technique, known as anesthesia, to deliver babies, he was also fascinated with doctors and scientists that cholera, a deadly disease, was spread when people The outbreak declined and shortly came to an end. Outbreaks were frequent, killing large numbers of people at a time… worst of all, scientists weren’t even sure how it spread. John Snow and the Broad Street Pump: On the Trail of an Epidemic Reprinted by permission of the author and Cricket Magazine, November 2003; text (c) 2003 by Kathleen Tuthill, artwork (c) 2003 by Carus Publishing Company. The aunt lived some distance from Soho, as did her niece, We’ll be meeting characters who shaped its identity, looking out for history hiding above our eyeline and revelling in the naughtiness of its past. Snow was able to prove that the cholera was not a problem in

He also studied samples of water from the pump and found white John Snow's pump (1854) John Snow’s name is inextricably linked with cholera and the story of his role in identifying it as a water-borne disease by studying an outbreak in Soho, London has gone down in the annals of medicine. A replica pump was installed in 1992 at the site of the 1854 pump. The unassuming pump that’s missing a handle (more on that later…) was reinstalled on Soho’s Broadwick Street on 20 July 2018. Snow wrote  “As soon as I became acquainted with the situation and extent of The unassuming pump that’s missing a handle (more on that later…) was reinstalled on Soho’s Broadwick Street on 20 July 2018. The officials were reluctant to believe him, but took The cases of two women, a niece and her aunt, who died of Cholera.

There’s something so satisfying about seeing happy – often oblivious – Londoners chugging back pints, leaning against a pump that over 100 years ago was at the centre of a liquid-based disease. At first, medical professionals and the public were reluctant to accept this notion. positive proof the pump was the source of the epidemic. health research in a field known as epidemiology.

A factory near the pump, at 37 Broad Street, wasn’t so the cause of cholera a step further when he isolated the bacterium Vibrio Little by little, people who had left their ended after cities finally improved water supply sanitation. Dr. It was later discovered that the source for the pump stood mere metres from a cesspit (that’s Victorian London for you) in which a contaminated nappy had been washed.

researching his theory on how cholera spread. victims drank water from the Broad Street pump. Your email address will not be published. This information in hand, he spoke to local officials and persuaded them to remove the handle from the pump so water could no longer be drawn from it. The mystery was cleared up when Did you conquer the world with your extra hour orr, Love from London Sadly no, but it has at least been restored. went to work to prove his theory that contaminated water was the cause of the child’s mother washed the baby’s diapers in water which she then dumped into a Street, whose child who had contracted cholera from some other source. published report confirms Snow’s findings. The pump – a replica of the long-removed original – was unveiled in 1992 to commemorate the work of Dr Snow. The proprietor of the brewery, Mr. day. This clock alon, Have you joined one of my virtual tours yet? In Snow’s own words  “Within 250 yards of the spot where Cambridge Street joins Broad Street there were upwards of 500 fatal attacks of cholera in 10 days…”. Reprinted by permission of the author and Cricket Behind Tate Modern are two incredible historic survivors. , Enjoying this post? In 1883 a German physician, Robert Koch, took the search for geographical grid to chart deaths from the outbreak and investigating each case St Mary Magdalene, East Ham | One of the Oldest Churches in London, Tate Winter Commission 2020: Chila Burman, Tower Subway | History of this Odd Brick Structure by the Tower of London, Bromley Hall | One of the Oldest Houses in London. Street pump. None of the men So I welcome back this important bit of Soho history, right outside the John Snow Pub. } people in Third World countries are still without clean water supplies today, from hospital and public records on when the outbreak began and whether the That brutal and often deadly disease, first reported in England in 1831, had London firmly in its grip in the 1850s.

British doctor John Snow couldn’t convince other By Kathleen Tuthill, Illustrated by Rupert 23-31, Nov. 2003. outbreak. world. and up to 85 percent of those people don’t live in areas with adequate sewage As was her He traced all the cholera patients, asking them if they had drunk water from the pump, creating a dot map to illustrate the cases in the area around the offending item.

modern toilets in their homes. Dr. In the middle 1800s, people didn’t have running water or

What he couldn’t prove was where the contamination came from in the }

London Walks Private London Tours Museum & Gallery Tours London Sightseeing Tours Corporate London Tours Treasure Hunts Contact Me London Blog Blue Badge Tour Guide T&Cs, • Katie | Blue Badge Tourist Guide • Private London Tours / Public Virtual Tours • Read History Blogs & Book Series 4 Virtual Tours here! They used town wells and communal pumps to get the It was in the midst of one particularly vicious outbreak in August and September of 1854 that a local scientist, John Snow (no, not the Game of Thrones hottie, focus people, focus) confirmed his suspicions that rather than spreading through the air and miasma, cholera in fact spread through water. death within hours after the first symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea. Water drawn from the

width:100%; } Suspecting that the local water pump sat at the heart of the outbreak, Snow set off to prove his theory. #fca_eoi_form_54185 .fca_eoi_layout_1.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper { treatment, making cholera outbreaks an ongoing concern in some parts of the into cesspools near town wells could contaminate the water supply, leading to a rapid @media screen and ( max-width: 100% ) { Any walk through Soho throws up all kinds of oddities, from noses plastered against the walls to the seedy sex shops.

pump, including a cabinetmaker who was passing through the area and children who Despite the evidence, it wasn’t for over another ten years that Snow’s theory was accepted by the medical establishment as fact. This too was slow to catch on though and eventually the frustrated Dr. convinced the Soho Parish Council to remove the pump’s handle preventing further use from the deadly pump. impossible to draw water. In the Broad The men who worked in a brewery on Broad Street which made He died after a severe stroke in 1858 at the age of 45.

He found several important examples. Why does the pump exist? No running water in homes meant cess pits in the streets, no clean water meant infection and disease was a ticking time bomb and Soho’s reckoning came with the 1854 Cholera epidemic. #fca_eoi_form_54185 .fca_eoi_layout_1.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_submit_button_wrapper { @media screen and ( max-width: 49% ) { According to Snow’s records, the keeper of one coffee shop in

In addition, plaques on the John Snow pub at the corner describe the sig… More importantly, what’s the story behind it (it’s London after all – everything has a story, if only you dig deep enough)? near Soho had 535 inmates but almost no cases of cholera. Broad Street area at one time and liked the taste of the water from the pump so began to return. Enter, John Snow. Because of his work Dr John Snow is today considered a pioneer of public health and the study of epidemics, with Cholera thankfully being something in London’s distant past. width:100%; “Within 250 yards of the spot where Cambridge Street joins sewage came from open sewers, drains underneath houses or businesses, public

The germ theory of diseasehad not yet been developed, so Snow did not understand the mechanism by which the disease was transmitted.