Story of the 1854 cholera outbreak in Soho and Dr John Snow to be told online for the first time

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By SohoLisa | Tuesday, August 09, 2011, 12:23

Documents held in the City of Westminster Archives Centre are to be collected together to tell the amazing story of how Dr John Snow and a vicar discovered the source of a fatal cholera outbreak in Soho.

The historically important documents will be woven together online to reveal the work of Dr John Snow and Reverend Henry Whitehard and tell the story of how these two men helped in combating ignorance surrounding the disease and saved many lives by identifying its source.

It was in 1854, that Dr John Snow concluded that the cause of the deadly cholera outbreak in Soho was infact due to the public water pump on Broad Street, Soho used for drinking water and not due to impure air as was previously thought.

It was with the help of the detailed parish records compiled and held by Reverend Whitehead, then vicar of St Luke's Church, in Berwick Street, which assisted Dr Snow in his search and the sealing of the pump, preventing further deaths.

With a grant of £47,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, this important and fascinating story will now be made available to all online and with the help of volunteers to assist in the mammoth task of digitising all the original documents, the work of Dr John Snow and Reverend Henry Whitehard will be accessible.

Adrian Autton, archives manager at the City of Westminster Archives Centre, said: "This exciting project allows people of all ages to learn more about how a breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of a terrible disease was made in the heart of Westminster by Dr John Snow, and the subsequent creation of a clean and safe water supply for the capital."



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