'Fearing the Spread of the Cholera', 1840-1850.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Colour lithograph cartoon featuring a publican holding up a notice which reads 'Gin Drinkers Beware'. The implication here is that those who drank gin were more at risk of contracting cholera, and the publican is lamenting the potential los of his gin-drinking clientele. John Snow's (1813-1858) work was vital in establishing the water-borne nature of cholera which first appeared in Britain in 1831. Epidemics were exacerbated by rapid urbanisation and asociated poor public hygiene. Cholera hit both rich and poor, and public presure led to legislation which made dramatic improvements in all aspects of public health provision.