Smell Detectives

By Melanie A. Kiechle,

Book cover of Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century Urban America

Book description

What did nineteenth-century cities smell like? And how did odors matter in the formation of a modern environmental consciousness? Smell Detectives follows the nineteenth-century Americans who used their noses to make sense of the sanitary challenges caused by rapid urban and industrial growth. Melanie Kiechle examines nuisance complaints, medical writings,…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

1 author picked Smell Detectives as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Kiechle’s Smell Detective shows how smell, the mute sense, has been in fact quite “talkative.” By going back to the nineteenth-century United States, the book discusses how cities back then smelled and how people living there reacted to it. Olfaction is actually a critical source of knowledge. Smell can tell you a lot about your surrounding environment and other people. It also gives historians clues to understand how people lived in the past. Moreover, smell, like other senses, is not a simply subjective, biological phenomenon. Sensations we experience change over time—imagine smell and sounds on the street today and hundred…

Want books like Smell Detectives?

Our community of 10,000+ authors has personally recommended 26 books like Smell Detectives.

Browse books like Smell Detectives

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in urbanization, urban planning, and psychic?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about urbanization, urban planning, and psychic.

Urbanization Explore 12 books about urbanization
Urban Planning Explore 53 books about urban planning
Psychic Explore 77 books about psychic