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New ‘cholera outbreak’ water pump is unveiled outside John Snow pub

Pump marks spot Snow discovered cholera travelled by water rather than air

27 July, 2018 — By Tom Foot

The unveiling 

A REFURBISHED replica of the infamous John Snow pump was unveiled outside a pub in Broadwick Street, Soho.

The original pump was the source of a deadly cholera epidemic that claimed the lives of more than 600 people in Soho in 1854.

The pump was named after the scientist who mapped cases of the illness and pinpointed the source to the pump. Previously it was thought that cholera spread through the dirty air. Dr Snow ordered the pump’s handle to be removed and it stopped the outbreak.

Oliver Cumming, co-chair of the John Snow Society, said: “We are delighted that after an absence of several years, the replica pump that marks the source of the 1854 Soho cholera outbreak is now returning to its true historical site outside the John Snow pub in Broadwick Street. The replica pump marks a seminal event in global public health history.”

The replica pump, which was originally installed in 1992 was removed in 2015 due to development in the area.

The council’s planning chief Richard Beddoe said: “John Snow’s ingenious research saved hundreds of lives. The pump serves as a reminder of our fascinating past and the debt we owe doctors and scientists like John Snow.”

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