THEN AND NOW
In a well written article about the transformation of American society by the acceptance and then the embracing of the automobile as well as its supportive infrastructure a vivid glimpse of what the urban world was like in 1900 was presented. To say the very least it was not a pretty picture.
For just a moment consider New York City where thousands of horses provided personal transportation as well as the power behind the moving of tons of freight every day. Now imagine what those horses do in the street. Add to that a serious problem with horses that died and were left where they fell by their owners.
So, in essence we traded cloying stench for choking clouds of exhaust. An interesting trade off to be sure.
I have little doubt a great deal of the meditation on differences between then and now is the near constant immersion in the world of ghost towns during this past couple of years. It is almost impossible to stroll the streets of Chloride on an early morning with the snow chilled breezes blowing down from high in the Cerbat Mountains without thinking of how things have changed in the past century.
Also playing into this is my deep fascination for the period between 1900 and 1930. Judging by fascinating blogs such as this I am not alone. http://thehorselessage.blogspot.com/2009/10/hossless-rig.html