'Cholera Preventive Costume', March 1832.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 26cm x 32cm

'Cholera Preventive Costume', March 1832.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Coloured lithograph published by T McClean during a cholera epidemic and showing a caricature of man wearing a bulky costume made of useles preventatives, including India rubber, a face mask and juniper berries. The satirical commentary below also recommends the dragging of a small cart containing further items and concludes that 'by exactly following these directions you may be certain that the cholera...will attack you the first'. Cholera first appeared in Britain in 1831, and its relationship with poor public hygiene and contaminated water supply was not understood until this was established by John Snow (1813-1858). Snow's work led to legislation paving the way for dramatic improvements in all aspects of public health provision.

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