Excavating Urban Democracy: Water Infrastructure and the Public Realm in Los Angeles, circa 1870-1890
Seiten 151 - 170
This publication is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
This essay investigates the changing contours of the public and the
private in Los Angeles at the end of the nineteenth century. It argues
that the introduction of engineered water supplies from the 1870s to the
1890s caused urban residents to move their routines and habits—such as
washing, bathing, and hauling water—from open ditches to the domestic
sphere, catalyzing a retreat from the public in Los Angeles. This
domestication of everyday life was accompanied by new forms of ratepayer
protest in the growing city. In other words, underground pipes created
private regimes while also leading residents to engage in civic activism
to demand better water. This duality and tension are at the center of
this essay, which follows two storylines. First, it sketches the
establishment of water infrastructure that shaped urban built space in
Los Angeles. Second, it delves more deeply into the diverse types of
political activism by analyzing letters of complaints to the city
council. Through the lens of Los Angeles, however, the essay tells a
bigger story of public and private tensions in modern America. By
exploring a major city through its water supplies, it reconceptualizes
urban history as water history.
1 “Appendix B: The Water Rates as Fixed by the City Council.” Los Angeles Times 1 Jan. 1892: 3. Print.
2 Avila, Eric. Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles. Oakland: U of California P, 2006. Print.
3 “Bathrooms and Water-Closets Not to Be Used for Other than Toilet Purposes (Ordinance Adopted May 1, 1912).” Public Health Reports 28.14 (1913): 677. Print.
4 Bogen, Emil. “The Pneumonic Plague in Los Angeles.” California and Western Medicine (1925): 175-76. Print.
5 Caswell, Wm. M., comp. and ind. Revised Charter and Compiled Ordinances and Resolutions of the City of Los Angels. Los Angeles: Evening Express Steam Printing Establishment, 1878. Print.
6 “A Chinese Chapter.” Los Angeles Times 8 Apr. 1882: 3. Print.
7 “City Council: Another Attempt to Fix the Water Rates.” Los Angeles Times 17 Feb. 1891: 3. Print.
8 City of Los Angeles. Annual Report to the Board of Health of the City of Los Angeles by the Health Officer for the Fiscal Year Ending November 30, 1889. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles County Public Health Library, 1889. Print.
9 Davis, Mike. City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles. London: Verso, 1991. Print.
10 Desnoyers, M. C., comp. and ind. The Ordinances and Resolutions of the City of Los Angeles, Passed between the 19th Day of August, 1872, and the 8th Day of April, 1875, Inclusive. Los Angeles, CA: Herald Publishing Company, 1875. Print.
11 Deverell, William. Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past. Berkeley: U of California P, 2004. Print.
12 Deverell, William, and Tom Sitton. Water and Los Angeles: A Tale of Three Rivers, 1900-1941. Oakland: U of California P, 2016. Print.
13 Dorland, C. P. “The Los Angeles River—Its History and Ownership.” Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California, Los Angeles 3.1 (1893): 31-35. Print.
14 Duffy, John. The Sanitarians: A History of American Public Health. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1990. Print.
15 Evans, Richard J. Death in Hamburg: Society and Politics in the Cholera Years 1830-1910. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1987. Print.
16 Fogelson, Robert M. The Fragmented Metropolis: Los Angeles, 1850-1930. Berkeley: U of California P, 1993. Print.
17 Fulton, William. The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles. Baltimore, MD: Solano Press Books, 1997. Print.
18 Gandy, Matthew. Concrete and Clay: Reworking Nature in New York City. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003. Print.
19 ---. “Das Wasser, die Moderne und der Niedergang der bakteriologischen Stadt.” Hydropolis: Wasser und die Stadt der Moderne. Ed. Susanne Frank and Matthew Gandy. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2006. 19-40. Print.
20 Gleichmann, Peter Reinhard. “Die Verhäuslichung körperlicher Verrichtungen.” Materialien zu Norbert Elias’ Zivilisationstheorie. Ed. Peter Gleichmann, Johan Goudsblom, and Hermann Korte. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1979. 254-78. Print.
21 Gumprecht, Blake. The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 2001. Print.
22 Gyory, Andrew. Closing the Gate: Race, Politics, and the Chinese Exclusion Act. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2000. Print.
23 Hall, William H. Irrigation in California [Southern]. The Field, Water-Supply, and Works, Organization and Operation in San Diego, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. The Second Part of the Report of the State Engineer of California on Irrigation and the Irrigation Question. Sacramento, CA: State Printing, 1888. Print.
24 “Hell’s Half Acre: A Report of a Tour through Chinatown Yesterday.” Los Angeles Times 14 Apr. 1882: 3. Print.
25 Hoffman, Abraham, and Teena Stern. “The Zanjas and the Pioneer Water Systems for Los Angeles.” Southern California Quarterly 89.1 (2007): 1-22. Print.
26 Hoy, Suellen. Chasing Dirt: The American Pursuit of Cleanliness. New York: Oxford UP, 1995. Print.
27 Hoyt, Ralph E., and E. Edgar Galbreth. “The Water Supply: The City Should Own the Works: Reports from Sixty-Six Cities.” Los Angeles Times 8 Sept. 1890: 3. Print.
28 “Install Water Meters.” Los Angeles Times 10 July 1919: II9. Print.
29 Layne, Gregg. Water and Power for a Great City: A History of the Department of Water and Power of the City of Los Angeles to December 1950. Los Angeles, CA: Department of Water and Power, 1952. Print.
30 “A Mass Meeting: To Talk over Water-Rate Exactions.” Los Angeles Times 24 May 1890: 2. Print.
31 Masten, Scott E. “Public Utility Ownership in 19th-Century America: The ‘Aberrant’ Case of Water.” The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 27.3 (2011): 604-54. Print.
32 “Mayor’s Statement: Asserts that City Control Means a Reduction of Rates.” Los Angeles Times 22 Aug. 1899: 8. Print.
33 McPherson, William, rev. Charter and Revised Ordinances of the City of Los Angeles with Three Appendixes, Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Star Print, 1873. Print.
34 Melosi, Martin. The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 2000. Print.
35 “Meters Demolished by Angry Patrons.” Los Angeles Times 15 Dec. 1917: I5. Print.
36 Molina, Natalia. Fit to Be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939. Berkeley: U of California P, 2006. Print.
37 ---. How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts. Berkeley: U of California P, 2014. Print.
38 Monkkonen, Eric H. America Becomes Urban: The Development of U.S. Cities & Towns 1780-1980. Berkeley: U of California P, 1990. Print.
39 Newmark, Maurice H., and Marco R. Newmark, eds. Sixty Years in Southern California 1853-1913: Containing the Reminiscences of Harris Newmark. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1930. Print.
40 “Old and New Water Rates: What the City Water Company Is Entitled to Charge under Its Contract, and What It Does Charge.” Los Angeles Times 3 Mar. 1892: 4. Print.
41 Petition dated 8 July 1889, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-4, Vol. 71. Print.
42 Petition dated 6 Aug. 1889, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-4, Vol. 71. Print.
43 Petition dated 26 Aug. 1889, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-4, Vol. 71. Print.
44 Petition undated [Sept. 1889], Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-4, Vol. 71. Print.
45 Petition dated 4 Oct. 1889, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-4, Vol. 72. Print.
46 Petition dated 22 Oct. 1889, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-4, Vol. 72. Print.
47 Petition dated 20 Jan. 1890, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-4, Vol. 73. Print.
48 Petition dated 8 Feb. 1890, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-4, Vol. 73. Print.
49 Petition dated 5 May 1890, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-4, Vol. 75. Print.
50 Petition dated 4 Aug. 1890, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-5, Vol. 76. Print.
51 Petition dated 11 Aug. 1890, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-5, Vol. 76. Print.
52 Petition dated 3 Nov. 1890, Los Angeles City Archives, Box B-6, Vol. 77. Print.
53 Read, George. “Metering of Los Angeles.” Journal (American Water Works Association) 9.3 (1922): 426-35. Print.
54 Reisner, Marc. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. New York: Viking, 1986. Print.
55 Rosenberg, Charles. The Cholera Years. Chicago, IL: U of Chicago P, 1987. Print.
56 Sandmeyer, Elmer C. The Anti-Chinese Movement in California. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1991. Print.
57 Schmidt, Jeremy J. Water: Abundance, Scarcity, and Security in the Age of Humanity. New York: New York UP, 2017. Print.
58 “Sewer System Discussed: Animated Debate over Hering’s Recommendations.” Los Angeles Times 5 Jan. 1900: I10. Print.
59 Simmel, Georg. Sociology: Inquiries into the Construction of Social Forms. Ed. and trans. Anthony J. Blasi, Anton K. Jacobs, and Mathew Kanjirathinkal. Leiden: Brill, 2009. Print.
60 Spriggs, Elisabeth Mathieu. “The History of the Domestic Water Supply of Los Angeles.” MA thesis. U of Southern California, 1931. Print.
61 Tomes, Nancy. “The Private Side of Public Health: Sanitary Science, Domestic Hygiene, and the Germ Theory, 1870–1900.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 64.4 (1990): 509-39.
62 Torres-Rouff, David Samuel. Before L. A.: Race, Space, and Municipal Power in Los Angeles, 1781-1894. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2013. Print.
63 Trentmann, Frank, and Vanessa Taylor. “From Users to Consumers: Water Politics in Nineteenth-Century London.” The Making of the Consumer: Knowledge, Power and Identity in the Modern World. Ed. Frank Trentmann. Oxford: Berg, 2006. 53-79. Print.
64 Troesken, Werner. Water, Race, Disease. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004. Print.
65 “Want Reduced Water Rates.” Los Angeles Times 29 May 1895: 6. Print.
66 “Water Meeting: Shall the City Own Its Water Supply?” Los Angeles Times 19 June 1890: 2. Print.
67 “Water Rates.” Los Angeles Times 17 Feb. 1897: 6. Print.
68 “The Water Rates: New Ordinance Adopted by the Council: A Marked Reduction from Last Year’s Schedule.” Los Angeles Times 24 Feb. 1894: 3. Print.
69 “The Water Rates: Special Session of the Council Yesterday.” Los Angeles Times 12 Feb. 1892: 3. Print.
70 “The Water We Drink: Quantity and Quality of the City’s Supply: Part of It Unfit for Use.” Los Angeles Times 27 July 1890: 2. Print.
71 Wheeler, W. F. “Against Flushing Gutters.” Los Angeles Times 14 July 1890: 3. Print.