Vol 61 No 2 2021 

Page 2

John Snow (1813-1858)

(Photo taken from Wikipedia

The causative organism

The causative organism of cholera was found in 1849 by the German microbiologist, Robert Koch (1843-1910) while he was investigating an outbreak of cholera in North Africa.

The Cholera in London, John Snow and the Great Stink 

A Cooke’s tour

By  Dr. Robin A. Cooke

Cholera History


Some historical photos taken over a number of years during visits to London.

John Snow plotted on this map the cases of cholera that were related to drinking water from the Broad St. pump. They were centered on Golden Square.

This technique for plotting cases of an epidemic became the model

for future generations of epidemiologists.

Golden Square in Soho, London on a beautiful sunny day.

A statue of King George 11 stands in the middle of the square.

A short walk of less than 100 metres leads to the John Snow pub and the site of the Broad St. pump.

The John Snow pub and the Broad St. pump. Black arrow points South to Golden Square. Red arrow points to the red brick curbing stone that marks the site of the pump.

A notice on the wall at the entrance to the John Snow pub.

Memorial plaque to John Snow on the wall

of the John Snow pub.

Left - red arrow – the red curbing stone. Right a village pump, similar to the Broad St. Pump, in the grounds of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. 

Acknowledgement: This account was abstracted from Wikipedia. Photographs taken by Dr. Robin A. Cooke.

Sequel to John Snow’s work





Joseph Bazalgette (1819-1891) A Memorial in the Victoria Embankment Gardens. 

(Photo from Wikipedia)

His plan was as follows:

The work began in 1859 and was completed in 1875.

Bazalgette’s plan for the sewerage system of London

Black arrow – Chelsea Embankment

Red arrow – Victoria Embankment

Green arrow – Albert Embankment

Yellow arrow – Abbey Mills Pumping Station

(photo from Wikipedia)

The Abbey Mills Pumping Stations.

Original Romanesque style one left.

A new one right opened in 1997.

These Pumping Stations are on the site of

of the 2012 London Olympics July-Aug. 2012.

(Photograph taken by Dr. Robin A Cooke in

March 2012).

The concept designed by Bazalgette for dealing with the sewage from big cities has been copied throughout the world. 

Epidemics of cholera still occur

The School of Tropical Medicine in Calcutta has a reference laboratory for tracking the organisms that cause epidemics in the region.

A lane that runs off  The Strand down towards the Victoria Embankment. It covers one of the original effluent drains. 

(Photograph taken by Dr. Robin A Cooke in 2015).

The Victoria Embankment viewed from Westminster Bridge.

(Photograph taken by Dr. Robin A Cooke on a bright sunny day in 2015)

Photograph taken by Dr. Robin A Cooke from the safety of a tourist bus in Calcutta in 1963. The monsoon had made the Hoogly River rise and flood the city. Human excreta was being dumped into the water.