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Thanks to everyone who attended our first ever webinar!

Video available on YouTube

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Quaranta Giorni was Hosted by

Peter Hilger, University of Minnesota

and Clifton Fordham, Temple University


Brian Bowen, Georgia Institute of Technology

Quaranta Giorni:  The Bubonic Plague in 14th C. Europe

& its effect on Construction

Betsy Frederick-Rothwell, University of Texas at Austin

The Underground Origins of Air Conditioning

Polly Root Sturgeon, Todd Tompson and Jennifer Lanman,

Indiana Geological and Water Survey, Indiana University

Building a Nation:  Indiana's Dimension Stone Legacy


More resources for further exploration:


Quaranta Giorni
There are several books on the Black Death – but none of them discuss the consequences on construction. The one I used for background is The Black Death, by Philip Ziegler (1969). If you want an excellent overview of the political, religious and economic background pertaining to this period, I recommend Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror.

Again there are many books about medieval construction. One of the best is The Medieval Mason, by Douglas Knoop and G.P.Jones, 3rd edition 1967. Also lots of books about the great cathedrals and some good videos on the subject at You Tube.


Air Conditioning

Gail Cooper: Air-Conditioning America:  Engineers and the Controlled Environment 1900-1960 Johns Hopkins University Press 

Robert Bruegmann, “Central Heating and Forced Ventilation: Origins and Effects on Architectural Design” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians37, no. 3 (Oct 1978): 143-160.

Marsha E. Ackerman, America's Romance with Air Conditioning (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002)


A few attendees had questions about plumbing and the sanitary movement. There are many good books on these, but here are a few: 

Martin Melosi, The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present (Johns Hopkins Univ Press, 2000)

Maureen Ogle, All the Modern Conveniences: American Household Plumbing, 1840-1890 (Johns Hopkins Univ Press,1996)

Nancy Tomes, The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in America Life (Harvard Univ Press, 1998)

Indiana Limestone

Building a Nation: Indiana Limestone

Photograph Collection

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