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Dr John Snow - gathering evidence

60 second histories

This video covers:  How John Snow proved his theory of the spread of Cholera. 

I suspected that those who lived and worked near the Broad Street pump were most likely to use it and thus, contract Cholera. My research paid off. By using a geographical grid to chart the deaths from the outbreak, and by investigating each case in turn to determine their access to the pump’s water, I developed what I believed to be positive proof that the pump was indeed the source of the cholera epidemic. Besides those who lived near the pump I also tracked down hundreds of cases of cholera to nearby schools, restaurants, businesses and pubs. One keeper of a coffee shop in the neighbourhood served glasses of water from the Broad Street pump with meals, and she reported that she knew of nine of her customers who had contracted Cholera. There is also a popular bubbly drink called sherbet; you mix a spoonful of sherbet powder with water and it fizzes as you drink it. Many people in the Broad Street area were using water from the pump to drink sherbet and it was this, together with all the other evidence I collected, that convinced me the pump was the source of the cholera.
Medicine & Health
Victorian Reformers
Key people
Victorian Reformers
Medicine & health
Dr John Snow
Key words: 
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