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Self-flushing gutter pipe, England, 1850-1875

Until the late 1880s, disease was often thought to be caused by bad air and smells from human waste, rotten rubbish and stagnant water. Good sanitation and pipe work was considered essential to prevent illness and was the subject of lectures and books. This stoneware gutter fixture, made by Mason, prevents foul smelling sewer air from entering the house.

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Glossary: gutter fixture

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