poisonous vapours – so-called miasmas – they were considered a public nuisance and potential health risk.

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Glossary: gutter fixture

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