From Byter Alex B:
I really enjoyed your piece on the manure crisis. Did you determine what happened to all those horses that were displaced?
The manure crisis post can be read at:
In the 1890’s, horses were an essential and integral part of work and transport. This was not without its problems. Writing in the Times of London in 1894, one writer estimated that in 50 years every street in London would be buried under nine feet of manure. That crisis did not eventuate as horses in their millions came to be replaced by cars, generally function by function. The last horse replacements were for haulage.
The great manure crisis is today regarded as illustrative of two lessons:
- Human beings, left to their own devices, will usually find solutions to problems, but only if they are allowed to; that is, if they have economic institutions, such as property rights and free exchange, that create the right incentives and give them the freedom to respond. If these are absent or are replaced by political mechanisms, problems will not be solved.
- Second, the sheer difficulty of predicting the future, and in particular of foreseeing the outcome of human creativity, is yet another reason for rejecting the planning or controlling of people’s choices.
Those “lessons” are not without criticism. They can be justifications for inertia and to do nothing. Secondly, what if the car had not been developed, or they were too expensive to run? There are further criticisms but you get the gist.
What happened to the horses? I don’t know but I doubt that the horses were particularly valuable to start with, they were work horses, not racing or stud horses. Secondly, as the car was introduced, the problem became disposal. I therefore think that the unwanted horses were sold off for pet food and hooves glue manufacture
Pyrmont Bridge, Sydney NSW 1902
Byter Charles D emailed me a cartoon:
Charles also sent me a pic:
Sorry, Charles, this doesn’t do it for me. I have previously written about cats and my feelings remain unchanged. I am also of a mind that animals should not be close to faces, something I have written about in the context of dogs. Google “cat child” and do an image search to see some of the injuries that can result.
Nonetheless, for this of a different outlook, here are some more . .