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Germany in the Loud Twentieth CenturyAn Introduction$
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Florence Feiereisen and Alexandra Merley Hill

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199759392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199759392.001.0001

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Escaping the Urban Din

Escaping the Urban Din

A Comparative Study of Theodor Lessing’s Antilärmverein (1908) and Maximilian Negwer’s Ohropax (1908)

(p.19) Chapter 1 Escaping the Urban Din
Germany in the Loud Twentieth Century

John Goodyear

Oxford University Press

At the outset of the twentieth century, the new noisy urban soundscape was a source of fascination and frustration. For the frustrated, for those attempting to escape the urban din, help would soon be at hand. Two men embarked on novel projects in 1908 to bring peace and quiet to the noisy urban world. Theodor Lessing’s Antilärmverein, a socio-political initiative to fight noise, would be short-lived, lasting just three years; yet Maximilian Negwer’s Ohropax earplugs would stand the test of time and offer relief to those frustrated by noise right into the twenty-first century. This social historical study compares the two initiatives, their strategies, their approaches, and establishes why Lessing failed and Negwer succeeded.

Keywords:   Theodor Lessing, Maximilian Negwer, Ohropax, earplugs, urban noise

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