Article from the London Illustrated News on Cholera, paper, 1849. London Metropolitan Archives
The ever-expanding public press gave medical professionals and public alike a forum to discuss and promote opinion, inventions and cures. This letter from Dr Arnott explains his Ventilating Chimney Valve for eliminating impure air. This device was advised for the 'dwellers of crowded, ill-ventilated rooms and foul neighbourhoods [where] poison of the human breath and other emanations from living bodies are allowed to mingle in considerable quantity [with] the poison arising from bad drains, or want of drains.' The installation of this chimney valve near the ceiling would draw away the 'foul air' that was thought to 'rise, stagnate and gradually corrupt there.'
It was very mortifying to persons interested in the welfare of the neighbourhood to see papers teeming with letters describing whole streets as having hundreds dead in them, at a time when the deaths in each street were really no more than one or two a day; and equally unsatisfactory was it to hear of employers refusing work to the inhabitants, long after the disease had disappeared – as if too, a coat or a pair of boots would carry it into a shop, when scores of dead and dying failed to infect the hospitals and the workhouse.
—Henry Whitehead, The Cholera in Berwick Street, 1854. p.17