John Snow (1813–1858) is revered as a founding father of two medical disciplines. Anesthesiologists remember him as the physician who first made anesthesia scientific by showing how the human body responded to different doses of anesthetic drugs, and how anesthesia affected the human physiology. In addition, Snow the practicing anesthetist is widely known for the […]

Description and Significance Vibrio cholerae is a “comma” shaped Gram-negative bacteria with a single, polar flagellum for movement. There are numerous strains of V. cholerae, some of which are pathogenic and some of which are not. [SOURCE] The bacteria infects the intestine and increases mucous production causing diarrhea and vomiting which result in extreme dehydration […]

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, […]

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 […]