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Title [Sprinkling wagon]
Object Name Print, Photographic
Date ca. 1910
Collection Staten Island Geographic Collection
Description Original B&W print on black cardboard mount. View of a horse-drawn wagon with a cylindrical tank mounted lengthwise; a man is seated on top of the tank. Two horses are harnessed to the wagon. The wagon is on a residential street, with three houses partially visible in the background. Handwritten inscriptions on reverse: "Stapleton / Water truck used for / spraying streets / c 1910".
(Keywords: New York City, Early Twentieth Century)
Print size 5.875 x 7.875
Ownership and History On both paved and unpaved streets, "street dust" was considered a significant health risk, as evidenced by a lengthy editorial in the Richmond County Advance on January 22, 1910: "...The dust question comes very close to home to the people who reside on our most frequented streets, and during those months of the year when the windows of dwelling-houses are opened to admit the fresh air, the dust is wafted through them into the apartments where families are passing their time and they are obliged to take into their lungs a mixture of fine particles composed of dried horse-manure, the ground-over droppings from wagons carrying various kinds of stuffs, and the dried soil driven away by the wheels of vehicles...This offense might be prevented if the streets were watered by the city as they should be..." Sprinkling wagons such as the one in this photograph were sometimes used to alleviate the problem.
Exhibit Label Text
Earliest Date 1905
Latest Date 1915
Subjects Transportation
Lexicon Sub-category Documentary Artifact
Catalog Number PH01.1181
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, May 2016.
Legal Status Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.