An aerial view of the High Street, looking south from Rottenrow, 1900. The view was reproduced as a postcard, which is also available on this website.
Glasgow's population rose from 77,000 to 762,000 during the 19th century, creating considerable housing problems. In the old city centre the demand for more houses often led property owners to build over the traditional long gardens behind the existing small houses. This led to a jumble of three, four, or even five story tenements divided by passages or closes so narrow that legend has it that neighbours could shake hands across them. The resulting unsanitary and polluted living conditions led to regular and devastating outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Reference: Glasgow University Archive Services, PHU64/64
University of Glasgow
atmospheric pollution, overcrowding, panoramas, slums, tenements