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Lectures on Ventilation by Lewis W. Leeds





Special Agent of the Quartermaster-General, for the Ventilation of Government Hospitals during the War; and Consulting Engineer of Ventilation and Heating for the U. S. Treasury Department.

=Man's own breath is his greatest enemy.=

NEW YORK: JOHN WILEY & SON, PUBLISHERS, 2 Clinton Hall, Astor Place. 1869.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by LEWIS W. LEEDS, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

New York Printing Company, 81, 83, _and_ 85 _Centre Street_, New York.


These Lectures were not originally written with any view to their publication; but as they were afterwards requested for publication in the Journal of the Franklin Institute, and there attracted very favorable notice, I believed the rapidly increasing interest in the subject of ventilation would enable the publishers to sell a sufficient number to pay the expense of their publication; and, if so, that this very spirit of inquiry which would lead to the perusal of even so small a work, might be one step forward towards that much-needed more general education on this important subject.

It was not my desire to give an elaborate treatise on the subject of ventilation. I believed a few general principles, illustrated in a familiar way, would be much more likely to be read; and, I hoped, would act as seed-grain in commencing the growth of an inquiry which, when once started in the right direction, would soon discover the condition of the air we breathe to be of so much importance that the investigation would be eagerly pursued.

L. W. L.



Philadelphia a healthy city--Owing to the superior ventilation of its houses--But the theory of ventilation still imperfectly understood--About forty per cent. of all deaths due to foul air--The death rate for 1865--Expense of unnecessary sickness--In London--In Massachusetts--In New York--In Philadelphia--Consumption the result of breathing impure air--Entirely preventable--Infantile mortality--Report on warming and ventilating the Capitol--Copies of various tables therefrom--Carbonic acid taken as the test, but not infallible--The uniform purity of the external atmosphere--Illustrated by the city of Manchester--Overflowed lands unhealthy--Air of Paris, London and other cities--Carbonic acid in houses--Here we find the curse of foul air--Our own breath is our greatest enemy--Scavengers more healthy than factory operatives--Wonderful cures of consumption by placing the patients in cow stables--City buildings prevent ventilation, consequently are unhealthy--The air from the filthiest street more wholesome than close bed-room air--Unfortunate prejudice against night air--Dr. Franklin's opinion of night air--Compared with the instructions of the Board of Health, 1866--Sleeping with open windows--Fire not objectionable--A small room ventilated is better than a large room not ventilated--Illustration--Fresh air at night prevents cholera--Illustrated by New York workhouse--Dr. Hamilton's report--Night air just as healthy as day air--Candle extinguished by the breath--The breath falls instead of rises--Children near the floor killed first--Physicians' certificates do not state "killed by foul air"--Open fire-places are excellent ventilators--All fire-boards should be used for kindling wood--Illustration showing when ceiling ventilation is necessary.

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