The Broad Street Pump had a long reputation of being a reliable source of clean well water. It extended 25 feet below the surface of the street, passing the layers of accumulated rubbish and debris that artificially elevated most of London. It stretched through a bed of gravel all the way to Hyde Park, down […]

Although he had no formal medical education, the epidemiology of cholera intrigued Reverend Whitehead. So who was this religious leader and how did he get interested in cholera? [SOURCE] REVEREND WHITEHEAD Reverend Henry Whitehead (1825-96), shown here in 1884 at age 59, was born on September 22,1825 in the seaside town of Ramsgate (middle center […]

It is 1854 Victorian London and it stinks. Scavengers lived in a world of excrement and death. Unorganized, independent scavengers referred to as bone-pickers, rag-gathers, pure-finders, dredgermen, mud-larks, sewer-hunters, dustmen, night-soil men, bunters, toshers and shoreman spread out in the London nights in search of organic materials to use to make money or for trade. “Pure” […]

I have now finished reading Steven B. Johnson’s riveting book, The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. This has been a labor of love for me since I have known the story (or at least some of it), about the 1854 cholera epidemic in London, […]

Personal Note: As many of you know, I was a History major as an undergraduate in college. I started in Computer Science (thus the minor degree), but began to love history because of the influence of my Freshman History Survey course and its amazing teacher, Dr. Bruce E. Seely. His focus was history of technology. […]

As I near completion of Steven Johnson’s thrilling book, The Ghost Map, I thought I would pause and celebrate the 200th birthday of Dr. John Snow, who created the now famous map that helped identify the cause of the 1854 cholera epidemic in London. I am hoping next weekend to start my multi-part series about […]

One of my favorite data visualizations of all time is John Snow’s “Ghost Map” that helped identify the cause of the 1854 London cholera epidemic. I am currently reading Steven Johnson’s exciting book on this tragic chapter in London’s history. The book is titled The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – […]