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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/84

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

vided for specially; and in making this provision it should be borne in mind that we are living at the bottom of an ocean of air, and that the same manipulation is required as though we were living at the bottom of an ocean of water, and were endeavoring to make it come in at the bottom of the house and go out at the top in a continuous stream.

From the foregoing remarks it will be seen that I maintain that ventilation is the great and main necessity of house-building; and that, whatever else may be left undone, this should be attended to; and, whatever else may be left imperfect, this should be made perfect and complete; and that it should include the whole house; and should be self-acting and inexpensive. It should, I repeat, be perfect and complete, include the whole house, and be self-acting and inexpensive.

Ventilation is the point for discussion between the architectural and medical professions, for it is here in particular that their duties meet and combine; the education, knowledge, and experience of both professions are wanted here. However much the medical man may be impressed with the absolute necessity of rooms and houses being ventilated, he cannot himself provide it—this must be done by the architect; and, on the other hand, the architect cannot be expected to provide flues and tubes, which involve extra expense, except under the certainty that they are absolutely necessary and required arrangements involved in the plan of every house. But there is a third party interested in this subject, namely, the public. The public are, after all, the "yea" and "nay" in this matter; it is, indeed, for them that these arrangements are to be made, and they are the paymasters. Whatever extra cost is involved, it is the public that will have to pay it; and it is of little use for a doctor to prove the necessity, or for an architect to design the arrangements, unless the public be persuaded to adopt them, and pay the cost involved. That the public can be thus persuaded I have no doubt, but that this will take some time I am equally ready to admit. It will take some time thoroughly to educate the public into the absolute necessity for special provisions for ventilation, because they have hitherto been left under the impression that special arrangements for ventilation are unnecessary and superfluous, or that they are impracticable, or at least incompatible with warmth and comfort; and I am sorry to have to add that they have been encouraged in this impression by many architects and engineers, and that medical men have not protested with sufficient force and intelligence. Medical men have gone on from generation to generation silently mourning the resulting evils of the want of efficient and practicable means of ventilation, and architects have continued to design houses with very little regard to these absolutely necessary provisions; while the public have submitted, and, if they have not thought it was all right, have at least thought that the evil was quite beyond