Introduction

There’s a lot of history here.

Soho, Greater London

July 1986

Detail, London Street Finder, 17; location of the John Snow Public House in green. [Full page in Supplemental Images.]

Detail, London Street Finder, 17; location of the John Snow Public House in green [full page in Supplemental Images}.

My befuddlement was all too obvious.

A woman emerged from the front door of the John Snow Pub. Need some help, dear?

Well, yes. Can’t locate the curbstone commemorating the Broad Street pump.

Carry on a few more yards down Broadwick. It’s pink. A very light pink, mind you. Directly in front of the side door to the pub. Easy to miss, but there’s a lot of history here.

Yes, there certainly is. Thanks.

The woman re-entered the pub. I followed her directions to a nondescript granite curbstone, looked at if awhile, then resumed my walk northwest toward the Tube station at Oxford Circus.

*  *  *

What had happened near the corner of Broadwick and Lexington to make the owners of a public house in London’s West End decide it was advantageous to rename it after a man who had long advocated teetotalism?

Two American journalists think they have the answer.

To continue, [click here].

Portions of the Introduction first appeared in a blog essay (March 2013), “In Fairness to Snow,” since revised and posted on the John Snow Archive & Research Companion.

Detail from map #1 in John Snow, MCC2 (1855).

Detail from map #1 in John Snow, MCC2 (1855).

(Photograph  by Nigel Paneth)

(Photograph
by Nigel Paneth)

(Photograph by Nigel Paneth)

(Photograph by Nigel Paneth)