Dream Job, 1910

I don’t know what he did, but it sounds like a nice gig.


jest me

about 14 years ago

You might want to rethink that gig. City scavengers cleaned outhouses.


about 14 years ago

Yeah. Nightmare job.


about 14 years ago

Here I was hoping it was something fun like those guys on American Pickers.


about 14 years ago

Okay, maybe not an ideal job, but as Franklin Hiram King observed in 1911 in Farmers of Forty Centuries, nightsoil has been the key to the longevity of farming in many civilizations:

"One of the most remarkable agricultural practices adopted by any civilized people is the centuries-long and well-nigh universal conservation and utilization of all human waste in China, Korea and Japan, turning it to marvelous account in the maintenance of soil fertility and in the production of food...When we reflect upon the depleted fertility of our own older farm lands, comparatively few of which have seen a century's service, and upon the enormous quantity of mineral fertilizers which are being applied annually to them in order to secure paying yields, it become evident that the time is here when profound consideration should be given to the practice...which permit it to be said of China that one-sixth of an acre of good land is ample for the maintenance of one person." (p123)

In ancient China, companies used to compete for the purchase of rights to nightsoil collection in cities.


about 14 years ago

If only our American "nightsoil" wasn't full of Prozac and Viagra.

The Big E

about 14 years ago

Think more expansively.  We could be raising crops providing a cocktail of pharmaceutical fringe benefits.


about 14 years ago

Viagra in the night soil might keep the lettuce from wilting.

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More reason for beer

How do we get ahold of this agent? Ad from a local newspaper, June 1910.