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Dr John Snow - removing the pump handle

60 second histories

This video covers:  The moment when John Snow presented findings to authorities and persuaded them to remove the handle from the water pump in Broad Street.

It was on the seventh of September eighteen fifty-four that I took my findings to the town officials. I wanted to convince them to remove the handle from the water pump in Broad Street thereby making it impossible to draw water. At first they did not believe me, but eventually they agreed to remove the handle from the pump for a trial period. When they did, almost immediately the number of new cases of cholera trickled to a stop and people who had left their homes and businesses area began to return. However, even with all this evidence, the town officials still doubted my findings and thought my hypothesis to be nonsense. They did nothing to clean up cesspools or sewers, the Board of Health even issued a report stating that they could see no reason to adopt my belief and fobbed me off stating that my evidence was nothing but mere suggestion! For months after this I continued to track every case of cholera from the eighteen fifty-four outbreak and traced almost all of them back to the Broad Street pump.
Medicine & Health
Victorian Reformers
Key people
Victorian Reformers
Medicine & health
Dr John Snow
Key words: 
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