Books for the Basement Condition Minded

Women, Plumbers, and Doctors; or, Household Sanitation. By Mrs. H.M.Plunkett, 1885

Farm Drainage.  By Henry F. French, 1859

Both of these books listed above are indeed over 100 years old. In sharing them with you I hope that you in turn then use the links, read at least small parts of these books, and revisit the age of “sanitary enlightenment”. 

It was an exciting time in the 1800s where science was gaining credibility, they were discovering causes and effects of the microscopic world, the fungal world, and were now applying this knowledge to the home.

Much of the information is considered common knowledge at this point. I would even consider them the base of what our standard practices in the home as far as sanitation.  Both of course tie in sanitation with the working state of the basement, not only as a storage place, but also as a living place. Many house servants used the basement for a living quarters; one could only imagine.

My pressing cause for spreading the word, the urgency, and the necessity of maintaining proper conditions in the basement is not because it’s what I do…but as an asthmatic, as someone with allergies, as someone who’s very sensitive to sanitary conditions both at home and abroad, I experience and understand the need for this type of work and wish to share with my readers the fact that this is not new knowledge.

If they knew about stack effect in the 1800’s why are we only now doing things to correct our basement environments? Why hasn’t the government done research and mandated stricter building codes in which to protect us while living there? They are questions to ask your self.