New York City (NYC)
Cholera Epidemic of 1854
In 1854, cholera reemerged in New York City (NYC), once again reaching epidemic proportions and killing approximately 2000 people. In the same year, a British physician, Dr. John Snow, discovered the correlation between contaminated water and cholera. He was able to trace victims all the way back to a public pump in England, on Broad Street (now Broadwick) which they all used, before contracting cholera. An infected baby's diaper was also discovered in a cesspool near the well from which the pump drew water.
Dr. John Snow's discovery finally confirmed the source of cholera outbreaks that plagued NYC for so long. However, access to fresh water would not be made available to the poor, until the completion of the new Croton Aqueduct system in 1890. Although the Old Croton Aqueduct had been in service since 1842, the water supply only reached about 6,000 families, most of whom were well off and healthy.
Visit Additional Major NYC Epidemics:
Yellow Fever (1785-1804) Cholera Outbreak (1832) Cholera Outbreak (1849) Cholera Outbreak (1866)