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The majority of persons, if asked what were the uses of dust, would reply that they did not know it had any, but they were sure it was a great nuisance. It is true that dust, in our towns and in our houses is often not only a nuisance but a serious source of disease; while in many countries it produces ophthalmia, often resulting in total blindness. Dust, however, as it is usually perceived by us, is, like dirt, only matter in the wrong place, and whatever injurious or disagreeable effects it produces are largely due to our own dealings with nature. So soon as we dispense with horse-power and adopt purely mechanical means of traction and conveyance, we can almost wholly abolish disease-bearing dust from our streets, and ultimately from all our highways; while another kind of dust, that caused by the imperfect combustion of coal, may be got rid of with equal facility so [[p. 70]] soon as we consider pure air, sunlight, and natural beauty to be of more importance to the population as a whole than are the prejudices or the vested interests of those who produce the smoke.
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