"The strong smell of excrement pervaded the environment, and the stench of public places was both terrible and ceaselessly condemned. The vile smelling effluvia of the faubourg St.-Marcel de Justice, in the Louvre, in the Tuileries, at the Museum, even at the Opera...the quays revolted the sense of smell." Excrement was everywhere: in alleys; at the foot of milestones; in cabs; in the gutters into which the cesspools were emptied; on the urine-stained walls of houses.Things weren't much better in this country. NYC in 1865:
Domestic garbage and filth of every kind is thrown into the streets, covering their surface, filling the gutters, obstructing the sewer culverts, and sending forth perennial emanations which must generate pestiferous disease.Is there any wonder that there was pestiferous disease? People died from infections due to their living conditions. But survival rates increased long before the discoveries of antibiotics and most vaccines. Remember, in 1865, the germ theory of disease was not commonly accepted in the medical community. Especially in the USA at that time.