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Divergent Responses to Identical Problems: Businessmen and the Smoke Nuisance in Germany and the United States, 1880-1917.

This article counters a common misconception that business was universally opposed to air pollution control at the beginning of the twentieth century. In comparing the reaction of German and American businessmen to smoke abatement efforts before World War I, it shows that behavior was primarily shaped by national culture, rather than by a general desire to "externalize costs." German smoke abatement did not meet significant resistance from industrialists, with regulation being based on a general consensus of all parties involved--a process which turned out to be as much a chance for abatement as it was an impediment for reforms. The American business community was split into two factions: those opposed to smoke abatement because they feared additional costs and the intrusion of factories by officials, and others, frequently organized in Chambers of Commerce or similar civic associations, who took a broader perspective and argued that the economic prospects of their city were at stake. The ultimate success of the latter group was largely due to changes in strategy, which allowed businessmen to develop a more positive attitude toward smoke abatement while simultaneously increasing the effectiveness of regulation. Business, therefore, should not be viewed as an inevitably "negative force" in environmental regulation.

Historians of air pollution have heretofore shown a very one-sided interest in the role of businessmen. Most have assumed that they sought to reduce their own costs; consequently, businessmen are supposed to have rejected almost every effort to hold their companies responsible for their own emissions. "It should come as no surprise that industry opposed investments [to decrease emissions]," two German historians wrote in an overview article in 1987. Many environmental historians have shared their viewpoint, taking for granted that businessmen uniformly opposed smoke control from the early 1800s to the present. The author of a recent dissertation even argued that breaking the law and ignoring regulation was "common entrepreneurial behavior." While business has changed dramatically within the last 200 years, business attitudes toward environmental issues have supposedly remained unaltered. [1]

By comparing the reaction of German and American businessmen to the smoke nuisance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this article shows that this interpretation is not so much wrong as incomplete. While German businessmen mostly abstained from participation in discussions on the smoke question, American businessmen figured prominently in such discussions and exerted an influence on the regulation of the problem. Analysis of these different responses reveals a multi-dimensional picture of entrepreneurial behavior in environmental conflicts. It shows that the response of the business community was deeply influenced by social and cultural forces and the institutional setting of the economy. In short, the article will expose the force of national cultures in shaping the business and regulatory communities' approaches to environmental problems, thereby suggesting the value of melding business history with a new kind of environmental history.

In revealing the multi-dimensional nature of business's response to air pollution, this article will also criticize a second major theme of current historiography. Historians have repeatedly argued that the business community was the dominant party in disputes on smoke, which ultimately succeeded in rendering the drive against smoke ineffective. "The policy debate over air quality during the Progressive Era resulted in the triumph of a socially constructed vision of technological progress that did not include serious concern for the protection of the environment," Harold Platt wrote, attributing this result principally to "the ability of businessmen to exploit the authority of experts to narrow the discourse on the formation of public policy to options they found acceptable." [2] In a recent synthesis on air pollution control in Germany, Franz-Josef Br[ddot{u}]ggemeier argued that entrepreneurs successfully established the primacy of their monetary interest during the course of the nineteenth century; as a r esult, the state increasingly sided with the polluters, curtailing the chances to abate emissions almost entirely. [3] In a similar vein, Raymond H. Dominick commented on the poor prospects of complaints in late nineteenth-century Germany, "If the petitioners were few in number, if they were politically unimportant and if they worked solely within the bureaucratic system, they had no chance for success." [4]

However, the following discussion will show that neither German nor American businessmen came out of the smoke debates as uncompromising winners. American manufacturers could not sustain their opposition when the smoke abatement movement shifted its emphasis from prosecution to education, and German industrialists seldom opposed smoke abatement because the regulative environment made such a position counterproductive. It is more appropriate to say that smoke regulation was a compromise between the interests of business entrepreneurs and other parties involved. There was a marked difference in the way this compromise emerged, however. In Germany, bureaucrats were convinced that by approaching smoke producers in a cooperative manner, they were already doing justice to their interests; therefore, German bureaucrats were reluctant to even discuss the demands of businessmen for a change in policy, let alone to give in to them. In contrast, American businessmen did participate in debates on smoke abatement from the outset and exerted a strong influence on the strategy of abatement. Interestingly, their greater influence did not result in a weaker strategy of smoke abatement, as might be expected on the background of current environmental history writing. Instead, responding to the pressure of businessmen, the American smoke abatement movement favored the smoke inspection approach, which was superior to the prosecutional approach previously employed in terms of effectiveness. Conversely, the marginalization of German businessmen in discussions on smoke abatement weakened the German drive against smoke, as can be seen by the example of the Hamburg Society for Fuel Economy and Smoke Abatement. Therefore, the comparison cautions against the tendency to assume that the influence of businessmen necessarily was a "negative force" in environmental regulation. [5]

Although I use the terms "businessmen," "business community" and "entrepreneurs" interchangeably in this article, I do not mean to imply that the business community held a universally shared opinion on the smoke nuisance or even formed a homogeneous group. Instead, different branches of business found divergent interests in the issue. Not only did American business people, in general, view smoke control differently from German business people, but also different groups of businessmen within the same country had different views. While some American manufacturers vigorously opposed smoke abatement, for example, real estate agents were in the forefront of the antismoke movement. To pay tribute to the wide spectrum of opinions, this article does not focus on any particular group of businessmen but tries to encompass the entire urban business community. The only kinds of urban business not included in my analysis are railroads and other mobile sources of smoke. They are excluded for two reasons: one, as mobile pr oducers of smoke, they faced unique technological and regulatory conditions which necessitate a separate treatment from the stationary sources that produced most of the industrial smoke in cities; and two, a discussion of railroads would not fit into the comparative scheme of this article, for railroads were mostly state-run in Imperial Germany. [6]

The Rise of the Smoke Problem: A Result of Entrepreneurial Negligence

When a late nineteenth century businessman realized that his chimney was belching clouds of smoke, his usual reaction was to look the other way. From the perspective of current environmentalism, this behavior seems to explain itself; but in the historic context, things were not that simple. When the smoke nuisance emerged as a political issue in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, engineering experts agreed that smoke abatement was in no way opposed to a company's monetary interest. It was already known to R.S.G. Paton of the Chicago Department of Health--presumably the first American official in charge of smoke abatement--that smoke was the result of an imperfect combustion of coal. [7] Consequently, engineers proposed to optimize combustion processes in order to save coal and prevent smoke at the same time, and numerous reports confirmed the validity of this proposal. "Many men who have put in new boiler plants under pressure to do away with smoke have reported to us a saving in fuel of from 25 percent to 40 percent, and some have said they cut their coal bills in half," a typical report proclaimed. [8] While others were more careful in their estimates on potential savings--a study by the Geological Survey stated that the loss due to smoke conditions rarely exceeded 10 percent--it was common knowledge among engineers in both the U.S. and Germany that smoke abatement and fuel economy went hand in hand. [9]

If businessmen ignored the chance to save on their coal bills, three reasons may be given: first, lack of information; second, the relatively small expenditure for coal as compared to other running expenses; and third, the fact that the boiler room was the last thing many businessmen were interested in. The Chicago Department of Health noted in 1885 that one reason for smoke was "the indifference of owners and proprietors to include daily the furnace room in their rounds through their business offices." [10] Ten years later, the same department wrote, "The average owner of a steam plant is profoundly ignorant concerning the first principles of mechanics, engineering, combustion, or of anything else concerning the management or equipment of a steam plant." [11] A committee appointed by the Mayor of St. Louis found that many steam users did not even have an approximate idea of the amount of work their boiler plants were doing. [12] "The average boiler room is a hot, dirty, and otherwise unattractive place. For these reasons but little attention has been paid to it by superintendents and operating engineers in moderate-sized plants," the Geological Survey observed. [13] Thus, the indifference of the business community to smoke was not the result of any rational deliberation but of plain negligence. [14]

If lack of interest allowed the smoke problem to grow into an urban plague, this simultaneously opened up chances for abatement. If businessmen were not dogmatically committed to smoke productions their attitude was open to change. This also means that businessmen were not so much acting as reacting in the discussions on smoke: rather than setting the agenda, they were forced to respond to challenges from outside the business community. However, the challenges would come from different directions: while American businessmen reacted to the rise of a civic smoke abatement movement, German businessmen were faced with a strong bureaucracy that never wavered in considering excessive smoke production unlawful. Therefore, a discussion of the position of German businessmen needs to start with a brief sketch of environmental regulation in late nineteenth century Germany.

Oscillating between Cooperative and Legalistic Modes of Enforcement: Smoke Abatement in Germany

When the urban smoke nuisance emerged in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, German bureaucrats were prepared to meet it. The legal foundations of smoke abatement were laid early in the course of German industrialization. For example, Dresden, Stuttgart and Braunschweig all passed smoke ordinances in the 1880s, when in the U.S., Chicago was the only city seriously dealing with the issue. Moreover, unlike American smoke ordinances, most German smoke laws changed little once passed, until after World War I. [15]

The Prussian Ministry of Commerce promulgated the most important German smoke regulation, the so-called "smoke clause" in 1853, almost thirty years before Chicago passed the first American smoke ordinance. Referring to the contemporary situation in London, where the Smoke Nuisance Abatement Act was passed the same year, the ministry ruled that Prussian officials should take precautions in case a smoke nuisance of the London type developed in Prussian cities. [16] Consequently, future licenses of steam engines and other large furnaces were to include a clause which made smokeless combustion mandatory and enabled officials to demand alterations if the plant defied the law and produced smoke. [17] When the Prussian system of licensing plants became national law after German unification, states adopted the smoke clause as well, making it one of the most important legal instruments of smoke abatement around the turn of the century. Never seriously contested, the smoke clause, invented by a Prussian ministry when Germany was still a largely agrarian state, was one of the pillars of the smoke law until after World War I. [18]

Not all German governments were as far-sighted as Prussia when it invented the smoke clause. The law on the smoke nuisance was a conglomeration of municipal ordinances, building codes, the smoke clause and several other regulations, with a variety of weaknesses and idiosyncrasies on the eve of World War 1. [19] The "bottleneck" of German smoke abatement was not passing legislation, but enforcing it. Guidelines for enforcement gave German officials considerable leeway. Since State and Reich ministries abstained from formulating detailed rules and regulations, no clear or even uniform policy of enforcement was ever articulated. Officials decided on enforcement locally, in most cases without giving much thought to it. As a result, most bureaucrats confined their smoke abatement work to reacting to complaints. While legal theory supposed that every offensive emission of smoke be prevented, most officials felt that they fulfilled their duties by investigating the citizens' petitions [20] In doing so, most officia ls embraced a routine practice that combined, though in a somewhat haphazard way, a cooperative spirit with a rigid legalistic attitude.

When investigating complaints, many officials tried to induce businessmen to make the necessary changes voluntarily. The idea was that by achieving the company's cooperation, it was possible to abstain from prosecution and fines, thus avoiding paperwork to the mutual advantage of both the polluter and the ministry. For example, officials in Dusseldorf usually talked with the owner about how to reduce his smoke, suggesting technologies for smoke reduction. Only if they felt that this discussion did not effect the desired result did officials resort to more coercive approaches. [21] Similarly, authorities in Hannover pursued a policy of gradual escalation, Businessmen first received a letter asking for abatement. If the nuisance continued unabated, officials threatened to fine the company. Only if the offender still showed unwillingness did the officials actually impose a fine. [22] The Hannover chief of police noted that "in any case, it is advisable to proceed cautiously at first," and the factory inspector said about his experience in smoke abatement that "the greatest success is to be expected when the factory inspector talks with the factory manager about the appropriate means to abate the nuisance, thereby awakening the factory manager's personal interest in a thorough elimination of the evil." [23]

A survey on the state of smoke abatement at the turn of the century found that officials rarely had to resort to prosecution because advice and admonishments usually achieved the desired results. [24] In 1931, the Prussian Ministry of Public Welfare summarized its experience in the field when it stated in a decree that "we will achieve abatement faster through amicable advice by factory inspectors or other expert officials than through prosecution and coercion by the police." [25]

However, it would be wrong to assume that the cooperation of officials and businessmen was a voluntary joining of forces to abate the smoke evil. First, it needs to be stressed that cooperation existed only in the case of complaints; to put it clearly, cooperation was a method of processing complaints, rather than an approach toward the elimination of the smoke nuisance. And second, the cooperative spirit of officials was always linked with the threat that there was an alternative approach: if a businessman showed unwillingness to take the necessary steps voluntarily, officials were confident that they could just as well force him to do so. "To be successful, we need to employ administrative coercion if advice does not help," the provincial government of Hannover noted. [26] Similarly, authorities in Dresden thought that regulation had to permit the temporary closure of an offending business "as an extreme measure in cases of stubborn resistance." [27] The Heidelberg smoke ordinance explicitly ruled that a fine would be imposed not for smoke production itself but for the offender's failure to comply with the demand of officials. [28] In Hannover, the officials deliberately set a deadline which the offenders could barely meet, the idea being that an extension would only be granted if the company had shown determined to abate the nuisance, thereby cranking up pressure on the offender to find a solution as fast as possible. The last example may best show the true nature of the cooperation between officials and entrepreneurs: it never was a mutual agreement but a gesture of grace on the part of the official--a chance offered by the bureaucracy to businessmen to demonstrate that they were good citizens willing to comply with the law.

This shows that cooperation was just one part of the story: the other was the rigid legalistic attitude of the German bureaucracy. Administration was dominated by jurists, with engineers and other experts confined to the role of consultants, and consequently, German officials paid much attention to juridical questions. For example, many bureaucrats refused to advise businessmen on the means of smoke abatement on the ground that the agency would be held liable in case of a failure. [29] When the Hannover Institute of Technology offered to establish an office to disseminate unbiased information on smoke abatement, the Hannover Chief of Police briskly refused, stating that it should be the task of the industrialists to create an office of this kind. [30] Even the factory inspectorate at Bremen, which urged companies to adopt the Donneley smokeless furnace for several years, was cautious enough to abstain from an official recommendation, thus staying legally "on the safe side." [31] In other words, cooperation existed in a legal vacuum: it was an unwritten policy that emerged from daily routine, and no law assured businessmen that officials would in fact be cooperative. Bureaucrats were allowed to induce businessmen to cooperate, but they were not allowed to promise that they would do so. Cooperation was the rule, but not the law.

In general, cooperation and bureaucratic legalism intermeshed surprisingly well, mainly because they were arranged sequentially. When investigating complaints, officials first adopted the cooperative approach; only if that failed, they proceeded rigidly according to the letter of the law. In other words, a major purpose of the law was to back the official in the case of a conflict, and consequently officials were eager to assure that the legal situation was beyond reasonable doubt. The factory inspectorate of Bielefeld provides a rather curious example, for it used two different forms for licensing boilers. Businessmen known to be cooperative with officials received the standard form, while businessmen "who had a reputation for responding waywardly to the demands of officials" received a special form that was legally identical but more verbose; it intentionally warned businessmen in several different ways in order to reinforce the messages as well as to bolster its legal grounds. [32] The president of the Berlin police department pursued similar goals by starting prosecution only after an official had diligently monitored the smokestack, for only extensive evidence made court proceedings as watertight as desired. [33] Of course, the efforts to safeguard the prosecution of uncooperative businessmen had its limits; but in general, a businessman did well to prepare for some trouble when he lost the bureaucrat's mercy.

The combination of cooperative and legalistic approaches sometimes backfired, fueling conflict, rather than solving it, without alleviating smoke. Since the combination of these approaches was a hybrid based on everyday routine, rather than a clearly defined strategy, bureaucrats could find themselves making decisions that were completely ineffective. A conflict in H[ddot{o}]chst provides a revealing example. The neighbor of a factory complained of a smoking chimney and demanded that it be raised by three meters. The local police refused to fulfill this request because the chimney had already been raised twice in response to the neighbor's complaints. Consequently, the neighbor turned to the supervising Landrat (the head of the district's administration), who found that the law required the chimney to be raised, but only by one meter. The decree also asked for a new foundation. The owner of the factory filed a protest against the decree at the provincial government in Wiesbaden, claiming that the neighbor had been stirring up the conflict for years in order to force the factory to buy his property at an excessive price (an assertion confirmed by the local police). However, the provincial government confirmed the Landrat's decision because of the legal situation, disregarding its failure to solve the problem. The decision required the owner of the factory to spend money on a solution that the neighbor found insufficient and that did little, if anything, to alleviate the situation. At the same time, the government's decision was likely to fuel a long-standing conflict between neighbors. [34] Cases of this kind were rare, but the outcome shows that when a bureaucrat found himself twisted between cooperation and legalism, he always resorted to the letter of the law.

In the Bureaucrat's Shadow: The Apathy of the German Business Community

In the context of this tradition of bureaucratic smoke control, German businessmen faced the classic alternative of "exit" or "voice": businessmen could either abstain from any comment on smoke abatement and inconspicuously comply with the demands of officials in case of complaints, or they could take a stand and try to lobby for a different approach to smoke abatement. [35] In this situation, the overwhelming majority of German businessmen chose the first option. This is surprising on the individual level because of the aforementioned tendency of bureaucrats to switch to the legalistic mode of enforcement when a businessman showed reluctance. However, most businessmen also abstained from collective protest. Administrative records rarely contain letters from business associations, and several attempts to mobilize collective action failed. Mining companies in the Lugau area, which feared to lose a share of the market to lignite as a result of smoke abatement efforts, tried in vain to induce the Chamber of Commerce and Trade of Chemnitz to join their protest against smoke abatement in Chemnitz. [36] A brewery in Bremen did not have any more success with the local Chamber of Commerce when it looked for allies in a standing conflict with local authorities. [37]

The reason for the businessmen's abstention becomes clear when one considers the few cases where businessmen criticized the smoke abatement efforts of the bureaucracy openly. These petitions are remarkable for two reasons: first, virtually all of them abstained from a criticism of smoke abatement in general and instead focused on the way in which smoke abatement was administered, and second, almost all of these petitions were ignored or even briskly refused. For example, several businessmen asked the provincial government of Hannover to specify certain standards for an unlawful emission of smoke. Although the demand was not completely unsubstantiated--German officials had considerable leeway in this respect, unlike American officials who were mostly bound to observe certain degrees of blackness according to the so-called Ringelmann scale--the government refused. [38] When the Bakers' Guild of Braunschweig asked for a benevolent enforcement of the local smoke ordinance, the police department coldly refused and admonished the bakers to prevent smoke "in their own best interest." [39] And the Verein Berliner Kaufleute und Industrieller tried in vain to draw the officials' attention to possible alternatives in enforcing the smoke laws. The association, which claimed to represent the entire business community of Berlin, held intensive discussions on the issue and flatly stated that businessmen "were obliged to prevent the smoke nuisance to their neighbors as far as possible" but suggested that the Ministry of Commerce grant more weight to expert knowledge in enforcement and that it hear several business associations before fixing detailed enforcement rules. However, the ministry did not even start to discuss enforcement strategies. Instead it responded to the association's petition with a letter which boldly proclaimed "that there will be no lenience in the prosecution of excessive smoke." [40]

It is mere speculation whether the businessmen's apathy was the result of a lack of interest or of an opposition that realized that its chances for success were slim. The businessmen's behavior would allow both interpretations, and documents that would answer the question are rare. Some of them indicate that a few businessmen were more inclined to grumble than to file an official protest. For example, the provincial government of Danzig reported that "industrialists tend to see intervention against smoke production as a disturbance of production, and consequently, they resist as much as possible in spite of the fact that the proper design and operation of furnaces not only prevents smoke but also results in a saving of coal." [41] On the other hand, it is remarkable that some of the strongest critics of bureaucratic regimentation spared the issue of smoke. Franz Bendt, who wrote a vociferous polemic on the folly of the German trading regulations, called for cooperation between officials, engineers and industrialists to combat smoke, and Konrad Jurisch (who has been called "advocate of industry" by environmental historian Ulrike Gilhaus) wrote that entrepreneurs "need to take into consideration that they benefit from living in a community of citizens." Businessmen, therefore, Jurisch continued, "need to accept certain cutbacks on their net profit" with respect to the protection of neighbors from emissions. [42] It is also noteworthy that several business associations stood up in favor of smoke abatement. The association of factory owners of Hannover joined a local committee on smoke nuisance organized by a public health association and unhesitatingly supported the committee's resolution, which demanded more effective smoke abatement efforts. [43] The Bund der Industriellen, the second largest association of industrialists in Germany, published a report that strongly criticized the technological ignorance of entrepreneurs who allowed their company to emit smoke, and an article in the Deutsche Bergwerks-Zeitung stated that no one had the right to create a nuisance for his neighbor through the emission of smoke and added that "it seems unlikely that any owner of a furnace will object to this standpoint." [44]

Two important factors facilitated the businessmen's abstention. First, Germany lacked a civic antismoke movement. While smoke abatement was the object of fierce agitation by reform groups in the U.S., the involvement of urban residents in Germany was low. Occasionally, citizens filed complaints against specific smoke producers, but protest against the smoke nuisance in general was rare. Even more important, there was not a single group of citizens that organized a smoke abatement association, as in American cities. While this difference in civic activism could easily be the subject of a separate article, it may be noted that three conditions impeded the formation of a civic antismoke movement in Germany. First, the formation of special interest groups was generally less frequent in German municipal politics, unlike in the Progressive-Era United

States, where citizens' associations were an important feature of political life. Second, it was important that German bureaucrats were able to react to complaints about single polluters. Citizens could simply notify the authorities when they were annoyed by certain smokers, whereas angry Americans had no official resort, forcing them to choose between silent frustration and civic activity. Third, it is highly probable that the smoke nuisance was significantly more severe in American cities. Even though methods for measuring air pollution were still in their infancy before World War I, an investigation in Pittsburgh showed that the annual sootfall at twelve stations all over the city was on average more than 1000 tons per square mile, while similar measurements in the industrial city of Chemnitz found only 245 tons per square mile. [45] Under adverse weather conditions, American cities also suffered from incidents that were unknown in Germany. In March 1905, smoke was so dense in St. Louis that prisoners could not be allowed to do their usual work in a quarry "without running the risk that many of them would escape," and a year and a half later, "many of the St. Louis public schools were forced to close and remain closed all day. . . on account of the darkness." [46] But whatever caused the difference in civic activism, the point with respect to business is that German entrepreneurs did not face public criticism, thereby permitting a much more relaxed attitude on the issue.

At the same time, the apathy of the German business community was the result of officials being eager to dispel any doubts that smoke abatement threatened to hamper industry's profitability. The Ministry of the Interior of Baden concluded a decree on smoke abatement with the softening expectation "that the implementation of smoke abatement measures will be taken with due regard to the abilities of industry." [47] The factory inspector of Dusseldorf noted that officials had to take the economic position of a company into consideration when making prescriptions, and the factory inspector of Bremen admitted that a limited amount of emissions had to be accepted for the sake of industrial development. [48] Therefore, the business community had reason to be confident that, as Konrad Jurisch put it, "no government will enact regulations which threaten the continued existence of industry." [49]

The strong position of the bureaucracy and the businessmen's apathy had an important consequence for the German discourse on the smoke nuisance: it did not admit the business community as an equal participant. It was a latent pattern of the discourse that the business community was obliged to do all they could against smoke. The entrepreneur was the object of smoke abatement efforts, and not a partner in a discussion who was allowed to make demands like everyone else. This attitude was particularly significant for the way in which Germans dealt with the fact that smoke prevention frequently paid off to the owner through a saving of coal. Typically, people knew about the fact but did not dwell on it, for it only underscored a point of view that they had anyway. Therefore, the potential gain in economy was relegated to a secondary argument in discussions of the smoke nuisance, and few people realized that fomenting the businessman's monetary interest could be a promising foundation for a smoke abatement campaign. What mattered was that business had the duty to abate smoke; whether it could save in this way did not matter. [50] The marginalization of the businessman's profit seeking was a peculiarity of the German smoke debate, and it ultimately was--as the American experience shows--more of a burden for smoke abatement.

American Businessmen and the Smoke Nuisance

In contrast to Germany, the United States lacked an established regulatory tradition on smoke emissions. While it was self-evident for a German citizen that the administration was obliged to combat smoke, the terms of the American smoke debate were more in flux: even the question of whether smoke had to be abated at all was unresolved. Therefore, American businessmen had much more leeway to take a stand. While the German businessmen's behavior was mostly a reaction to regulation, American businessmen could and did influence the smoke debate from the outset. However, there never was a uniform position of the business community but rather a set of different positions which fell roughly into two categories: one in favor and one against smoke abatement.

Property, Real Estate, Civic Pride: The Support of the Business Community for Smoke Abatement

Historians have frequently depicted the American civic movement against the smoke nuisance as essentially idealistic. The author of a recent dissertation argued that "the arguments posed by anti-smoke activists in the progressive era reflected the formation of an enviornmentalist philosophy" which centered on health, cleanliness, aesthetics, and morality. Similarly, Harold Platt asserted that the movement defined smoke "as an intolerable source of death and human misery." [51] While this description is not without foundation, these historians underestimate the role of monetary interests in smoke abatement. From the onset, the damage to property was a prominent issue of smoke abatement activism. In 1895, the Chicago Department of Health reported the case of a restaurant that had caused a damage of more than $25,000 to adjacent property. [52] About a dozen years later, a Chicago businessman said that his company lost $15,000 annually through wares being spoiled by smoke, and the loss of Marshall Field & Co. reportedly reached $150,000. [53] "It would be interesting to know if it were possible to ascertain how many thousands of dollars worth of merchandise is annually lost by our dry goods merchants, solely through the ravages of smoke and soot," the president of Cincinnati's Smoke Abatement League mused. [54] In the letters sent to the editor of the Baltimore Sun, property even figured more prominently than health in arguments against smoke. [55] The prominence of this argument can also be inferred from the frequent calculations of the social costs of the smoke nuisance, which variously put the costs at $9,944,740 for Pittsburgh, $17,600,000 for Chicago or $500,000,000 for the entire nation. [56] The St. Louis Republic published a cartoon that pictured the smoke nuisance as a gangster robbing St. Louis of $6,250,000 each year. [57]

Environmental historians have been equally reluctant to discuss the relevance of real estate interests for the American antismoke movement. David Stradling's overview on the different modes of perception of the smoke nuisance does not even mention this aspect. [58] However, real estate interests were an important, perhaps even crucial factor for the rise of the smoke abatement movement. Citizens with investments in real estate had a particularly good reason to demand smoke reduction, for the emissions threatened to depreciate real estate values in smoke-infested downtown districts. This can be seen by the example of the Anti-Smoke League of Baltimore: the Baltimore Properly Tax Book reveals that a strong majority of the members of the League's executive committee owned valuable real estate. The median amount paid in property tax for real estate was $18,207, and five of the nineteen committee members paid more than $50,000. Characteristically, David Stewart, the League's chairman, owned the most valuable real estate, paying no less than $165,585 in tax on it. [59] Stewart once stated how he lost in a real estate transaction because he built several houses right next to a smoke-infested railroad track. "These were first-class houses, and it was calculated that they would rent as well as similar houses in other parts of the city," Stewart noted. "As a matter of fact, people would not live in them at the rent asked--$420 a year--and they had finally to be rented for $300 a year--and I got rid of them at a loss of more than $10,000 actual costs put into the transaction." [60] Clearly, when Stewart organized the Anti-Smoke League, one of his motives was to preserve the value of his real estate. [61]

While some businessmen supported smoke abatement from the outset, businessmen's associations were more reluctant to take a stand. In general, they did not support smoke abatement until the antismoke movement elevated the smoke nuisance to a major issue of urban politics. While the business associations' support of abatement has never been unconditional--the study of the Chicago Association of Commerce on railroad electrification was an attempt to postpone the decision on a disliked topic--the chambers of commerce of Boston, Cleveland, and Rochester played important roles in the smoke abatement movements of their cities. [62] In Baltimore, the Merchants and Manufacturers' Association supported a smoke ordinance as early as 1902, more than three years before the Anti-Smoke League was formed. [63] In Pittsburgh, it was the Chamber of Commerce that urged the Civic Club of Allegheny County in 1899 to set up a committee on smoke abatement "to cooperate with them in a united effort which would be directed toward th e enactment of an ordinance regulating the smoke nuisance." [64] In St. Louis, the Manufacturers' Committee of the Business Men's League held a number of meetings with the Women's Organization for Smoke Abatement and the Civic League, which resulted in a smoke ordinance that the associations jointly submitted to the city council. [65] Even the Chicago Association of Commerce supported the drive against smoke with a luncheon and tried to bring the annual convention of the International Association for the Prevention of Smoke to Chicago. [66]

In addition to the usual economic arguments against the smoke nuisance, civic pride also prompted business associations to speak up.

A report of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce proclaimed that "no one place cares to be stigmatized as being especially dirty, or especially smoky." 67] "A city should be made attractive as a center for homes, as well as industrial establishments, and to this end, must be clean and bright," the Chamber of Commerce of Pittsburgh echoed. [68] Similarly, the Civic League of St. Louis noted, "If we can add a comparatively clear sky to our list of advantages, St. Louis will become far more comfortable and attractive to those who wish to build homes and establish business interests in this city." [69] Characteristically, the Million Club, whose aspiration was to bring the number of St. Louis residents to a million, was an ardent supporter of smoke abatement. [70]

"Smoke Means Prosperity": The Opposition of American Businessmen to Smoke Abatement

It would be a mistake to assume from the foregoing that all American businessmen supported smoke regulation, whether out of concern for economic efficiency, civic pride, or the idea that the city would benefit commercially if it were more physically attractive. In contrast to their German peers, American business interests fought over smoke reform, with opponents offering strong critiques of the regulations other business interests advocated.

The opposition of businessmen to smoke abatement followed two different lines of reasoning: the one offered a broad critique of smoke abatement in principle, while the other accepted the legitimacy of smoke abatement but demanded a different approach to enforcement. The first criticism found its most apparent expression in several rallies and pressure groups against smoke abatement. In Baltimore, some seventy companies joined a meeting to protest a pending smoke ordinance. [71] In Chicago, the representatives of twenty heavy manufacturing concerns formed "a defensive association against the city smoke inspectors," which intended to ask the City Council for "relief from the injustices of the smoke ordinance." [72] Similarly, the "Manufacturers' Protective Association" of St. Louis sought "relief against the prosecutions under the smoke law." [73] In Rochester, the members of the Chamber of Commerce even turned against their own newly elected president when he made the passage of a smoke ordinance one of his p rime objectives in his inaugural address. [74]

The opposition was the most successful when it came to dilatory action. Clinton Rogers, the controversial president of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, succeeded in his effort to obtain a smoke ordinance; but more than a decade earlier, Rogers had given a talk on the same subject without any consequences because the argument was made that this would throttle manufacturing in Rochester. [75] In Chicago, businessmen delayed the passage of a smoke ordinance, which only passed after sixteen months of agitation. [76] Businessmen achieved the greatest setbacks for smoke abatement when they obtained a State Supreme Court ruling that declared a municipal smoke ordinance invalid, as repeatedly occurred with early legislation that was not backed by corresponding state laws. However, they could not use the courts to permanently block legislation, if their opponents, as often happened, secured the passage of state legislation authorizing the regulations. [77]

A few groups of business interests even managed to secure permanent exemptions to smoke regulation. As a result of a strong manufacturing lobby in the City Council, the smoke ordinance of Baltimore, for example, included a clause that exempted manufacturing companies (the only clause of its kind in a major American city). [78] In St. Louis, the owners of brick yards were chiefly responsible for a proviso in the smoke ordinance which granted immunity when it was shown that no device could have prevented the plant's smoke (which practically exempted brick yards but was a minor problem with boilers and other furnaces). [79]

Perhaps more important than these legal struggles, diehard opponents found ways to circumvent enforcement of the regulation. The most conspicuous way was to fight injunctions in court; but there were also more secretive ways to circumvent the law. [80] A businessman could simply hope that officials would fail to notice his smoke: since officials had to control thousands of smokestacks at the same time, this expectation was anything but unrealistic. If officials were watching his stack closely, a businessman could get away with temporary remedies--e.g. the use of hard coal or certain technological alterations--until officials turned to other offenders. It was a symptom of the obstructive state of mind of American businessmen that "smoke means prosperity" was a much-heard phrase during the early years of the smoke abatement movement--completely unlike the German situation, where businessmen rarely ever invoked the symbolic value of smoke. [81]

It is not clear how popular the radical opposition to smoke abatement actually was among businessmen. Several indications suggest that open resistance was confined to a relatively small minority. [82] Also, the position of business associations could appear more uniform in public than it actually was. The Illinois Manufacturers' Association, for instance, called smoke abatement "one of the many foolish agitations now being directed against the manufacturers of the state"; but when the Municipal Art League asked the leading members of the association about their opinion on the pending smoke ordinance, most of them were in favor, a few lukewarm, and not one of them was directly opposed. [83]

In any case, it is probable that a second, less radical stream of criticism was more popular than the outright rejection of the whole idea of requiring businesses to abate their smoke. When notified of a violation, businessmen frequently asked the officials what they should do to prevent smoke. However, officials refused to comment on smoke prevention technology to avoid liability problems, though they realized that this would have helped smoke abatement. For example, the Chicago Department of Health wrote, "Manufacturers would cheerfully assist if the Department of Health could recommend a sure cure for the evil. In the absence of such knowledge and the evils that would necessarily result were the Department to advertise any particular patent, an evasive answer is always given where inquiries are made and the selection left to the good judgement of the parties interested." [84]

It is safe to assume that this policy caused considerable anger on the part of the business community. With most entrepreneurs ignorant of the technology of smoke prevention, they were eager to obtain good advice. However, the field of smoke preventing devices was largely dominated by inventors who recklessly advertised their products far beyond their technological potential; consequently, it was difficult for an entrepreneur to find a proper device, and even more difficult to find one that not only worked but also suited the special conditions of his company. Therefore, many businessmen spent considerable sums on smoke consuming devices only to find that the smoke nuisance continued unabated. [85] In this situation, it was frustrating for an under-informed businessman to see that officials knew a lot about the technology of smoke abatement but did not share their knowledge with him. This annoyance was increased by the aversion created by the practice of dragging offenders to court. As long as prosecution wa s the chief method of smoke abatement, an efficient campaign was largely synonymous with a high number of prosecutions. [86] Even the Citizens' Association, which sustained Chicago's antismoke campaign for more than a decade, reported that "there were expressions, in some cases, of ill-feeling with regard to the pros-

ecution by the city authorities." As a manufacturer from Rochester noted, "We do not cherish the idea of being summoned before Courts because our fireman has been careless." [87]

In summary, the reaction of the American business community was markedly different from the German one. Many American business people opted to deal with the smoke nuisance through voice, rather than exit. Not only did segments of the American business community agitate for smoke regulation, but other parts expressed resistance that was clearly more vigorous and more explicit than that displayed by German businessmen. Responding to public demands of a smoke abatement movement rather than to a bureaucrat's confidential investigations, opponents offered a radical critique of smoke abatement that German entrepreneurs either did not dare or want to voice. Importantly, this opposition created severe problems for American smoke abatement: while German officials were well prepared to proceed against reluctant entrepreneurs, American officials were fighting an uphill battle when they sought to discipline smoke offenders. Also, it was much easier for a German bureaucrat to ignore the demands of the business community than it was for the civic smoke abatement movement of the United States: while the former diligently guarded his integrity, the latter had a large number of businessmen within their own ranks. Therefore, it was to be expected that in the long run, the smoke abatement movement would give in to at least some of the entrepreneurial demands. The result, however, is striking and unexpected: concessions to the position of business apparently increased the effectiveness of smoke abatement.

An Advantageous American Concession: The Invention of the Smoke Inspector

In the years following 1905, the American smoke abatement movement went through an important transition. Having heretofore demanded prosecution to curb the emission of smoke, it now increasingly favored an approach that combined prosecution and education. The institution that embodied this approach was the smoke inspector: a municipally employed mechanical engineer whose task was to improve the technological condition of furnaces, the idea being that improved

combustion would reduce smoke and increase the efficiency of coal use at the same time. Smoke inspection was, in the words of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, "a method whereby all coal users may be brought to the point of maximum economy in the use of their fuel." [88] Consequently, smoke inspectors offered their help in furnace design and reconstruction to all citizens. As Paul P. Bird, smoke inspector of Chicago noted, "The fundamental idea underlying all of the work of the department has been not only to complain to a citizen about the smoke and insist that it be stopped, but to show him how to stop it and to give him assistance in every possible way toward that end." [89]

Historians have favored a thoroughly negative interpretation of this transition. Dale Grinder has asserted that smoke inspectors "became spokesmen for the businesses they were regulating, and they performed their duties in such a way as to enable the polluters to delay needed plant modifications." Similarly, David Stradling has blamed smoke inspectors for their "go-slow, educational approach," and Harold Platt has even argued that the shift to smoke inspection "significantly hamstrung the city's ability to reduce air pollution." [90] However, these historians have given a rather one-sided picture of the smoke inspection approach. Notably, they describe smoke inspection solely as non-committal advice, while in fact education and prosecution went hand in hand. If a company did not follow the smoke inspector's recommendations, the ordinance provided for its prosecution; in short, the smoke inspection approach was regulation with a stick and a carrot. For example, smoke inspector Bird made a warm plea for cooperation and stressed that the department was very lenient with an offender if he "promptly makes the necessary alterations in his plant so as not to make smoke" but simultaneously warned companies that, "if this cooperation is not shown [on the side of the owner] and the Department has exhausted all reasonable means of bringing about a satisfactory condition without suit and the smoke still continues, these violations

are forwarded to the City Prosecuting Attorney with the request to bring suit." [91] "The strong arm, the 'Big Stick,' the ten dollars (or more) and costs, and the barred cell, are for those only who are ignorant, selfish, lazy and wasteful," Pittsburgh smoke inspector J. W. Henderson declared. [92] Interestingly, the number of prosecutions in Chicago increased after the shift to smoke inspection. Between 1881 and 1892, the Health Department never commenced more than 492 suits during one year, and sometimes as few as fifty-eight. In contrast, the Department of Smoke Inspection started 1040 suits between October 1, 1909 and September 30, 1910. [93] Also, the severity of punishment increased, with judges repeatedly imposing fines of $500-a fine unheard-of during earlier campaigns. [94] In a way, smoke inspection resembled the German combination of cooperative and legalistic approaches, but there were two important differences: American officials assured a systematic enforcement, whereas German officials were us ing it sporadically when somebody filed a complaint. Smoke inspection was also a clearly defined and well-publicized strategy, while the German practice emerged from the daily routine of administration, with the choice between the approaches depending solely on an ad-hoc decision of the individual bureaucrat.

It is also inadequate to see smoke inspection simply as the usurpation of the smoke abatement movement's cause by a clique of experts. Platt, Grinder, and others have played down the amount of support that smoke inspection enjoyed from the civic anti-smoke movement. Most notably, with a few exceptions, historians have ignored the support from women's groups. [95] However, women supported the smoke inspectors' work as keenly as their male counterparts. In Chicago, the women of the Clean Air Committee of the Woman's City Club were so impressed by the smoke inspectors' performance that they volunteered as stack observers for the Department. [96] The Women's Civic League of Baltimore even paid a part of the city smoke inspector's salary from its own funds. [97]

The relationship between smoke inspectors and civic groups was an interdependent one, for smoke inspectors were convinced that public support was a necessary condition of success. "Public opinion is one of the greatest aids to the work of the Department," Chicago's smoke inspectors found. A colleague from Cleveland noted that, "unless he [the city smoke inspector] can get the cooperation of the public, of the citizens, he has an up hill job." [98] Consequently, it was the declared policy of smoke inspectors to work for a good relationship with all parties involved. For example, the Chicago Department of Smoke Inspection was convinced that "the best way to handle the smoke problem is to have a strong backing of business men and to create a strong public sentiment in favor of smoke abatement, together with the cooperation of all plant owners." [99]

It is of great importance that this statement explicitly included the business community, for the shift from prosecution to smoke inspection particularly needs to be seen in the context of a business commu-

nity that had several reservations against smoke abatement. It was the peculiarity of smoke inspection that it fulfilled some of the businessmen's demands, while it made it easier for officials to counter the others. Notably, it provided businessmen with a reliable source of technological information, as they had requested for several years. Rather than moving from one smoke-preventing device to the next one, they could now be confident that the recommended changes achieved the desired result, thereby avoiding disappointment among businessmen and friction in smoke abatement. Of course, it depended on the individual case to what extent businessmen benefited from smoke inspection, but savings could be considerable. For example, a smoke inspector from Chicago reported a case where a company was going to invest $30,000 for new boilers, but after the inspector's investigation they spent $800 for alterations, getting returns of $950 on their investment during the first month. [100]

At the same time, smoke inspection put the radical opposition of businessmen into a difficult position. They could no longer grumble about the injustice of prosecution since it was their own fault when they ignored the smoke inspector's suggestions. "Smoke means prosperity" grew less convincing with every day that the smoke inspector confirmed with his work that "smoke means waste" was technologically sound. Also, the chances to defeat smoke abatement in court shrank to a minimum, not only because the offender had disregarded the cooperative alternative, but also because it forced offenders to speak out against one of the "magic words" of the age--for smoke inspection, with its emphasis on efficiency, was "in harmony with the best spirits of the times," as one of its protagonists proclaimed. [101] "If we do our part to assist the smoke violator to correct his habits we can prosecute with a better grace," Paul P. Bird said. [102] Therefore, smoke inspection did not constitute the victory of smoke-producing business; on the contrary, it was a clever strategy to overcome its reluctance.

The result was a marked climatic change within the business community. Smoke abatement now was completely in line with the usual operation of business; in fact, smoke inspection appeared as the logical

consequence of modem business management. "Every part of modem manufacturing is tending toward the elimination of waste, and the saving on the smoke is directly in the line of progress," an article in Harper's Weekly noted. [103] Consequently, smoke abatement achieved approval rates among businessmen that activists could only have dreamed of before. The Boston Chamber of Commerce held a poll among its members when it sponsored a state law providing for a smoke inspector. Of the 1220 votes cast, 1148 were in favor of the bill, with only 60 opposed and 12 blanks. [104] The Chicago Association of Commerce held a similar poll when the smoke inspector had been in office for two years. Of more than 400 letters received, not a single one voiced a radical critique, while some expressed "the wish that faster progress could be made." [105] "In our work the manufacturers and consumers of coal finally saw that a clean stack meant a small coal bill and they commenced to heartily co-operate," Pittsburgh's smoke inspector r eported. [106] Businessmen no longer were the villains to be prosecuted--by merging smoke abatement and fuel economy, they became allies in a joint quest for efficiency. Of course, smoke abatement continued to be a difficult and complicated task for engineers; but henceforth, businessmen would at least be predisposed to show an interest in this kind of work.

Smoke abatement activists were anything but reluctant to stress the ensuing success. Two years after the start of smoke inspection work, an editorial in the Chicago Record-Herald felt "bound to recognize that since the appointment of the smoke commission and the present chief inspector, Mr. Bird, very considerable improvement has been achieved," while Pittsburgh smoke inspector Henderson claimed a reduction of 75 percent "when compared with what did exist and would be the condition were there no regulatory laws and effective enforcement." [107] Even if this estimate was rather off-handed, it was undisputed that the smoke inspection approach achieved a significant improvement of atmospheric conditions--a marked success for a movement that was realistic enough to know that the complete elimi-

nation of smoke was illusionary as long as coal remained the main energy source. [108] The shift from prosecution to smoke inspection not only improved the effectiveness of smoke abatement, it also seems that smoke inspection was a win-win scenario: businessmen obtained a reliable source of technical information and frequently saved on their coal bills, mechanical engineers achieved jurisdiction on the technological aspects of smoke prevention, and the anti-smoke movement took pleasure in a more effective smoke abatement strategy. The only losers were uncooperative smoke offenders. But there was nobody who wanted to side with them.

The German Businessmen's Apathy: A Burden for Smoke Abatement

The Chicago Department of Health once noted that "if it were cheaper to make smoke than to abate it, all the laws, statutory and divine, would not abate or check the nuisance." [109] German bureaucrats would have briskly refused such a statement. They were careful enough to ascertain that smoke abatement did not threaten a company's existence; but since the smoke question gave little ground for corresponding doubts, German bureaucrats did not see any further need to discuss costs. [110] In contrast to the Americans, they failed to recognize that there was a win-win-solution of the smoke question. While the whole idea of the smoke inspector was to combine these two goals, Germans ignored this possibility: technologically, smoke prevention and fuel economy went hand in hand; politically, they were two worlds apart. Smoke abatement was a task of the government, and businessmen were obliged to take measures when the government asked them to--fuel economy was a burgeoning field of engineers which the state left to the judgement of entrepreneurs. It was a symptom of this split that in 1910 and 1912, two separate journals were founded on the issues. Rauch und Staub was concerned with smoke and dust abatement, while Feuerungstechnik focused on fuel economy. Char-

acteristically, the two journals kept strictly off the other's territory in the years before World War I. [111]

The result was that the American approach to smoke abatement was more efficient than the German one for two reasons. First, smoke inspection implied a systematic enforcement based on a comprehensive supervision of a city's smokestacks. While most German officials remained inactive until somebody filed a complaint, American officials monitored the company's performance independent of the citizens' reports. [112] Second, the American approach successfully enlisted businessmen among the supporters of smoke abatement. The smoke inspector transformed smoke abatement into a quest for efficiency, thus propagating a positive incentive for businessmen to care about their smoke, whereas German businessmen remained largely apathetic, caring about smoke only in case of complaints. It is instructive to compare the support among businessmen in Chicago with the situation in Dresden, which was one of only two German cities where officials organized a systematic control of smoke emissions. Bureaucrats in Dresden failed to arouse any sentiment among businessmen or the population at large. When they were asked about the role of public opinion in smoke abatement, they responded, "People are not generally disinclined toward our efforts, even if industrialists sometimes find our work an unjustified annoyance of industry." [113]

As with every counterfactual question, there is no way to know for sure whether an active involvement of businessmen in Germany would really have led to a more effective strategy, as it did in the American case. However, the only attempt to get German industrialists actively involved into smoke abatement strongly supports this contention, for it resulted in one of the most successful responses to the German smoke question. When officials in Hamburg were discussing a smoke abatement law, they decided to ask the Chamber of Commerce for comment--an unusual step in Germany that can only be explained by the exceptional situation of Hamburg as one of only three German city states and the dominance of commercial interests in town." [114] The Industrialists' Commission of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce reacted with the proposition to combat smoke by means of industrial self-help. In response, the government decided to temporarily refrain from the projected law to monitor the industrialists' efforts. [115]

From the viewpoint of smoke prevention, the government of Hamburg did well to give business a chance. The Chamber's promise, which materialized in the formation of the Hamburger Verein f[ddot{u}]r Feuerungsbetrieb und Rauchbek[ddot{a}]mpfung, or Hamburg Society for Fuel Economy and Smoke Abatement, resulted in a highly effective smoke abatement campaign. Interestingly, the industrialists went significantly beyond what they had promised. While their letter to the government spoke mainly of a program for the instruction of firemen, the Society embarked on a comprehensive plan to optimize the efficiency of combustion in the members' furnaces. In addition to instructors for firemen, the Society employed a number of mechanical engineers to control and improve furnace design. [116] The Hamburg Society for Fuel Economy and Smoke Abatement basically performed the American smoke inspection approach on a corporatist basis: membership was voluntary, but members were obliged to comply with the demands of the Society's e ngineers. [117] The positive reaction of the business community can be inferred from the fact that the Society enjoyed a steady increase in membership, growing from 60 companies at the end of the first year to 472 members with 1593 boilers ten years later. [118] John B. C. Kershaw, a British engineer, called the Hamburg Society "probably the most successful practical work in the cause of smoke abatement in Europe." [119]

The Society's success in smoke prevention was beyond reasonable doubt and well-known among German smoke abatement

advocates. [120] In addition, it was in line with more general developments in the relationship between business and the state, for corporatist arrangements were a frequent occurrence in Imperial Germany. [121] Nevertheless, the Hamburg Society for Fuel Economy and Smoke Abatement remained the only institution of its kind in Germany: while the formation of similar associations was repeatedly proposed, nobody actually initiated a corporatist approach in another city. [122] While this essay cannot explore the full range of causes for lack of space, it may be noted that one of the main reasons was that businessmen were relegated to a passive position in discussions on smoke abatement. Since the smoke discourse emphasized the businessmen's duty to abate smoke (rather than their potential savings), it was difficult for entrepreneurs to bring their interests to bear in the discussion. In other words, the corporatist approach was dismissed because people did not deem it worth considering an approach that stressed the gains for business instead of its obligations. An observer fittingly commented on the uniqueness of the Hamburg Society for Fuel Economy and Smoke Abatement that "it seems like the German people are barely inclined toward self-governing bodies. They are just too readily accustomed to the aid of the bureaucracy." [123]


This comparison shows that what guided German and American businessmen in their reaction to the smoke nuisance was not the abstract goal of "cost reduction" but a complex set of factors. The fact that businessmen made divergent responses to the same type of problem illuminates the power of national cultures in shaping solutions for environmental problems. It also shows the sometimes paradoxical consequences of different cultures, for few contemporaries would have assumed that the American approach was superior to the German one: the conventional view was, in the words of Woodrow Wilson, "that the best governed cities in the world are on the other side of the water [ldots], and most of the worst governed cities are on this side." [124] In the case of smoke, however, the strength of the German bureaucracy turned out to be a disadvantage. The American debate could lead to a win-win solution because the anti-smoke movement allowed businessmen to bring their interests to bear. In contrast, the strong emphasis on officialdom in Germany made businessmen the mere object of regulation, leaving little room for them to voice their concerns.

That people were blind to the subtle way in which culture shaped regulatory practices and institutions of smoke control is evident in a comment by the German consul of Cincinnati in 1909. He self-confidently commented on an inquiry of the local Smoke Abatement League on smoke abatement in Germany, asserting that it was "yet another proof of the gratifying fact that Americans look at Germany as an exemplary country of urban order and municipal administration." In this he was not simply ignorant of the actual situation: his state of mind was part of the problem. [125]

The comparison also carries an important lesson for environmental history. Some historians tend to assume that if businessmen influenced decisions in environmental conflicts, it must have been to the disadvantage of the environment. Business regularly figures as a "negative force" which necessarily weakened environmental protection in their narratives. Sometimes one even gets the impression that the authors follow a simple rule of thumb: the more businessmen were squeezed, the better the regulation. As this compartive case study of smoke abatement in Germany and the U.S. before World War I shows, however, this assumption can be mistaken: giving in to the demands of businessmen could ultimately improve the effectiveness of regulation. The American smoke inspection approach benefited from the fact that cooperation was a publicly declared policy, rather than an unofficial custom that rested solely on the mercy of the individual bureaucrat, as was the case in Germany. Similarly, the great benefit of smoke inspection was that it gave businessmen a positive incentive to care about smoke, while the German approach dismissed the potential savings from smoke prevention as irrelevant.

It remains questionable whether this result is typical of pollution issues. There are a few peculiarities of the smoke nuisance that caution against drawing generalizations too quickly. First, the smoke nuisance was the most important air pollution problem of the era. Coal smoke affected a large number of people from all classes of society, and no air pollution problem of the time was discussed with similar intensity. Consequently, smoke abatement enjoyed a strong backing from popular opinion, which may have made businessmen more careful than otherwise. Second, it was important that it did not require any expert knowledge to observe the production of smoke or its negative effects. Laymen could identify the problem with the naked eye, unlike other pollutants that are not easily perceptible by the senses. Third, it was a peculiarity of the smoke nuisance that emission prevention ultimately paid off through a certain saving of coal. There is reason to assume that business was more reluctant when prevention was somewhat more expensive.

Whether typical or not, this analysis of the history of smoke abatement in Germany and the U.S. demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief among environmentalists, business interests could align themselves with the ideals of environmental progress. One of the most important accomplishments of the American smoke abatement movement was to transform the meaning of smoke: a smoking chimney no longer was a sign of prosperity but--as the Anti-Smoke League of Baltimore proclaimed--"a barometer of stupidity." [126] This shows that the simple dichotomies of good and bad, pro and con, do not do justice to the complexity of business's role in environmental reform--enough of a reason,

therefore, to mothball the notion of business as an inherently "negative force."

Frank Uekoetter studied history and the social sciences at the universities of Freiburg and Bielefeld in Germany and at the Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the Graduate School of the Institute for Science and Technology Studies (IWT) at the University of Bielefeld, and is currently completing a Ph.D. dissertation entitled "Air Pollution Control in Germany and the United States of America, 1880-1970."

(1.) Arne Andersen, Franz-Josef Br[ddot]{u}]ggemeier, "Gase, Rauch und Saurer Regen," Franz-Josef Br[ddot{u}]ggemeier, Thomas Rommelspacher, eds., Besiegte Natur: Geschichte der Umwelt im 19. and 20. Jahrhundert (Munich, 1987), 70; Ulrike Gilhaus, "Schmerzenskinder der Industrie": Umweltverschmutzung, Umweltpolitik und sozialer Protest im Industriezeitalter in Westfalen 1845-1914 (Paderborn, 1995), 424. All translations by the author--F.U. Also see Arne Andersen, Historische Technikfolgenabsch[ddot{a}]tzung am Beispiel des Metallh[ddot{u}]ttenwesens und der Chemieindustrie 1850-1933 (Stuttgart, 1996); Franz-Josef Br[ddot{u}]ggemeier, Thomas Rommelspacher, Blauer Himmel [ddot{u}]ber der Ruhr: Geschichte der Umwelt im Ruhrgebiet 1840-1990 (Essen, 1992); Franz-Josef Br[ddot{u}]ggemeier, Das unendliche Meer der L[ddot]{u}fte: Luftverschmutzung, Industrialisierung und Risikodebatten im 19. Jahrhundert (Essen, 1996); and Klaus Georg Wey, Umweltpolitik in Deutschland: Kurze Geschichte des Umweltschutzes in Deutschla nd seit 1900 (Opladen, 1982). On the U.S., see R. Dale Grinder, "The Battle for Clean Air: The Smoke Problem in Post-Civil War America," Martin V. Melosi, ed., Pollution and Reform in American Cities 1870-1930 (Austin, Tex., 1980), 83-103; Harold L. Platt, "Invisible Gases: Smoke, Gender, and the Redefinition of Environmental Policy in Chicago, 1900-1920," Planning Perspectives 10 (1995): 67-97; and David Stradling, Civilized Air: Coal, Smoke, and Environmentalism in America, 1880-1920 (Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin, 1996).

(2.) Platt, "Invisible Gases," 91.

(3.) Franz-Josef Bruggemeier, Das Unendliche Meer, 299, 303.

(4.) Raymond H. Dominick III, The Environmental Movement in Germany: Prophets and Pioneers, 1871-1971 (Bloomington, Ind., 1992), 43.

(6.) On American railroads see the article of Joel Tarr and David Stadling in this issue.

(5.) See Christine Meisner Rosen, "Businessmen Against Pollution in Late Nineteenth Centiny Chicago," Business History Review 69 (Autumn, 1995): 351-397, for a rare discussion of the smoke abatement movement that rejects this tendency.

(7.) Report of the Department of Health, City of Chicago, for the years 1881 and 1882 (Chicago, 1883), 41. It shall be noted that the word "smoke" as used in this article refers exclusively to the visible products of combustion, i.e. dark particulate matter. Other pollutants stemming from the combustion of coal (like carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide) were a relatively minor concern to reformers at the turn of the century and are not the topic of this article.

(8.) Smoke Abatement in Saint Louis. Report to the Mayor by the Smoke Abatement Department (1 Mar. 1909), 2. See Report of the Smoke Committee of the Citizens' Association of Chicago (May 1889), 6; City of Pittsburgh, Hand Book of Bureau of Smoke Regulation, Department of Public Health (Jan. 1916), 23; Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Committee on Smoke Abatement, The Abatement of Smoke (1911), 8; R. C. Beadle, "How Smoke is Prevented: Ideal Stoker Practice," Industrial World 47 (1913): 146; T.A. Peebles, "Suiting the Stoker Design to the Plant," Steel and Iron 49 (1915): 224.

(9.) D. T. Randall, The Burning of Coal without Smoke in Boiler Plants: A Preliminary Report (Washington, D.C., 1908), 13. It is to he mentioned that there was a limit to the coincidence of smoke abatement and fuel economy. Usually, combustion was the most economical when the exhausts showed a light gray haze. Every further reduction of the particulate matter content required an additional amount of air, which cooled down the fire and resulted in a corresponding loss of thermal energy. However, since the concern of smoke abatement advocates before World War I was primarily the thick black smoke, and since a complete elimination of all smoke was beyond the scope of reform, this limitation was of only marginal importance for contemporary efforts. For more information on the technology of smoke abatement, see William M. Barr, A Catechism on the Combustion of Coal and the Prevention of Smoke: A Practical Treatise (New York, 1901); Win. H, Booth, John B. C. Kershaw, Smoke Prevention and Fuel Economy (Based on th e German Work of E. Schmatolla) (New York, 1905); Jos. W. Hays, Combustion and Smokeless Furnaces (1906; revised second edition Chicago, 1915); Ferdinand Haier, Dampfkessel-Feuerungen zur Erzielung einer M[ddot{o}]glichst rauchfreien Verbrennung (second edition; Berlin, 1910); A. Reich, Leitfaden f[ddot{u}]ur die Rauch- und Russfrage (Munich, 1917).

(10.) Report of the Department of Health, City of Chicago, for the years 1883 and 1884 (Chicago, 1885), 139.

(11.)Annual Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago (Chicago, 1895), 199.

(12.) Report of the Special Committee on Prevention of Smoke, St. Louis (8 Mar. 1892), 22.

(13.) Randall, Burning, 18.

(14.) On the situation in Germany, see Joh. H. Mehrtens, "Zur Rauchbelastigungs-Frage," Annalen fur Gewerde und Bauwesen 38 (1896): 88; de Grahl, Ueber die technischen Ma[beta]nahmen zur Verhutung der Ru[beta]- und Rauchplage in Gro[beta]stadten," Ranch und Staub 1 (Sept. 1911): 393; Wieck's Gewerbezeitung 46 (1881): 350-351. This is not meant to suggest that the costs of smoke prevention were totally irrelevant. Since measures depended on the specifics of the individual case, smoke abatement sometimes entailed considerable expenses. However, those cases were the exception rather than the rule, so that, by and large, the issue of costs was inferior to the problem of disinterest.

(15.) Stadtarchiv Dresden 3.1 (Stadtverordnetenakten) R 24, vol. 1, doc. 1-69; Stadtarchiv Stuttgart Depot B, C XVIII 4, vol. 1:1, doc. 1-82; Stadtarchiv Braunschweig, Sammlung der Statuten der Stadt Braunschweig no. 36 and E 32, 6 no. 5.

(16.) Geheimes Staatsarchiv PreuBischer Kulturbesitz Rep. 120 BB II a 2 Nr. 28, vol. 1, p. 24-25, 30R (reverse). On the Smoke Nuisance Abatement Act of 1853, see Peter Brimblecombe, The Big Smoke: A History of Air Pollution in London since Medieval Times (London, 1987), 103; Carlos Flick, "The Movement for Smoke Abatement in 19th-Century Britain," Technology and Culture 21 (1980): 33-34.

(17.) Geheimes Staatsarchiv PreuBischer Kulturbesitz Rep. 120 BB II a 2 Nr. 28, vol. 1, p. 30-32.

(18.) Kurt von Rohrscheidt, Die Gewerbeordnung fiir dos Deutsche Reich mit s[ddot{a}]mmtlichen Ausfiihrungsbestimmungen fiir dos Reich und fiir PreuBen (Leipzig, 1901), 777-778; H. Jaeger, 0. Ulrichs, Bestimmnungen uber die Anlegung und Betrieb der Dampfkessel (Die uberwachungspflichtigen Anlagen in PreBen II, Berlin, 1926),41.

(19.) For an overview, see A. Reich, Leitfaden, 240-293; B. Tschorn, "Die Rauch-Plage," in Theodor Weyl, ed., Handbuch der Hygiene (3. Supplementband, 3. Lieferung, Jena, 1903): 133-136; v. Pasinski, "Ranch- und Ru[beta]beseitigung. Technisehe und rechtliche Gesichtspunkte," Handworterbuch der Kommunalwissenschaften (vol 3, Jena, 1924): 519-520.

(20.) A. Crone, "Ursachen und Bek[ddot{a}]mpfung der Rauch- und Ru[beta]bel[ddot{a}]stigungen," Gesundheits-Ingenieur 51 (1928): 753.

(21.) Stadtarchiv D[ddot{u}]sseldorf III 19508, p. 95R.

(22.) Stadtarchiv D[ddot{u}]sseldorf III 19508, pp. 214, 216. See Nieders[ddot{a}]chsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Hannover Hann. 122 a, no. 3113, pp. 9, 11-12, 110R.

(23.) Nieders[ddot{a}]chsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Hann, 122 a, no. 3113, p. 39R; Borgmann, "Erfolge in der Bek[ddot{a}]mpfung der Rauch- und Russplage an Dampflcesselfeuerungen in Linden, Hannover," Zeitschrift f[ddot{u}]r Heizung, L[ddot{u}]ftung und Beleuchtung 8 (1904): 257.

(24.) H. Chr. Nussbaum, "Die Rauchbelastigung in deutschen Stadten, Deutsche Viertel-jahresschrift fur offentliche Gesundheitspflege 32 (1900): 566.

(25.) Stadtarchiv Bielefeld MBV 037, Der Preussiche Minister fur Volkswohlfahrt, Berlin, 27 July 1931.

(26.) Niedersachsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Hann. 122 a, no. 3113, P. 43.

(27.) Stadtarchiv Dresden 3.1 R 24, vol. 1, doc. 31, p. 16. See Staatsarchiv Bremen 4,14/1 IX.c.2.f, proceedings on Dr. Feldmann; Stadtarchiv Frankfurt am Main, Burgermeisteramt Unterliederbach Sign. 10, proceedings on the Stacker company.

(28.) Adre[beta]Buch der Stadt Heidelberg fur das Jahr 1915, Heidelberg 1915, S. 571.

(29.) K. v. Schicker, Die Gewerbeordnung fur das Deutsche Reich, nach dem neuesten Stande mit Erlauterungen und Ausfuhrungsvorschriften (fourth edition; Stuttgart, 1901), 65; Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preu[beta]ischer Kulturbesitz Rep. 120 BB II a 2 Nr. 28, vol. 3, p. 83R; ibid. vol. 4, p. 237R, p. 313R; BB II a 2 Nr. 28 adh. 1, vol. 8, pp. 334R-335.

(30.) Niedersachsishces Hauptstaatsarchiv Hann. 122 a, no. 3113, pp. 43R-44. Also see ibid., pp. 10R-11.

(31.) Staatsarchiv Bremen 4,14/1, IX.D.1.bc, no. 16, Fabriken-Inspektor Wegener to the Polizeidirektion, 22 Oct. 1893; 3-G.4.a no. 49, Fabriken-Inspektor Wegener to the Polizeidirektion, 14 Sept. 1891. Similar Rebs, "Uber polizeiliche MaBahmen gegen Rauch und RuB in Dresden," Zeitchrift fur Gewerbehygiene, Unfallverhutung und Arbeiterwohlfahrtseinrichtungen 11 (1904): 102.

(32.) Stadtarchiv Bielefeld GS 12,113, Gewerbeinspektion Bielefeld to the chairman of the Stadtausschu[beta] Bielefeld, 23 Jan. 1906.

(33.) Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preu[beta]ischer Kulturbesitz Rep. 76 VIII B, no. 2082, p. 101.

(34.) Hessissches Hauptstaatsarchiv Wiesbaden Abt. 425 no. 700, proceedings on Zulauf & Co.

(35.) See Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States (Cambridge, Mass., 1970).

(36.) Chemnitzer Tageblatt no. 80, 3 Apr. 1883, p. 13.

(37.) Archiv der Handelskammer Bremen, J I 6, vol. 1, Wilhelm Remmer to the chair of the Industriebeirat der Handelskammer, 20 Nov. 1902, and note on the Industriebeirat's decision of 28 Jan. 1903. See Staatsarchiv Bremen 4, 14/1 IX.C.5, "Beschwerden uber die St. Pauli-Brauerei."

(38.) Niedersachsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Hannover Hann. 122 a no. 3113, pp. 13R-14R. On the Ringelmann scale, see Randall, Burning, 11; W. W. Strong, "Ueber die wissenschaftliche Behandlung der Rauchfrage," Rauch und Staub 2 (Dec. 1911): 65.

(39.) Stadtarchiv Braunschweig E 32,6 no. 5, Backerinnung zu Braunschweig to the Herzogliche Polizeidirektion Braunschweig, 20 Dec. 1883, and response of the Polizeidirektion, 12 Jan, 1884.

(40.) Jahresbericht des Vereins Berliner Kaufleute und Industrieller. 1 Apr. 1899 bis 31. Dec. 1899, Theil 1 (Berlin, undated), 114-116; Jahresbericht des Vereins Berliner Kaufleute und Industrieller, Jan. 1901 bis Dec. 1901 (Berlin, undated), 240.

(41.) Geheimes Staatsarchiv PreuBischer Kulturbesitz Rep. 76 VIII B, no. 2082, p. 72. Similar Rebs, "Uber polizeiliche MaBnahmen": 77.

(42.) Franz Bendt, Die Grundubel im Deutschen Wirtschaftsleben and ihre Hebung (Berlin, 1905), 12-13; Konrad W. Jurisch, Das Luftrecht in der Deutschen Gewerbeordnung (Berlin, 1905), 31; Ulrike Gilhaus, Schmerzenskinder, 441.

(43.) Niedersachsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Hannover Hann. 122 a, no. 3113, pp. 5, 19, 29, 32, 34R, 37R, 40R, 43R, 54-54R; Geheimes Staatsarchiv PreuBischer Kulturbesitz Rep. 76 VIII B no. 2082, p. 366R.

(44.) Konrad W. Jurisch, "Zwei Denkschriften uber Luftrecht, dem AusschuB des Bundes der Industriellen in Berlin fur das Studium der Errichtung einer gewerblich-technischen Reichsbehorde mit Benutzung der Ergebnisse der vom AusschuB veranstalteten Umfrage," Waldsterben im 19. Jahrhundert. Sammlung von Abhandlungen uber Abgase und Rauchschaden, Heft 4 (Reprint Dusseldorf, 1985), 18-20; Loeser, "Strafbare Rauchblastigung [sic]," Deutsche Bergwerks-Zeitung 14:257(1 Nov. 1913): 1.

(45.) Mellon Institute of Industrial Research and School of Specific Industries, Some Engineering Phases of Pittsburgh's Smoke Problem; Smoke Investigation Bulletin No. 8, (Pittsburgh, 1914), 22; L. Heim, "Nachweis von Russ in der Luft," Archiv fur Hygiene 27 (1894): 381.

(46.) St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7 Mar. 1905, 1; St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 16 Nov. 1906, 11. See Chicago Tribune 14 Dec. 1904, 3.

(47.) Zeitschrift fur Badische Verwaltung and Verwaltungsrechtspflege 14 (1882): 205. See Geheimes Staatsarchiv PreuBischer Kulturbesitz Rep. 120 BB II a 2, no. 28, vol. 3, p. 84; ibid. vol. 4, p. 248.

(48.) Stadtarchiv Dusseldorf III 19507, p. 6; Staatsarchiv Bremen 3-G.4.a no. 49, Fabrikeninspektor Wegener to the Polizeidirektion, 13 Dec. 1889.

(49.) Konrad W. Jurisch, "Ueber deutsches Luftrecht," Hygienische Rundschau 6 (1896): 908.

(50.) See von Dusing, "Die Rauchplage und die Vorkebrungen zu ihrer Verringerung," Zentralblatt fur Bauverwaltung 33 (1913): 239; A. Guertler, "Der gegenwartige Stand der Rauchund Russplage in Hannover und ihre weitere Bekampfung," Zeitschrift fur Heizung, Luftung und Beleuchtung 8 (1903/04): 235; Carl Bach "Ueber den Stand der Frage der Rauchbelastigung durch Dampfkesselfeuerungen," Zeitschrift des Vereines deutscher Ingenieure 40 (1896): 494; H. Rietschel, Karl Brabbee, Leitfaden zum Berechnen und Entwerfen von Luftungs- und Heizungsanlagen. Ein Hand- und Lehrbuch fur Ingenieure and Architekten (Fifth edition; Berlin, 1913), 128-129; Geheimes Staatsarchiv PreuBischer Kulturbesitz Rep. 120 BB II a 2, no. 28, adh. 1, vol. 6, pp. 150R-151.

(51.) Stradling, Civilized Air, 6 (quotation), 124, 130, 232, Platt, "Invisible Gases," 81-82. For a different interpretation, see Rosen, "Businessmen."

(52.) Annual Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago (Chicago, 1895), 195.

(53.) Chicago Record-Herald, 16 Sept. 1909, 18; 27 May 1908, 11; Annual Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago (Chicago, 1895), 212.

(54.) Charles A. L. Reed, An Address on The Smoke Problem, Delivered before the Woman's Club of Cincinnati (24 Apr. 1905), 2.

(55.) Baltimore Sun, 13 Feb. 1902, 12; 18 Feb. 1902, 6; 13 Oct. 1905, 7; 14 Dec. 1905, 7; 3 Sept. 1912, 6; 25 Feb. 1915, 6; and 8 Nov. 1916, 6. David Stradling is wrong to assume that property only became a prominent issue with the increasing dominance of engineers. (Stradling, Civilized Air, 232.)

(56.) John J. O'Connor, Jr., The Economic Cost of the Smoke Nuisance to Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, 1913), 45; Paul P. Bird, Report of the Department of Smoke Inspection, City of Chicago (Chicago, 1911), 25; Raymond C. Benner, "The Smoke Investigation of the Industrial Research Department of the University of Pittsburgh," Industrial World 46 (1912): 1271; American City 3 (1910): 208.

(57.) St. Louis Republic, 24 Nov. 1906, 10.

(58.) See Stradling, Civilized Air, 43-77.

(59.) Baltimore City Archives, RG 4, Series 1, Baltimore City General Property Tax Books, 1905. The median amount does not include four committee members (of nineteen) who do not appear in these tax records.

(60.) Baltimore Sun, 23 Dec. 1905, 6.

(61.) It is difficult to explain why real estate interests were completely disinterested in smoke abatement in Germany. However it appears that smoke did not threaten the value of German real estate to the same degree. While it repeatedly occurred that urban areas changed its character dramatically within a brief period of time, the German real estate market was significantly more stable, making smoke less of a factor in influencing property values.

(62.) Benjamin Linsky, "Appraisal," The Chicago Report on Smoke Abatement: A Landmark Survey of the Technology end History of Air Pollution Control (Reprint; Elmsford, New York, 1971), 3. See Stradling, Civilized Air, 259-270. Smoke Abatement: Report by the Committee on Fuel Supply of the Boston Chamber of Commerce (Apr. 1910), 2-3, 11; Report of the Municipal Committee on the Smoke Nuisance. Adopted by the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce (19 Mar. 1907); Rochester Chamber of Commerce, The Smoke Shroud: How to Banish it (1915), 17-19.

(63.) Baltimore Sun, 11 Jan. 1902, 7.

(64.) Year Book and Directory of the Chamber of Commerce of Pittsburgh, Pa. (1900), 59-60; Civic Club of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fifteen Years of Civic History: October 1895-December 1910 (1911), 33.

(65.) The Civic League, Eleventh Year Book 1911-1912 (St. Louis, 1913), 6; Mrs. Ernest R. Kroeger, "Smoke Abatement in St. Louis," American City 6 (1912): 909; Public Affairs: A Monthly Record of Civic and Social Progress in St. Louis, published by the Civic League of St. Louis, 1:5 (1912): 4.

(66.) Chicago Record-Herald 16 Sept. 1909, 18; Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Convention of the International Association for the Prevention of Smoke (Pittsburgh, Penna., 9-12 Sept. 1913), 87. The Society for the Prevention of Smoke, formed in 1892 by a number of Chicago businessmen, seems to have been a special case, for its main goal was to abate the smoke nuisance in preparation for the World's Fair. See Rosen, "Businessmen," 358-359.

(67.) Rochester Chamber of Commerce, The Smoke Shroud, 14.

(68.) A Year's Record of Usefulness: Annual Report of the President to the Chamber of Commerce of Pittsburgh (May 1907), 8.

(69.) The Civic League of St. Louis, A Year of Civic Effort: Addresses and Reports at the Annual Meeting 1907, 35. See St. Louis Republic, 9 Feb. 1911, 6; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 22 Jan. 1893, 11.

(70) Mrs. Ernest R. Kroeger, "Smoke Abatement," 909. See St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 13 May 1911, 1; St. Louis Times, 13 May 1911, 15.

(71.) Baltimore Sun, 25 Feb. 1902, 12.

(72.) Chicago Tribune, 15 Jan. 1897, 1. On the earlier opposition against the activities of the Society for the Prevention of Smoke, see Rosen, "Businessmen," 373-380.

(73.) Quoted after A Reply to the Civic League Report on the Smoke Nuisance. Issued by the Smoke Abatement Department of the City of St. Louis (Dec. 1906), 2.

(74.) Rochester Chamber of Commerce, The Smoke Shroud, 17-18.

(75.) Ibid.

(76.) Ruth E. Parsons, The Department of Health of the City of Chicago 1894-1914 (M.A. thesis, University of Chicago, 1939), 71; Chicago Record-Herald 27 Feb. 1903, 5.

(77.) Civic League of St. Louis, The Smoke Nuisance: Report of the Smoke Abatement Committee of The Civic League (November, 1906), 8; Chamber of Commerce of Pittsburgh, Annual Report of President F. R. Babcock (11 May 1911), 27; Civic Club of Allegheny County, Fifty Years of Civic History 1895-1945 (undated), 5; Stradling, Civilized Air, 96, 135, 139-140.

(78.) Anti-Smoke League of Baltimore, Sixth Letter, December 1, 1906 (Baltimore City Archives RG 29 S 1, Smoke Control 1905-1946), 4, 6. See Samuel B. Flagg, Smoke Abatement and City Smoke Ordinances; Bureau of Mines Bulletin 49 (Washington, 1912), 11-26.

(79.) Civic League of St. Louis, The Smoke Nuisance, 24. See St. Louis Republic, 14 Mar. 1901, 5.

(80.) St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 17 Nov. 1897, 3; Chicago Record-Herald, 27 Nov. 1901, 7; Rosen, "Businessmen," 377, 381. See Annual Report of the Citizens' Association of Chicago (Oct. 1887), 13; Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago go for the year 1889 (Chicago, 1890), 120; Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago for the year 1891 (Chicago, 1892), 60; Chicago Record-Herald 18 Nov. 1901, 9.

(81.) Baltimore Sun, 24 Jan. 1905, 12; 17 Dec. 1905, 8; 13 May 1909, 5; 17 Nov. 1911, 6; 27 Nov. 1911, 6; 5 Dec. 1911, 16; Rochester Chamber of Commerce, The Abatement of Smoke, 1; City of Pittsburgh, Hand Book, 3. See Robert Dale Grinder, "From Insurgency to Efficiency: The Smoke Abatement Campaign in Pittsburgh Before World War I," Western Pennsylcania Historical Magazine 61 (1978): 192.

(82.) Annual Report of the Inspection of Boilers and Elevators and Smoke Abatement of the City of St. Louis for the Fiscal Year 1910-11 (St. Louis, 1911), 4; Annual Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago (Chicago, 1895), 191-192; Biennial Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago for the Years 1897 and 1898 (Chicago, undated), 133; Chicago Record-Herald, 27 Feb. 1903, 5; Robert Dale Grinder, "The War Against St. Louis's Smoke 1891-1924," Missouri Historical Review 69 (1975): 193.

(83.) Chicago Record-Herald, 20 Nov. 1901, 9 (quotation), 27 Feb. 1903, 5.

(84.) Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago for the year 1887 (Chicago, 1888), 100-101. Dito Annual Report of the Inspection of Boilers and Elevators and Smoke Abatement of the City of St. Louis for the Fiscal Year 1910-11 (St. Louis, 1911), 4.

(85.) Report of the Special Committee on Prevention of Smoke, St. Louis (8 Mar. 1892), 2-3; Smoke Abatement in Saint Louis: Report to the Mayor by the Smoke Abatement Department (1 Mar. 1909), 5; Biennial Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago being for the years 1895 and 1896 (Chicago, 1897), 306; Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Convention of the International Association for the Prevention of Smoke (Pittsburgh, Penna., 1913), 74-75.

(86.) Chicago Record-Herald, 18 Nov. 1901, 9; 17 Apr. 1902, 9; 29 Jun. 1906, 7; 13 Jul. 1906, 6; Chicago Times-Herald, 7 Jan. 1900, part II, 4; St. Louis Republic, 9 Feb. 1911, 6.

(87.) Citizens' Association, Report of the Smoke Committee, 11; Rochester Chamber of Commerce, The Abatement of Smoke, 4. See Annual Report of the Inspection of Boilers and Elevators and Smoke Abatement of the City of St. Louis for the Fiscal Year 1910-11 (St. Louis, 1911), 4; Chicago Record-Herald, 8 Feb. 1902, 9.

(88.) Boston Chamber of Commerce, Smoke Abatement, 11. See Department of Smoke Inspection, City of Chicago, Notes on Smoke Abatement, Jan. 1st 1914 (typewritten manuscript, Harvard University Libraries Eng. 2650.2), 1.

(89.) Paul P. Bird, Report, 10. See Department of Smoke Inspection, City of Chicago, Bulletin No. 1 (Chicago, February, 1908), 1; Report of Inspector of Boilers, Elevators and Smoke Abatement for Fiscal Year Ending April 8, 1912 (St. Louis, 1912), 3; Report of Inspector of Boilers, Elevators and Smoke Abatement for Fiscal Year Ending April 7, 1913 (St. Louis, 1913), 3; City of Pittsburgh, Hand Book, 7.

(90.) Grinder, "Battle," 96; Stradling, Civilized Air 221, 227; Platt, "Invisible gases," 85. However, Joel Tarr, working on post-World War One smoke abatement efforts, has proposed a different perspective. (See Joel A. Tarr, The Search for the Ultimate Sink: Urban Pollution in Historical Perspective [Akron, 1996], 227-261, and Joel A. Tarr, Carl Zimring, "The Struggle for Smoke Control in St. Louis. Achievement and Emulation," Andrew Hurley, ed., Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis [St. Louis, 1997], 199-220.)

(91.)Paul P. Bird, Report, 52. See Department of Smoke Inspection, City of Chicago, Methods of Approaching the Smoke Problem, Jan. 1st, 1914 (typewritten manuscript, Harvard University Libraries Eng 2650.2), 5; Sarah B. Tunnicliff, "Smoke Elimination in Chicago," Educational Bi-Monthly 10 (1915/16): 401; Chicago Record-Herald, 12 Nov. 1907, 10; 5 May 1908, 8; 16 Sept. 1909, 18.

(92.)J.W. Henderson, "Up-to-date Smoke Regulation," Proceedings, Eleventh Annual Convention, Smoke Prevention Association, Hotel Planters, St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 27-29, 1916: 91. See City of Pittsburgh, Hand Book, 7-8; Benner, Smoke Investigation, 1273; William H. Gerish, "Spirit of Co-operation Takes Hold in Boston," Industrial World 48(1914): 139; St. Louis Republic, 12 July 1911, 7; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12 July 1911, 2.

(93.)Report of the Department of Health, City of Chicago (1881-1882): 35; (1883-1884): 136; (1885): 102; (1886): 81; (1887): 99; (1888): 20; (1889): 117; (1890): 128; (1891): 58; (1892): 50; Paul P. Bird, Report, 57. Therefore, Stradling is wrong to assume that "engineers appointed to head smoke departments often abandoned the prosecutory paths taken by previous inspectors." (Stradling. Civilized Air, 216-217.)

(94.) Chicago Record-Herald, 24 Apr. 1908, 3; 31 Jul. 1908, 7. Interestingly, Platt abstains from any discussion of the performance of the Department of Smoke Inspection, instead vaguely blaming them for "the triumph of a socially constructed vision of technological progress. Grinder offers a number of quotations to substantiate his argument of ineffectiveness, but a review of these statements shows that all of them were made before smoke inspection started in the respective cities. (Platt, "Invisible gases," 91; Cinder, "Battle," 98-99.) The most conspicuous example is the way Grinder quotes an editorial from the St. Louis Republic. In order to suggest that the newspaper was criticizing the educational approach, he writes, "Does anyone doubt that [ldots] (smoke inspection by moral suasion) has been a failure?" However, the full quotation reads, "Does anybody [sic] doubt that the policy of threatening complaints, securing occasional convictions and recommending frequent remissions of fines on promises to do better, has been a failure?" In other words, the editorial criticized prosecution and the way it was handled in St. Louis, and not, as Grinder suggests, education. (See Grinder, "Battle," 98 and St. Louis Republic, 9 Feb. 1911, 6.)

(95.) Maureen A. Flanagan, "The City Profitable, the City Livable: Environmental Policy, Gender, and Power in Chicago in the 1910s," Journal of Urban History 22:2 (Jan. 1996): 174176; Robert Dale Grinder, The Anti Smoke Crusades: Early Attempts to Reform the Urban Environment, 1893-1918 (Ph.D. diss., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1973), 95; Platt, "Invisible Gases," 86, 90-91; Stradling, Civilized Air, 191-195, 221, 225-229.

(96.) Tunnicliff, "Smoke Elimination," 401-402. See Chicago Record-Herald, 17 Apr. 1909, 4. Although her article deals predominantly with the Woman's City Club, Flanagan does not mention this line of activity. See Flanagan, "City Profitable," 168.

(97.) Women's Civic League of Baltimore, History of the Women's Civic League of Baltimore 1911-1936 (Baltimore, 1937), 34; Baltimore Sun, 21 Jan. 1914, 14.

(98.) Department of Smoke Inspection, City of Chicago, Annual Report 1911-1912 (Chicago, Feb. 1912): 8; Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Convention of the International Association for the Prevention of Smoke (Pittsburgh, Penna., 1913), 59.

(99.) Department of Smoke Inspection, Notes, 4. On the potential of nonlegalistic approaches (revelation and persuasion) in the related field of industrial hygiene, see Christopher C. Sellers, Hazards of the Job. From Industrial Disease to Environmental Health Science (Chapel Hill, London, 1997), 87-98.

(100.) Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Convention of the International Association for the Prevention of Smoke (Pittsburgh, Penna., 1913), 71.

(101.) Henderson, "Up-to-date Smoke Regulation," 90. See Samuel P. Hays, Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920 (Cambridge, Mass., 1959); Daniel T. Rodgers, "In Search of Progressivism," Reviews in American History 10:4 (1982): 126-127.

(102.) Chicago Record-Herald, 13 Mar. 1908, 3. See William H. Gerrish, "Boston Smoke Report," Steel and Iron 49 (1915): 236; J. M. Searle, "Record of the Year in Smoke Abatement, in City of Pittsburgh," Industrial World 48 (1914): 131.

(103.) George Ethelbert Walsh, "Smokeless Cities of To-Day," Harper's Weekly 51 (1907): 1139.

(104.) Boston Chamber of Commerce, Smoke Abatement, 11.

(105.) Chicago Record-Herald, 25 Oct. 1909, 3.

(106.) World 48 (1914): 137.

(107.) Chicago Record-Herald, 27 Oct. 1909, 8; City of Pittsburgh, Hand Book, 3. See J. W. Henderson, "Smoke Abatement in Pittsburgh," Domestic Engineering 78 (1917): 45; O. Monnett, "Chicago's Record for the Year 1912," Industrial World 47 (1913): 132; Mrs. Ernest R. Kroeger, "Smoke Abatement," 907; Rochester Chamber of Commerce, The Smoke shroud, 18-19; Tunnicliff, "Smoke Elimination," 401; Chicago Record-Herald, 27 May 1908, 11; Oct. 25, 1909, 3.

(108.) Flagg, Smoke Abatement, 37; Civic League of St. Louis, Year of Civic Effort, 35; Boston Chamber of Commerce, Smoke Abatement, 2; Report of the Inspection of Boilers, Elevators and Smoke Abatement for the fiscal year ending April 12th, 1915 (St. Louis, 1915), 10.

(109.) Annual Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago for the year ended December 31, 1894 (Chicago, 1895), 192.

(110.) "There is probably not a single establishment in the business section of the City where the installation of adequate boiler capacity, or a change from soft coal to coke or coke waste, would seriously affect the profits of the owners," the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce justly proclaimed. (Year Book and Directory of the Chamber of Commerce of Pittsburgh, Pa. [1900], 63.)

(111.) The first issue of Rauch and Staub was published in 1910, the first Feuerungstechnik in 1912. See Rauch und Staub 3 (1912/13), 124.

(112.) For the most sophisticated system of monitoring, see Paul P. Bird, Report, 45-48.

(113.) Stadtarchiv D[ddot{u}]sseldorf III 19508, pp. 63, 195-195R (quotation p. 195R).

(114.) See Richard Evans, Death in Hamburg: Society and Politics in the Cholera-Years 1830-1910 (Oxford, 1987), esp. chapters 1 and 2.

(115.) Staatsarchiv Hamburg 111-1 (Senat) Cl. VII Lit. F d, no. 1, vol. 52, doc. 67 b, 68-69, 72; Verhandlungen zwischen Senat und B[ddot{u}]rgerschaft im Jahre 1901 (Hamburg, 1902), 247-248.

(116.) Staatsarchiv Hamburg 111-1 (Senat) Cl. VII Lit. Q d no. 210 b, vol. 1 a, doc, 1-3; ibid., vol. 1 b, doc. 1, 3-4, 13; 321-2 (Baudeputation) B 441, pp. 42, 45-47; Ferdinand Haier, "Die Rauchfrage, die Beziehungen zwischen der Rauchentwicklung und der Ausnutzung der Brennstoffe, und die Mittel und Wege zur Rauchverminderung im Feuerungsbetrieb," Zeitschrift des Vereines deutscher Ingenieure 49 (1905): 21, 88, 167-172.

(117.) Staatsarchiv Hamburg 111-1 (Senat) Cl. VII Lit. Q d no. 210 b, vol. 1 b, enclosure to doc. 1, Satzungen des Vereins f[ddot{u}]r Feuerungsbetrieb und Rauchbek[ddot{a}]mpfung, 3.

(118.) Jens Lehnigk, Luftverschmutzung um 1900: Der Fall Hamburg (M.A. thesis, Hamburg University, 1993), 72; "Bericht des Vereins f[ddot{u}]r Feuerungsbetrieb und Rauchbek[ddot{a}]mpfung in Hamburg [ddot{u}]ber seine T[ddot{a}]tigkeit im Jahre 1912," Rauch und Staub 3 (1912/13): 218. See Rauch und Staub 12 (1922): 74-75.

(119.) John B. C. Kershaw, "A Flourishing German Smoke Abatement Society," Metallurgical and Chemical Engineering 13 (1915): 261.

(120.) Franz Carl W. Gaab, "Feuerungsbetrieb und Rauchbek[ddot{a}]mpfung in Hamburg," Stahl und Eisen 29 (1909): 1371-1372; Hauser, "Die Rauchplage in den St[ddot{a}]dten," Deutsche Vierteljahresschrift f[ddot{u}]r [ddot{o}]ffentliche Gesundheitspflege 42 (1910): 136; Niederstadt, "Die rauchfreie Verbrennung, deren Mittel und Wege zur Abhilfe der Rauchfrage," Zeitschrift f[ddot{u}]r angewandte Chemie 19 (1906): 143; Zeitschrift des Vereines deutscher Ingenieure 49 (1905): 793-794; Gesundheits-Ingenieur 50 (1927): 902.

(121.) Hans-Ulrich Welder, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte. Band 3: Von der 'Deutschen Doppelrevolution' bis zum Beginn des Ersten Weltkriegs (Munich, 1995), 664-675.

(122.) See Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preu[beta]ischer Kulturbesitz Rep. 76 VIII B no. 2082 P. 107; R. Muller, "Die weiter zu treffenden Massnahmen f[ddot{u}]r Grossfeuerungen, die Sch[ddot{a}]digungen durch die Feuerungen in Kleinbetrieben und die Mittel, diesen Sch[ddot{a}]digungen entgegen zu wirken," Zeitschrift f[ddot{u}]r Heizung, L[ddot{u}]ftung und Beleuchtung 8 (1904): 255; Ascher, "Die n[ddot{a}]chsten Aufgaben der Rauchbek[ddot{a}]mpfung," Rauch und Staub 1 (1910): 10; de Grahl, "Ueber die technischen Ma[beta]nahmen," 395.

(123.) Beilage zur D[ddot{u}]sseldorfer Zeitung, vol. 166, no. 646 (19 Dec. 1911), Zweites Blatt, v. Pasinski, Rauch und Ru[beta] in der Gro[beta]staft.

(124.) The Civic League of St. Louis, Year Book. Addresses and Reports at the Annual Meeting 1909, Address of Woodrow Wilson, President Princeton University, at the Annual Dinner, 9 Mar. 1909, 19.

(125.) Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv MWi 660, German Consulate, Cincinnati, 20 May 1914.

(126.) Baltimore Sun, 28 Dec. 1905, 12. See George Ethelbert Walsh, "Smokeless Cities," 1139.
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 1999
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