The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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others would not mind it. The same may be said in reference to railway stations, to which the daily traveler would gladly be near on account of the mode of conveyance, whilst the bulk of mankind would dislike its noise and tumult. Neighborhood of manufactories and mills will be avoided except by those employed about them. If tall chimneys are seen near the spot which is in contemplation, it is well to ascertain exactly what they are used for, and whether any noxious or offensive trades are carried on. In every case the drainage should be attended to, and it should be ascertained, either that there is a sufficient culvert near, capable of conveying off the house drain­age, or that facilities exist for a cess-pool; where the habitations are not too high, it is thought that cess-pools are by no means objec­tionable, that is, provided they can be made at a sufficient distance from the house, but nevertheless, a well-arranged culvert is always to be preferred. In those cases, where "large culverts are so built that they have little or no fall, and are never flushed except by storm water, they are far inferior to a well-built cess-pool; for as they ac­cumulate their contents in enormous quantities, and daily receive fresh additions without passing^ them on, their gaseous emanations are bound to return through the traps in spite of all the care in the world in their construction. There is no Alteration to any extent, (or if any, it is in that way highly injurious to the basement floors of those houses which are next to the leakage) and consequently the bulk is not diminished sometimes for weeks or even months together, that is, as long as there is no rain. In a cess-pool, on the other hand, a man has the control of his own and is not annoyed by that of his neighbor, unless the neighborhood is very close, in which case, as before remarked, these receptacles should be avoided. Recently made ground should always be suspicious, as it is generally the seat of a reclaimed marsh, and as such takes many years to be made fit for human habitation. All filled up ponds are still worse where their vegetable matter has been burried beneath the surface. Water comes very high in the list of requisites in all suburban, as in fact in every other kind of residence. A good well of spring water can sel­dom be reckoned on, but it should be obtained if possible, but now companies supply a perfectly pure and wholesome water, which is as refreshing as it is most agreeable to the palate.
Supposing a plat of ground is offered for sale in a neighborhood only partly covered; it will be desirable to ascertain what proba­bility there is of the remainder being turned into an annoyance, either in the shape of a factory, a public house, or even in that of a place of worship, neither of which is a desirable building to have located in front of one's drawing-room windows. When a garden, either for flowers or vegetables, is desired, of course the nature of