About history

A technical product

of the past

Vanishing patrimony

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Edition française
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Vichy - France
April 1998 - 2006

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About history

The progressive evolution of the cities has, since Antiquity but in a discontinuous and sometimes regressive way, appealed has techniques increasingly more evolved / moved of construction and organization, themselves fruits and leavens of the social and cultural progress. Among those, the methods of cleansing have an essential role and the adopted solutions depend directly on the social organization, its economic power, and the life style it offers.

After had been lost what Roman colonization had been able to bring with it of methodical and constructive roadway system adduction, the Kingdom of France crossed long centuries of summary organization, even chaotic, in a world often torn by the wars, the famines, the epidemics.

But, unrelentingly, the cities extended and the problems of cleansing became more urgent to solve than they could have been it during so a long time in simple boroughs or chief-places or the populous districts build on the banks of a river or in edge of sea.

From the very start of XIXème century, installation, in Paris, of a wide-area network of gallery-collectors was studied and realized within the more general framework of an improvement of the roadway system to make space public urban healthier and easy to maintain. The development of the middle-class was the engine of this major and beneficial transformation of our streets.

The network of galleries of Paris extended quickly and passed from 37 kilometers in 1824 to 560 in 1871. Consequently these galleries had in addition to accomodate the conduits of arrival of water and their extension with all the streets became necessary.

The adoption in 1889 du principe of " all-with-the sewer " will confirm the need for carrying out a true network of galleries of increasing size going by a extremity until under each house and by the other, " downstream " (since it is about flow) towards a place of controled treatment of the waste products before their rejection in nature.

A wide-area network of cleansing was installed and became to be useful as model but with some significant adaptations - mainly intend to reduce problems and costs of installation and of maintenance - with all that which be gradually install in the other french cities, of larger to smaller.

This network which extended by traversing our streets under their roadway, many points of control and accesses was needed. But these vertical conduits, provided with a scale, which connect the galleries to the free air thus open for the majority right in the middle of the lanes and must be coverd of a solid lid : The MANHOLE COVERS began to proliferer in proportion of the galleries.

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