Coloured etching (with text) by George Cruikshank (1792-1878) showing the water source of the Southwark Water Works and satirising the quality of Thames water. By the 1830s public concern at the quality of London's water supply was growing. In 1831 and 1832, the city suffered its first cholera outbreaks, although at the time the connection between the disease and a contaminated water supply was not realised. After a period spent illustrating children's books and songs, George Cruikshank made his name as a political caricaturist with 'The Scourge' (1811-1816) and 'The Meteor' (1813-1814). He went on to become one of the most well-known caricaturists of his age, and on his death was buried in St Paul's Cathedral, London. Etching published by S Knight, London.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library