The War Against Noise

Despite doomed patrician attempts to shut it out, noise can never entirely be avoided — and a level of ‘social noise’ is part of convivial life.

Hugo Gernsbach is pictured wearing what he called his ‘isolator’, an invention that kills noise, in July 1925. (Photo by Bettmann / Contributor)

By the brink of autumn in 1853, the Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle was nearing the end of his tether. ‘All summer I have been more or less annoyed with noises’, he wrote to his sister that August. There were next door’s chickens — those ‘demon fowls’ squawking at all hours. There was the neighbour on the […]

Sorry, but this article is available to subscribers only. Please log in or become a subscriber.