This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
During the winter of 1874-5, a large number of valuable plants were destroyed or damaged by gas in the greenhouse of Taplin & Davis of this city. A gas main leaked in a sewer, which communicated by a tile-drain with the greenhouse. The presence of the escaping gas was detected by the smell and by the drooping and withering of the plants; and the Gas Company were notified to take immediate steps for preventing further damage. They were unable to find or to stop the leak until after extensive damage had been done. Taplin & Davis then sued the Gas Company for damages, and after some litigation the matter was decided by arbitration, and the plaintiffs were awarded $2,900. The sum was not the full value of the plants destroyed or damaged, as it was considered by experts that many of them would recover from the effects of the gas.
[We are very glad to learn that T. & Co. recovered something. They were more fortunate than some Philadelphia florists who were awarded nothing in similar suits.
If one looks at men laying these pipes, it is only a wonder more damage does not occur. The pipes are. covered before they are tested, and if the gas leaks nobody cares. Philadelphia loses largely in the item " leakage," as seen in the annual reports of the gas companies; and when we see beautiful shade trees killed, as we often do, we think it a pity she does not lose more. - Ed. G. M.]