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08 November 2011

The Great Stink

While trying to eliminate the stench of open sewers, a daring engineering project eliminated cholera instead.

While on a recent trip to the UK I had to travel over the Hammersmith bridge a couple of times a week.  This bridge crossing the Thames in west London was designed by a man named Joseph Bazalgette, and like many examples of Victorian construction, it's not only practical, but also lovely to look at. 

In the year 1832 a raging cholera outbreak left approximately 60 000 people dead, followed by additional epidemics in 1848, 1854 and 1867.  Initially the movers and shakers of British health policy weren't too concerned as cholera was believed to be a 'disease of the poor' and, in Victorian times, being poor was considered an actual station in life.

 
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