Noise has been with us since the Garden of Eden. We can imagine Eve poking Adam in his remaining ribs to tell him to stop snoring. As populations increased, however, it became less easy to find and correct the sources of noise. In ancient Rome and Greece, urban noise probably matched the noise of the modern city. Certainly, steel-tired wheels smashed over rough cobblestones, drivers cracked whips and shouted, children screamed, roving street hawkers sang and shouted their wares, and housewives nagged their husbands; but nobody did anything about it. In fact, noise was probably considered a sign of health and prosperity, as compared to the subdued times of pestilence and famine. Noise in the United States became a political issue 40 years ago when the City of New York established a Noise Commission. The thrust of this Commission's work was halted by the depression of the 1930's and World War II. Since that time, New York and other cities have primarily written noise codes dealing only with the use of automobile horns and the intrusion of factory noise into neighborhoods. Today, the real culprits of noise in communities are surface and air transportation. Yet no effective control of motor vehicles and aircraft noise exists, partly because federal courts have ruled that automobiles, trains, trucks, and aircraft are interstate and, hence, are not subject to local regulation. On the other hand, until recently, federal regulatory agencies have dodged the issue, ostensibly on the basis that Congress had not explicitly given them the authority to establish acceptable noise limits or the funds to enforce the regulations.

  • Corporate Authors:

    American Society of Mechanical Engineers

    Two Park Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10016-5990
  • Authors:
    • Beranek, L L
  • Publication Date: 1969

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00261108
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Paper 69-WA Conf Paper
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 22 1974 12:00AM