FILTHY CITIES: Industrial New York
Airs Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
Do you have to dodge the contents of bedpans or step over rotting corpses on your way to work? Well, you may have had to if you'd lived in London, New York or Paris when they were filthy cities. Historian Dan Snow presents this immersive three-part series, which brings these cities' stinking histories vividly to life. Taking the travelogue in a whole new direction—with extraordinary, hands-on demos and stunts—it excavates the murky past in gruesome detail during defining periods in history. You'll find out how each of these modern capitals was forged in the muck of the past, emerging from 'filthy cities' into three of the world's model metropolises.
Episode 3: "Industrial New York" airs Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 10 p.m. - With ground breaking CGI historian Dan Snow travels back to a seething Manhattan in the throws of the industrial revolution. Millions fled persecution, poverty and famine in Europe in the 19th century in search of the Promised Land. When they arrived what they found was even worse than what they'd left behind.
New York was a city consumed by filth and corruption, its massive immigrant population crammed together in the slums of Lower Manhattan. Dan succumbs to some of the deadly disease-carrying parasites that thrived in the filthy, overcrowded tenement buildings. He has a go at cooking with some cutting edge 19th century ingredients—clothes dye and floor cleaner—added to disguise reeking fetid meat. And marvels at some of the incredible feats of engineering that transformed not just the city, but the world.
FILTHY CITIES is a BBC/Discovery co-production.