Filthy Cities: My summer in the sewers
"Perhaps my most important realisation was simply the debt that we owe the people who get rid of our waste and ensure we have clean water."Read and comment on Dan's post on the BBC TV blog
Welcome to New York
Dan and the crew get ready to film a piece to camera with a classic New York cityscape in the background.
Dan's new friend... Peanut the pig
Even though New Yorkers were paying for basic services like street cleaning, a large proportion of the cash was just being pocketed, thanks to endemic corruption. This left pigs as the only street cleaners, eating tonnes of rubbish every year.
Early flash photography
Dan demonstrates an early method of flash photography. In 1888 photographer Jacob Riis became the first American to use this technology and captured, for the first time, the grim reality of life inside New York's dark tenement slums.
Boracic acid and rotten meat sausages
Dan finds out how some disreputable butchers in 19th century New York used a new cleaning product to turn their previously unsellable rotten meat into toxic sausages.
Dan visits Coney Island to investigate how New York deals with it's waste today. By the end of the 19th century so much waste had been poured into the Hudson and the East River that Manhattan was an island floating in its own filth.
Sunset on Coney Island
Iconic New York skyline
Dan has a go at driving a vintage Ford Model T, the car which took America by storm and revolutionised New York's roads.
Fresh water on tap
It may be something that we take for granted today, but in 19th century New York fresh water was in short supply. Completed in 1842, the Croton aqueduct finally connected the city to a reliable source of clean water, marking the first major step towards modernity.
Dr Stephen Smith's office
The crew set up a drama scene to illustrate Dr Stephen Smith's role in battling cholera in 19th century New York. He created a map of victims suffering from the deadly waterborne disease and traced the outbreak back to specific contaminated water supplies, thus helping to contain it.
- Series Producer
- Sam Starbuck
- Dan Snow
- Executive Producer
- Eamon Hardy