Saturday, February 23, 2019

What's in a Word? Poubelle

Poubelle is the French word for trash can.  Who knew that word is named after Eug√®ne Poubelle, who introduced trash cans to Paris in 1884. Building owners were mandated to provide these trash cans, much to their chagrin at the extra expense. Even more surprisingly, three types had to be provided, for compostable items, for paper and cloth, and for crockery and shells. Recycling back in the 19th C.

As an aside, ten years later, after a resurgence of cholera, Poubelle decreed that all buildings had to be connected to sewers.  Again, at the expense of the building owner.

What an interesting man.

By the way, I first became of Poubelle in a caption at the Art Gallery of Ontario's current exhibit, Impressionism in the Industrial Age, which focuses on the depiction of industry in the paintings of the impressionists. Interspersed are photos from the era as well.  Lots of interesting historical facts sprinkled throughout the exhibition. Like the fact that 300,000 people were displaced by the expropriations for the grand boulevards, wide streets and vistas of Haussmann's design for Paris that we so revel in today.

Other 'word' posts:

Other posts on words: