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About John Snow: Images

Images related to the life and work of John Snow are currently presented alphabetically by title. The sort order will soon be changed so images are presented chronologically.

Baptismal record for John Snow, 15 March 1813; City of York.

Courtesy of the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, University of York, via Howard Brody.
Y929.3 York. All Saints. North Street Baptisms 1813-1852, 1. Mr. Brown was Curate at All Saints North Street in 1797, Rector from 1798-1817.

Newcastle from Westgate Hill.

Original in possession of Gerard Hunwick, and posted with his permission.
William Westall, artist. Printed in Great Britain Illustrated (1830). William Hardcastle, Snow's principal during his apprenticeship from 1827 to 1833, had a house and surgery in one of the buildings across from the church depicted in the center of the illustration.

Westminster Hospital and Abbey, circa 1838.


Photograph courtesy of David Zuck.

Snow completed the hospitalization portion of his certifications as surgeon and apothecary at Westminster Hospital in 1837-38.

Map detail depicting Westminster Hospital and Abbey


Modification of a detail from "an outline plan of London" inserted in the Lancet 1 (24 September 1836) number; this map depicted locations of medical schools and major metropolitan hospitals. Most of the map is reproduced, with an added table of contents, in the Online Companion portion of the web site.

Jeffreys' Humidifier, 1842.


Adapted from LMG 29 (1841-42): 821-22.

Snow had used a humidifier, designed by Julius Jeffreys to warm and humidify inspired air, in his clinical practice. In January 1847 Snow designed an ether vaporizer in which the volute and ether chamber were modeled on Jeffreys' construction.

For interpretations of Jeffreys' work, including its significance for Snow, see Zuck (June 1990) and (October 1991), and Vinten-Johansen and Zuck (2013).

Snow demonstrates prototype ether vaporizer.


Westminster Medical Society, evening of 23 January 1847.

Illustration adapted from an engraving published in the Lancet 1 (30 January 1847): 121.

Snow first use of this inhaler in a surgical operation was at St. George's Hospital on Thursday, 28 January 1847.

Snow's first modifications to his ether vaporizer.


Daniel Ferguson, the instrument maker who had constructed the prototype vaporizer, made modifications at Snow's request. Snow first exhibited this version of his vaporizer at St. George's Hospital on Thursday, 4 February 1847, during three surgical operations.

Illustration adapted from an engraving in the London Medical Gazette 39 (19 March 1847): 501.

For interpretation of Snow's ether vaporizers, see Vinten-Johansen and Zuck (2013).

Snow's ultimate face mask for inhalation anaesthesia, introduced on 10 June 1847.

Adapted from the illustration on p. 19 of Snow's monograph on ether inhalation. The caption reads, "The dotted lines indicate the position of the expiratory valve when turned aside for the admission of unvaporized air."

Snow's ultimate ether vaporizer

Adapted from an illustration on p. 17 of Snow's monograph on ether inhalation. Although the preface is dated September 1847, this version of his ether apparatus (labelled Mark IV by Richard Ellis) was "the form in which I have used it for the last three months" (16).

Death Certificate, John Snow, 16 June 1858; London.

Courtesy of the Family Research Center, London, via Betty Vinten-Johansen.

15 March 2013--the bicentenary of Snow's birthday

Wreaths were laid by William Harrop-Griffith (left), President of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, and Adrian Padfield (right), Past President of the History of Anaesthesia Society.

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