Smell and the City

Urban smell enthusiasts

Banana Oil, Breweries and Strong Fecal Odours: Historical Map of Manhattan’s Sewer Smells



This weekend, I came across this fascinating google map of Manhattan’s historical sewer smells and loved it so much I had to share it on Smell and the City (click here to view the Google pin-map).  The map has been created by Matthew Frank and is based upon data collected back in 1910 as part of an inspection of Manhattan’s main sewers, click here to see the table of odours. Frank’s write up on the map can be viewed here and is well worth a read, offering a rare insight into the very different smellscape which existed a century ago in this thriving metropolis.

If you fancy sniffing out some of the odours which contribute towards NYC’s smellscape today, download this free DIY smellwalk, which I developed working with Studio X at the University of Columbia back in September 2012. The smells we detected when running the walk can also be checked out on Smell and the City’s Global Smellmap, currently under development and available here. Happy sniffing!


2 comments on “Banana Oil, Breweries and Strong Fecal Odours: Historical Map of Manhattan’s Sewer Smells

  1. Pingback: Smell the City: Sewer Fat in London and Cardiff | Smell and the City

  2. Pingback: Smell: SENSE OF PLACE | Sensorium

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This entry was posted on August 26, 2013 by in Smell and the City Project.
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