Digital Discussion - Horsepower: Sanitation and Transportation in Early New York City

Thursday May 28

6:00 PM  –  7:30 PM

American cities were full of horses in the 1800s. Not only were they the motive power for transportation, they also moved freight, construction materials, and even powered boats. As the earliest form of city transit, omnibuses and horsecars were particularly numerous in Manhattan, whose streets were filled with many lines that carried thousands of people per day. As more people began to move to the New York area in search of a better life, the waste generated by horses as well as humans reached a critical mass and resulted in health problems for animals and people alike.

Join Associate Curator Jodi Shapiro and Pratt Institute Professor and environmental historian Carl A. Zimring for a digital discussion about the intricate relationship between horses, sanitation, and transportation in New York City. Learn about the overall impact of horses as the dominant mode of transportation in the 1800s, the increase of the wave of epidemics in the United States and the unintentional consequences of transitioning from horsepower to fossil fuels.



Please Note: This discussion will take place online. Upon registration, all participants will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions on how to participate. We encourage you to download the Zoom app in advance for the best user experience


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