In conjunction with Scientific American’s special September 2011 issue on cities, we present an archival look back at the documented growth of urban environments. As population increased, cities had to find ways to meet the demands of expansion and to face the consequences of containing large numbers of people in small spaces. Some of the solutions offered in the following slide show have proved their worth and are still in use today. Others were either too impractical or too radical to make a lasting impact.
In 1845 Scientific American magazine made its debut on newsstands and has continued to be published ever since. Now, Nature Publishing Group and Scientific American are working to digitize all past issues of the magazine. Mary Karmelek is in charge of checking over each issue, and in the process she uncovers fascinating, captivating and humorous material buried in the yellowed pages of our past. In this blog she shares the highlights of her discoveries. Additional archival material appears every month in our 50, 100 and 150 Years Ago column.