The Great Stink of 1858

There was once an unfortunate event called the Great Stink. It took place in Central London during the summer of 1858 when the sweltering heat magnified the odors of untreated human waste on the banks of the River Thames. This river became a cesspool after years of a poorly functioning sewer system that dumped directly into it.  A popular article about the event in the City Press stated that "Gentility of speech is at an end—it stinks, and whoso once inhales the stink can never forget it and can count himself lucky if he lives to remember it".

Punch Magazine, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons