Question #148286. Asked by unclerick.
Last updated Feb 10 2021.
Originally posted Feb 09 2021 7:46 PM.
For much of the second half of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, ozone was considered a healthy component of the environment by naturalists and health-seekers. Beaumont, California had as its official slogan "Beaumont: Zone of Ozone", as evidenced on postcards and Chamber of Commerce letterhead. Naturalists working outdoors often considered the higher elevations beneficial because of their ozone content. "There is quite a different atmosphere [at higher elevation] with enough ozone to sustain the necessary energy [to work]", wrote naturalist Henry Henshaw, working in Hawaii. Seaside air was considered to be healthy because of its believed ozone content; but the smell giving rise to this belief is in fact that of halogenated seaweed metabolites.
Much of ozone's appeal seems to have resulted from its "fresh" smell, which evoked associations with purifying properties.