Patent for a means for preventing the accumulation of gas in manholes, 1891. This device also helped prevent ice buildup that froze manhole covers in place. Patented by Charles W. Hays on August 11, 1891. U.S. Patent No. 457,436, pp. 1-3.

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office at

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March 1913 article entitled, “Taking Chances on a Sewer Trench” …. Describing a trench collapse on a sewer installation job in Birmingham, Alabama in January of 1913. The accident resulted in the deaths of five laborers. Source: Jon Schladweiler

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These two items show the concern for the operation/maintenance of outhouses in the Philadelphia area in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s.  The first is a list of rules governing construction/maintenance of outhouses … the second an example of the method/cost of cleaning the privy pit/well. Source:  An internet site dedicated to the preservation of water and sewer history in the Philadelphia PA area ….

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A 1908 procedure for inspecting sewers safely – from the Assistant Engineer for the  City of Tucson, AZ; dated 5 March 1908.

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