1902 Encyclopedia > Paris > Cemeteries. Fire Brigade. Military Organisation. Food Supply.

(Part 16)

Cemeteries. Fire Brigade. Military Organisation. Food Supply.

Cemeteries. – A corpse cannot be buried in Paris without a certificate from a medical man who has ascertained that death has really taken place; and at least twenty-four hours must be allowed to elapse. In most cases (30,825 out of 57,871) the families are too poor to pay any funeral expenses, and the body is consequently buried free of charge. Other interments are divided into nine classes, the cost of which ranges from 15s. to 287 pounds, without counting secondary and religious expenses. There are twenty cemeteries in Paris or outside the gates. Pere la Chaise, the most extensive, contains 106 _ acres; it is there that the most illustrious personages are generally buried. In 1882 the number of interments was no less than 3043 (all permanent). Montmartre, or the Northern Cemetery (26 acres), received 970 (all permanent); Montparnasse, or the Southern Cemetery (46 acres), 1945 (10 being temporary). The two cemeteries of St Ouen (61 acres) received 12,462 gratuitous and 5761 temporary interments, but only 10 permanent; and the two cemeteries at Ivry (69 acres) 20,380 gratuitous interments and 7038 temporary. It is towards St Ouen and Ivry that most of the funerals now make their way and those graveyards, though but recently formed, will before long prove insufficient. The other Paris cemeteries, are due to the incorporation of the suburban communes in 1860. The little graveyard at Picpus is the property of a few families. Old cemeteries, long ago abandoned, in the heart of the city have gradually been built over. The bones found on breaking up the ground are collected in the ossuary of the Catacombs at Montrouge. The Catacombs are ancient quarries extending under a great part of the city south of the Seine; they are subjected to continual inspections and shoring up to prevent subsidences such as have taken place on several occasions.

Fires. – The fire brigade has a military organization, and consists of 1742 officers and men. On 31st December 1882 they had at their disposal 1678 fire-plugs. In the course of that year they extinguished 982 fires (127 in January, the maximum; 55 in September , the minimum) and 1656 burning vents; and there were 72 false alarms. They used 1778 fire-engines, 139 of them worked by steam. Eight individuals perished in the conflagrations; 55 were saved by the firemen. Only 19 of the fires were serious. In 703 cases the damage was less than 40 pounds. The total loss for the year was 309,200 pounds. the most frequent cause of fires was some defect in the buildings (157 cases); lights ranked next (142 cases), and the falling of petroleum or naphtha lamps accounted for 84.

Military. – Paris is the seat of a military government, whose commandant has under him all the troops stationed in the departments of Seine and Seine-et-Oise. The soldiers recruited in the two departments are distributed among the 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th corps d;armee, whose headquarters are at Amiens, Rouen, La Mans, and Orleans. The principal barracks, belonging to the state in Paris are those of the military school of Prince Eugene and Napoleon; the town possesses the barracks of the republican guard, the gendarmes, and the firemen in different quarters. The most important are those of La Cite, to which the prefecture of police was transferred after the destruction of its former buildings by fire in 1871. Besides the war office and the hospitals named above, the main establishments comprise the depot of the fortifications, the central artillery depot with the workshops of St Thomas d’Aquin, and the depot of the commissariat department.

Food Supply. – The following table (VI.) shows the annual average of food consumed per head of the inhabitants of Paris:-


The average annual consumption of bread is 349.46 pounds per head. Wholesale merchandise in food stuffs, though legal in all the market-places of Paris, is, as a matter of fact, concentrated in the central markets (halles centrals), with the exception of the butcher-meat trade, which is carried on by public auction or private sale both in the central markets and the slaughter-houses. The central markets comprise ten elegant "pavilions" of iron and glass, each about _ acre, and separated from each other by streets which are for the most part covered. Dealers from the neighborhood of Paris took to these markets, in 1882, 80,472 vehicles loaded with fruit, 723,257 with vegetables, 39,740 with potatoes, and 37,584 with pease and beans. These are entered as market-garden produce. There was also sold wholesale in the pavilions 1506 tons of "choice" fruits and vegetables, 6896 of "fine" fruits and vegetables, 6903 of ordinary vegetables, 4837 of cresses, 321,047,149 eggs (at an average price of 51s. per thousand), 192,629" hundreds" of oysters, 21,144 tons of fish, 5746 tons of shell-fish, 6167 tons of "new" cheese, 697 tons of dry cheese, 12,419 tons of butter, 21,931 tons of poultry and game (comprising 6,454,876 fowls, 3,102,269 rabbits, 2,819,083 pigeon, 1,936,560 larks,, &c., at an average price of 10 _ d. per lb), 33,086 tons of beef, veal, mutton and pork,-these last figures including butcher meat sold by public auction in the market of the La Villete slaughter-house. Through the same market there passed to the shambles in 1882 354,277 oxen, cows, and bulls, 199,416 calves, 2,054,680 sheep, 315,306 pigs. This cattle-market, connected with the Chemin de Fer de Ceinture so that the trains bring the cattle trucks right into the market, occupies with its slaughter-houses an area of 111 acres. The places of sale (pavillons de vente) are capable of containing 4600 horned cattle, 22,000 sheep, 7000 pigs, 4000 calves. Hored cattle are liable to an entry fee of 3 francs, calves and pigs 1 franc, sheep 0.30 franc. Animals not sold are kept in sheds, cattle paying _ franc per night, and the others in proportion. The slaughter-houses can accommodate 1200 butchers, and contain at tallow-melting house (fondoir). Most of the cattle come from Maine-et-Loire, Nievre, Calvados; sheep from Seine-et-Oise, Seine-et-Maren, Cote d’Or, Nord, Aisne, Allier, Indre, Cher; calves from Seine-et-Marne, Eure-et-Loir, Loiret, Nord, Aube, pigs from Sarthe, Allier, Creuse Indre-et-Loiure, and Maine-et-Loire. Foreign countries also contribute to the supply, especially of sheep. Germany in 1882 576,563, Austria Hungary 352,376, Russia 156,005, Algeria 38,172, and Italy 37,694. Beside the Halles Centrales is the Halle aux Bles or corn-market. A certain number of full sacks are stored under the cupola (which, architecturally considered, is a bold and striking design), but the whole of this class of goods arriving at Paris does not necessarily pass through the building. Brought by boat or rail, they are either stored at the stations or taken directly to the bakers, the general warehouses, or the military stores. In 1881 71,961 tons of grain and 208,374 tons of flour reached the city.

The consumption of wine has not increased in Paris during the last decade, allowance being made for the growth of the population. For 1872 the figures were 85,322 gallons of wine in cask and 404,272 gallons in bottle; for 1880, 92,840,374 in cask and 428,450 in tattle, but the average consumption of spirits (1,312,498 in 1872, 2,907,190 in 1880) had doubled in the interval. More than the half of the wines and spirits consumed in Paris pass through the entrepots of Bercy, Quai St Bernard, or Pont de Flandre. To these great markets must be added the market for skins and hides (which , according to the latest returns – taken, however, in 1872-did business to the amount of 880,000 pounds), the horse-market (414,200 pounds), charcoal-markets on the boats along the Seine (180,000 pounds) flower-markets (80,000 pounds), and the markets for folder, dogs, birds, &c. The Marche du Temple, rebuilt about 1864, is devoted to the sale of old clothes and second-hand articles of all sorts. All the market-houses and market-places are placed under the double supervision of the prefect of Seine and the prefect of police. The former official has to do with the authorization, removal, suppression, and holding of the markets, the fixing and collecting of the dues, the choice of sites, the erection and maintenance of buildings, and the locating of vehicles. The latter maintains order, keeps the roads clear, and watches against fraud. A municipal laboratory has recently been established, where any purchaser can have the provisions he has bought analyzed, and can obtain precise information as to their quality. Spoiled provisions are seized by the agents of the prefecture; in 1880 458 tons of butcher meat, 123 tons of horse flesh, 52 tons of truipe, fish, vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, &c., were seized in this way.

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