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been considered so healthy is, that together with its undulating surface it has on both sides of it, being a peninsula, these open spaces where the tide flows in and out twice every twenty-four hours, and over which the winds blow and remove the vitiated atmosphere which always hangs over crowded spaces. Of course any diminution of this surface by building upon it adds to the space to be ventilated, and so far as this space is concerned, must diminish the means of ventilation.
Q. (By Mr. INGALLS.) You think the evil effects would not be confined to the borders of these flats?
A. I should think not, sir.
Q. How far should you think the beneficial effects of the winds passing over this open space of water were felt?
A. In the summer season is the time when perhaps any interference with these flats would be most felt. Our prevailing winds, as the gentlemen are aware, are southwest; I do not know why they are not felt clear across the city; Boston is
Q. Whether or not it is any advantage for the wind to blow across salt water which is changed twice a day? Whether it is not better than the wind blowing across the land?
A. Certainly. There are certain exhalations from the land, which you will not have from the water surface, which is renewed twice daily from the sea.
Q. In your experience, as practising physician and surgeon at the hospital, have you ever noticed any difference as to the health of different localities of the city?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How does the health of the population on the west side of Beacon Hill compare with that of other portions of the city?
A. As compared with the North end, the difference is very great. Of course the more open the streets and the more freely the air has access to the buildings the better. The health of the inhabitants is inferior where the streets are crowded
and the air cannot be constantly renewed, and where of course it is constantly acting to promote disease. This is very noticeable, especially in surgical cases and in young children. It is a very well known fact that an amputation in the country will in the majority of cases heal up in half the time that it will in a crowded city. Young children, we all know, depend, as to their health, on the condition of the atmosphere to a very great
Q. (By Mr. DERBY.) You spoke of the exhalations from the land. Is not there a healthy emanation from salt water? A. Yes, sir.
Q. Is it a fact that cattle require less salt that are kept in such a locality as this?
A. They would obtain more from the saline growth as felt in the air.
Q. (By Mr. HILL.) I should like to ask whether, independently of any exhalation, with the breezes blowing across the water in the tidal basins where the water is changed twice a day — whether the air is not cooler than it would be with the wind blowing over the same amount of land, no matter how open it may be, or how ornamental it may be made?
A. Yes, sir; there is no doubt about that.
Q. You think so far as the health of the city is concerned, the diminution of the water basin of the Charles River would be injurious, even if the land were laid out as a pleasure ground? A. Yes, sir.
Q. You think an area of tidal water would be better?
Q. Then do I understand that any material reduction of the Charles River basin would be likely to deteriorate the influence of this open space upon the health of the city of Boston?
A. I so stated.
Q. Independently of the exhalations?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. (By Mr. DERBY.) Whether in cases of cholera it has clung very much to the made land in its visits ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. (By Mr. ALLEN.) Does the same class of population live in this locality as lives in other portions of the city where the death rate has been stated to be larger?
A. I do not think the class of population makes any difference. It is the manner in which they live, and the character of the houses in which they live, and the character of the localities as they are laid out.
Q. Does not the manner in which they live make some difference in the cases at the North end?
A. I said that that was one of the causes.
Q. (By the CHAIRMAN.) Somebody has said, doctor, that analogies are very delusive. Are not analogies in medical science apt to be delusive?
A. It may be.
Q. Now, what propriety can there be in placing the lungs of a city on the side of the city? What possible analogy is there between theI was going to say lungs, but I wont use that word—we are indebted to Dr. Holmes for starting that idea of analogy to the lungs what possible analogy is there between this aperture outside of the city and the lungs of a person? We can understand that an area in the centre of a city might bear some analogy to the lungs of a person, but you would not place the lungs in a man's toes, would you?
A. Oh, if the lungs perform the same office in his toes as they do in his chest, I cannot see that it would make any differ
Q. But there is a very pregnant “if” there.
A. The lungs, it is well known, serve to purify the blood in the human system, by bringing it in contact with the air, and combining with it a portion of the air. Nature, as you have
suggested, has placed them near the great vital organ of the body, the centre of circulation. I would not undertake to explain why nature did it in that case, but I will say that these open areas are likened to the lungs because they perform for the city a similar office to that which the lungs perform for the human system; that is, they purify the air, which is the vital element in the city, so far as the life of the inhabitants is concerned. A large city has a much greater space to be purified than a man's body; and whereas a central organ might be necessary for a man, a city might require many similar organs scattered around on the margin of the city.
Q. Where are the most unhealthy parts of Boston?
A. Some portions of the North end, I believe, and about some of the streets on Fort Hill. There are certain localities in South Boston that have been particularly marked.
Q. Isn't this a fact, that the most unhealthy portions of the city have been those near the borders of the city? Is not that so at the North end to-day, and on Broad street, and in South Boston, where they are most exposed to the prevalent winds from the northeast and the eastward?
A. The localities that have been mentioned have been, undoubtedly, some of the most unhealthy.
Q. And always have been?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Showing that the cause of that unhealthiness was something more than a question of ventilation?
A. In those particular localities, the effect of their being exposed to the winds has not freed them, has not counteracted the other causes.
Q. But it does show that the nearness to a tidal area does not counteract these causes which I think every medical gentleman, and you, certainly, will admit are the prevailing causes of disease, crowded houses, bad ventilation, etc. Now, are not the real lungs of every large city, if there is any such thing
the atmosphere overhead? Must not that be necessarily a large source of pure air to the streets?
A. I do not know as I understand your question.
Q. Must not a large city necessarily draw its pure air from the sweep of the winds overhead instead of getting them through the city?
A. No, sir, I should say not; I should say both are necessary.
Q. (By Mr. CROSBY.) I would like to ask the doctor one question. I understood him to testify that the prevailing winds were from the southwest. I should like to have him show me by the map what effect the southwest winds would have upon the city of Boston?
A. I did not say the whole of the city, but that portion of the city. [Explained as to direction of wind, in connection with map.] I said southwest; if I were going to add anything, I should say west.
Q. I want an expression from you as to how much the effect would be of a thousand or fifteen hundred feet of area here, upon the city of Boston?
A. Proportionally just so much as you diminish the area. I take it that when you undertake to narrow down the effects of the wind by the map, you cannot tell much about it. The current sets in this direction [indicating].
Q. (By the CHAIRMAN.) Now, then, here is another matter, doctor. [Draws a line on map indicating a line of 1,500 feet from sea-wall in rear of Beacon street.] Suppose that should be filled up to that line, would not this territory be the best ventilated territory in the whole city of Boston?
Mr. INGALLS. How much of a channel do you propose to leave? How wide a channel?
The CHAIRMAN. We do not propose
to go farther than that point, the end of the bridge. Now, suppose that it is filled out fifteen hundred feet, or nineteen hun