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Dr John Snow - unravelling a mystery

60 second histories

This video covers:  John Snow's continuing investigation into the cause of Cholera.

One case that particularly puzzled me was that of an aunt and her niece who died from the cholera. They lived some distance from Soho and I could not make a connection between them and the pump, however the mystery was cleared up when I spoke to the woman’s son. He informed me that his mother had once lived in the Broad Street and liked the taste of the water so much that she had bottles of water from the pump delivered to her regularly. Water drawn on the thirty-first of August, the day of the outbreak, had been delivered to her. As was her custom, she and her visiting niece took a glass of pump water for refreshment and accordingly she and her niece died of the cholera the following day. I was therefore able to prove that cholera was not a problem in Soho except among people who were in the habit of drinking water from the Broad Street pump. One day I found white flecks floating in a sample of pump water I had taken. It was this I believed to be the source of the contamination.
Medicine & Health
Victorian Reformers
Key people
Victorian Reformers
Medicine & health
Dr John Snow
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