August 8, 1908: Engineering Record article. A Bacteriological Method of Determining the Efficiency of Street Cleaning. “The Department of Street Cleaning of the City of New York is at present experimenting with a combined street flushing and cleaning machine in the Borough of Manhattan, and in order to determine its efficiency, series of bacteriological experiments have been made to learn the condition of the pavement, both before and after cleaning. The machine, which was described in The Engineering Record of June 27, 1908, is called the “Squeegee” and consists of a water tank with sprinkling pipes, back of which is a revolving drum, wound with stiff strips of rubber. The work of the machine has been under careful observation by an officer of the department since the beginning of June, but besides his report as to its efficiency, it was desired to know by some other means just what the machine was doing. The department, therefore, decided to expose bacterial cultures in the street both before and after the machine had done its work.”
Commentary: Public health experts were finding lots of new ways to exploit the growing field of bacteriology so that they could measure the efficiencies of their methods.