"Great Stink"

Ah, the good old days.

The Great Stink was an event in central London in July and August 1858 during which the hot weather exacerbated the smell of untreated human waste and industrial effluent that was present on the banks of the River Thames. The problem had been mounting for some years, with an aging and inadequate sewer system that emptied directly into the Thames. . . .

The smell, and people's fears of its possible effects, prompted action from the local and national administrators who had been considering possible solutions for the problem.