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The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes. T S Eliot, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, 1917
Many pilots report encountering a bizarre phenomenon known as electronic fog just before they disappear in the Triangle. Mysteryquest s1e2: Devil’s Triangle, History 2009
Under the thinning fog the surf curled and creamed, almost without sound, like a thought trying to form itself on the edge of consciousness. Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air. William Shakespeare, Macbeth I I 12-13
The city overwhelmed our expectations. The Kiplingesque grandeur of Waterloo Station, the Eliotic despondency of the brick row in Chelsea, the Dickensian nightmare of fog and sweating pavement and besmirched cornices. John Updike, New Yorker December 1962
Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little ’prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds. Charles Dickens, Bleak House
This is a London particular ... a fog, miss. ibid.
1952 Smog: Over Four thousand people were dead, and hundreds of thousands more had been hospitalised. The cause of the catastrophe was this: coal. In the winter of 1952 for the first time in years we were burning astronomical amounts of the stuff. Iain Stewart, Planet Oil: The Treasure That Conquered the World II, BBC 2015
Fog is just a cloud that’s in contact with the ground. Wild Weather with Richard Hammond: Temperature – the Driving Force, BBC 2014
In the early twentieth century, in the age before smokeless fuel, London was often shrouded in fog known as Pea Soupers. The River Thames: Then & Now, Channel 5 2020
In December 1952 one of the deadliest peacetime tragedies in history struck London. Over four days a stinking yellow smog smothered the city, so dense people couldn’t see their hands in front of their faces. The capital ground to a halt. But far worse, the smog was loaded with poisonous gases, and there would be devastating consequences. The Great Smog I: Winter of ’52 aka The Great Killer Smog, Channel 5 2022
At the time the official deathtoll was 4,000. But as we’ll discover, the real figure was much much greater. ibid.
It was seen by the government as the price Britain had to pay. ibid.
It was by far the worst disaster that Britain would face since The Blitz. ibid.
In 1952 eight and half million people lived in Greater London. Only about a million fewer than today. 98% of them still lived in houses with coal fires. ibid.
It was close to freezing so millions of coal fires had been lit across the capital. Commuters noticed that the fog was starting to turn yellowy-green. ibid.
In 1952 there were nine coal-fired power stations in London. ibid.
Coughing, they brought up glutinous black phlegm. ibid.
There was no mention that the smog may be dangerous, and no warnings were issued by the government. ibid.
The city fell silent. Thousands became sick. Hospitals were at breaking point. And the government attempted to hide its failings. The Great Smog: Winter of ’52 II
And they began to overwhelm the NHS. Wards became full, so hundreds of dangerously ill patients had to be transferred to other hospitals. ibid.
Londoners were developing a fierce, burning pain in their throats and lungs as they became inflamed by the sulphuric acid. Breathing became a problem. ibid.