After all his work, John Snow realized that the Broad Street water pump was responsible for the cholera epidemic of 1854. He lobbied the local government to remove the pump handle, and there was no further outbreak of disease. The Broad Street pump handle symbolizes Victorian England’s alarming ignorance of health and sanitation, as well as the danger lurking beneath the façade of civilization.
The Pump Handle Quotes in The Ghost Map
Snow's argument was persuasive—and, besides, they had few other options. If Snow was wrong, the neighborhood might go thirsty for a few weeks. If he was right, who knew how many lives they might save? And so, after a quick internal consultation, the Board voted that the Broad Street well should be closed down.