Broad Street pump

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Broad Street pump2016-12-27T14:53:00+00:00
Broad Street pump image from New Medical Terms

Broad Street pump, London

Broad Street pump


A pump used to draw drinking water from the Thames in the London cholera epidemic of 1854.

Dr John Snow painstakingly tracked down the cases of cholera and found that evidence pointed to the Broad-Street–pump, which drew its water downstream from raw human sewage; Dr Snow convinced the local council to disable the pump, virtually eliminating the epidemic.

The phrase, “to remove the Broad Street pump handle” is to identify the cause of something, and take action for the common good NEJM 1993; 329:1807ed 


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