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Gossen, depiction in Lueger, Lexicon of All Technology 1904
Illustration of a gutter in the painting On the Street by Antoni Kozakiewicz , 1891/1892

The gutter is originally the walled, troughed sewer channel in the middle of the street in medieval towns. All forms of sewage were flushed out of the city using the gutter . This sewage caused unpleasant odors. With the advent of underground sewers (early 20th century), the gutters were removed.

In the past, the drainage channel next to the footpath on a street, a gutter or gully , possibly also a sink, was referred to as a gutter, according to Lueger in 1904: the “gutters, paved gutters 1–1.5 m wide, as used on streets where there is no space for side ditches (in localities with high-lying footpaths) [Fig. 1], in deep incisions with laterally limiting retaining walls [Fig. 2] ".

As Goss slot are niches where the designated on house facades, rainwater pipe is led from the roof to the street so that it does not occur before the building line and drained (earlier) directly to the gutter on the ground.


Colloquially, the gutter is the place where the homeless , petty criminals and neglected people gather. Someone is “at home in the gutter” or “comes out of the gutter”.

"We're all in the gutter, but some of us look at the stars."
Oscar Wilde : Lady Windermeres Fan , 3rd Act / Lord Darlington.

Web links

Wiktionary: Gosse  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Lueger, Lexicon of the entire technology and its auxiliary sciences, Vol. 4 Stuttgart, Leipzig 1906., p. 599.