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Posted by Richard Conniff on June 6, 2020

In my latest book, Ending Epidemics: A History of Escape from Contagion, due out in April 2023, I promised to supply more detailed endnotes on line. I’m up to chapter 11, and continuing to add. Here’s what I’ve got so far, with URLs where possible:


p. ix

“Some crematories”: A. Feuer and W.K. Rashbaum. “‘We Ran Out of Space’: Bodies Pile Up as N.Y. Struggles to Bury Its Dead,” The New York Times, April 2, 2020. The version I quote was an early draft. Final version accessed on September 23, 2020:

p. ix-x

“Polio, for instance”:  S.W. Roush and T.V. Murphy, “Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States,” JAMA 298, no. 18 (2007): 2155–2163, DOI: 10.1001/jama.298.18.2155 .  See also CDC Global Health – Polio – Our Progress. (2017, November 03).

“Smallpox still infected“: S. Ochmann and M. Roser. “Smallpox,” Published online at (2018): [Online Resource]

“Measles killed”: Roush and Murphy, “Historical Comparisons.”

“Worldwide life expectancy”: Max Roser, Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Hannah Ritchie (2013) – “Life Expectancy”. Published online at Retrieved from:

“Rubella in the 1960s”:

p. xi

Diphtheria “killed more than three thousand”: Roush & Murphy “Historical Comparisons.”

“Winston Churchill”:  W. Churchill, Europe Unite: Speeches, 1947 and 1948 (Boston: Cassell, 1950), 138.

p. xiii

“During an 1835 autopsy”: J. Paget, Memoirs and Letters of James Paget, ed. S. Paget (London: Longmans, Green, 1901), 55.


p. 1

“He lost two infant siblings”: C. Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and His “Little Animals” (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1932), 28–37; L. Robertson et al. (2016) Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek: Master of the Minuscule. Brill: 21-30.

“Delft merchants”:  S.R. Bown (2010) Merchant Kings: When Companies Ruled the World, 1600-1900, New York, NY: Macmillan, 16.

“It’s a measure”: Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek,  35-36

p. 2

“An ordinary shopkeeper”: Robertson et al., Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, 7-9, and Pers. Comm. Lesley Robertson; Dobell (1932), 31, 37.

“By the means of Telescopes”: R. Hooke (1665) Micrographia.
London, UK: James Allestry, Preface.

p. 3

“The most ingenious book”:  S. Pepys (1893). The Diary of Samuel Pepys (HB Wheatley, Ed.). London, UK: George Bell, v. iv, 338.

“A small white spot”: Hooke Micrographia: 125-6.

p. 4

leeuwenhoek-microscipe-w-labels“Coarse matting … different ways”: Hooke Micrographia: Preface.

“Weakness … Tripoli buffing compound”: Hooke Micrographia: Preface.

“Leeuwenhoek made hundreds”: H. Zuidervaart and M. Rijks. “‘Most Rare Workmen’: Optical Practitioners in Early Seventeenth-Century Delft,” The British Journal for the History of Science (2015) 48(1), pp. 53-85 doi:10.1017/S0007087414000181; Gest “Homage” (2009); Micrographia: Preface; Robertson et al., Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, 54

“I am writing to tell you”: Letter dated April 1673 from Reinier de Graaf,

p. 5

“Like Vermeer”: L. J. Snyder, Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention
of Seeing
(New York: W. W. Norton: 2015).

“Van Leeuwenhoek made”: Robertson et al., Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, 60.

“An abundance of little animals”:  A. v. Leeuwenhoek, Alle de Brieven van Antoni van Leeuwenhoek/The Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (Amsterdam: Swets and Zeitlinger, 1939), vol. 1: 1673–1676: 165

p. 6

“Leeuwenhoek was peering”: Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 109.

“Leeuwenhoek sometimes”: Leeuwenhoek, Collected Letters, 2:71, 2:73, 2:75.

“One sort”: Leeuwenhoek, Collected Letters, 1:165; Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 109.

“He set down”: Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 71

“This extreme candor”: Robertson et al., Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, 95-96; Leeuwenhoek Collected
, 2:285.

p. 7

“Thomas Molyneux”: Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 58, 64.

“Leeuwenhoek’s foibles”: Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 71

“People of great knowledge”: Leeuwenhoek, Collected Letters, 1:279

p. 8

“Letter 18”: Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 112

“Letter 18 consisted”: Leeuwenhoek, Collected Letters, 2:81, 2:171; emphasis in original. [Here and throughout, I have aimed as much as practical to follow the spelling and italicized emphasis from the original document.]

“The most momentous”: Leeuwenhoek, Collected Letters, 2:95, 2:99.

“The most marvellous of all”: Leeuwenhoek, Collected Letters,2:115

p. 9

“This Phaenomenon”: Leeuwenhoek, Collected Letters, 2:99,

“He started with a drop of water”: Leeuwenhoek, Collected Letters, 2:199, 2:207; Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 177.

“I put in order”: R. Hooke, Lectiones Cutlerianæ (London: John Martyn, 1679), 82.

“Finding it a warm day”: Hooke, Lectiones Cutlerianæ: 83.

p. 10

A letter of the Ingenious“: Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 184

“Great man of the century”: Dobell, 50.


p. 11

“One anonymous reader”: “Some Considerations of an Observing Person in the Country,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 12, no. 136 (1677): 890–892.

“A fairly thick stool”: A. v. Leeuwenhoek, Alle de Brieven van Antoni van Leeuwenhoek/The Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, vol. 3: 1679–1682 (Amsterdam: Swets and Zeitlinger, 1939), 365–367; Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 224n.

p. 12

“So excessively numerous”: Dobell, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 245

“More animals”: A. v. Leeuwenhoek, Alle de Brieven van Antoni van Leeuwenhoek/The Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, vol. 4: 1683–1684 (Amsterdam: Swets and Zeitlinger, 1939), 131–135.

p. 13

“These interventions”: H. Newton, “‘Nature Concocts & Expels’: The Agents and Processes of Recovery from Disease in Early Modern England,” Social History of Medicine 28, no. 3 (2015): 465–486.

“God that made the body of man”: Newton, “‘Nature Concocts'”

“Must be prepared”: Newton, “‘Nature Concocts'”

p. 14

“Nature ‘chopped’ and ‘melted’”: Newton, “‘Nature Concocts'”

“Humoral theory, one historian writes”: C. E. A. Winslow, The Conquest of Epidemic Disease: A Chapter in the History of Ideas (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1980), 56.

“Charles Richet complained”: C. Richet, “An Address on Ancient Humorism and Modern Humorism,” British Medical Journal 2 (1910): 921–926. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.2.2596.92

E. Jorpes, “Robin Fåhraeus and the Discovery of the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Test,” Acta Medica Scandinavica 185 (1969): 23–26 ; R. Fåhraeus, “The Suspension Stability of the Blood,” Physiological Reviews 9, no. 2 (1929): 241–274; M. Lister, “A Remarkable Relation of a Man Bitten with a Mad Dog, and Dying of the Disease Called Hydrophobia,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 13 (1683):162–170.

Winslow, Conquest of Epidemic Disease, 182.


p. 17

“Just in the first century of colonization”: A. Koch, C. Brierley, M. Maslin, and S. Lewis, “Earth System Impacts of the European Arrival and Great Dying in the Americas after 1492,” Quaternary Science Reviews 207 (2019): 13–36.

“So smallpox, for instance”: E. W. Stearn and A. E. Stearn, The Effect of Smallpox on the Destiny of the Amerindian (Boston: B. Humphries, 1945), 14–15; N. D. Cook, Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492–1650 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 23–24.

“King James I of England celebrated”: F. N. Thorpe, The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the State, Territories, and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America (Washington, DC: US Government Publishing Office, 1909), 3:1828–1829

p. 18

“God had brought Europeans”: C. Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana: Or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England (London: Thomas Parkhurst, 1702), 1:7.

“An early missionary”: R.G. Thwaites, Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents: Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit . . . Missionaries in New France, 1610–1791 (Cleveland, OH: Burrows Brothers, 1899), 47:193.

“American degeneracy”: G. L. Leclerc, Natural History, General and Particular, trans. W. Smellie (London: W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1785), 5:135–136.

“Cared not even to behold”: U.V. Hutten, De Morbo Gallico: A Treatise of the French Disease (London: John Clarke, 1730), 3.

“Mutate into ulcers”: E. Tognotti, “The Rise and Fall of Syphilis in Renaissance Europe,” Journal of Medical Humanities 30, no. 2 (2009): 99–113.

p. 19

“It had no name at first”: E. L. Abel, “Syphilis: The History of an Eponym,” Names 66, no. 2 (2018): 96–102; G. Fra- castoro, Syphilis, from the Original Latin. A Translation in Prose of Fracastor’s Immortal Poem, trans. S. C. Martin (St. Louis: Philmar Company, 1911); V. Iommi Echeverría, “Girolamo Fracastoro and the Invention of Syphilis,” História, Ciências, Saúde, 17, no. 4 (2010), doi: 10.1590/s0104-59702010000400002

“The European outbreak”: V.D. Elkin & T.G. Sedova, “On issues concerning the European syphilis epidemic of the late 15th to early 16th centuries.” History of Medicine 5(3) (2018): 193–195.; S. E. Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea (Boston: Little, Brown, 1942), 2:202–204; C. Quétel, History of Syphilis, trans. J. Braddock and B. Pike (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1990), 9–16.

p. 20

“The willingness of many victims”: B. Boehrer, “Early Modern Syphilis,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 1, no. 2 (1990): 197– 214; K. Sudhoff, The Earliest Printed Literature on Syphilis, ed. C. Singer (Florence: Lier, 1925), xi, xvi; Tognotti, Rise and Fall of Syphilis.

“A stinking Matter”: Hutten, De Morbo Gallico, 8–11.

p. 21

“So bitterly vexed”: Hutten, 10–11, 30, 86; Siena, KP (2004). Venereal Disease, Hospitals, and the Urban Poor: London’s “Foul Wards,” 1600-1800. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 25-27.

“The idea that a disease”: A. Boorde, The Breviary of Helthe (London: W. Middleton, 1547), 195; Hutten, 4; Tognotti, Rise and Fall of Syphilis.

“One practical remedy”: W. Schleiner, “Moral Attitudes toward Syphilis and Its Prevention in the Renaissance,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 68, no. 3 (1994): 389–410.

p. 22

“The frame of mind of the prostitutes”: Schleiner, “Moral Attitudes”

“The fleshly act”: Hutten, De Morbo Gallico, 90

“Little steemy bodies”: M. K. DeLacy, The Germ of an Idea (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 43.

“At some times diseased”:  Hutten, De Morbo Gallico, 4–22.

“The principal and chief Effect”: Hutten, 81–82.

p. 23

“Soon Hutten’s book”: R. Munger, “Guaiacum, the Holy Wood from the New World,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 4, no. 2 (1949): 196–229.

“The unhappy fate”:  D. F. Strauss and J. Sturge, Ulrich von Hutten, His Life and Times (London: Daldy Isbister, 1874), 352.



p. 25

“In his 1546 tract”: G. Fracastoro, “Contagion, Contagious Diseases, and Their Treatment,” in Milestones in Microbiology, ed. T. D. Brock (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1961), 70–73. First published 1546.

“In his portrait by Titian”: “‘A Portrait of ‘Girolamo Fracastoro’ by Titian in the National Gallery,” The Burlington Magazine 155(1318) January 2013:4-15

p. 26

“Some absurd seedlets”: V. Nutton, “The Reception of Fracastoro’s Theory of Contagion: The Seed That Fell among Thorns?,” Osiris 6 (1990): 196–234; DeLacy, Germ of an Idea, 9.

“By some remarkable power of divination”: F. Garrison, “Fracastorius, Athanasius Kircher and the Germ Theory of Disease,” Science 31, no. 796 (1910): 500–502.

“But readers should reflect”: T. D. Brock, ed., Milestones in Microbiology (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1961), 75

”Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher”: H. Torrey, “Athanasius Kircher and the Progress of Medicine,” Osiris 4 (1938): 246–275.

p. 27

“All putrid matter swarms” and “an evil breath”: Torrey.

“Even insinuate themselves”: C. Singer, The Development of the Doctrine of Contagium Vivum 1500–1750 (London: Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1913), 10.

“Not one of his allusions”: Torrey “Athanasius Kircher.”

“Modern researchers”: E. Fletcher and A. Kircher, A Study of The Life and Works of Athanasius Kircher, “Germanus Incredibilis” (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 118.

“Exposed to the lunar moisture”: Torrey “Athanasius Kircher.”

p. 28

“Educated by Jesuits”: F. Redi, Experiments on the Generation of Insects, trans. M. K. Bigelow (New York: Kraus Reprint, 1969), 7.

“As Father Kircher had stated”: Gottdenker, P (1979) Francesco Redi and The Fly Experiments. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 53(4): 575–592.; Redi Experiments, 64.

“Put cinnabar to shame” and “the confirmation of experiment”: Redi Experiments, 27-33.

“He set out samples of different meats”: Ibid, 33, 36, 38.

p. 29

“Just because one or the other”: Gottdenker, “The Fly Experiments”

“The other way”: Redi Experiments, 92.

“Naturalists leapt to correct”: Gottdenker, “The Fly Experiments”

“Including Rene Descartes and Francis Bacon”: E. G. Ruestow, “Leeuwenhoek and the Campaign against Spontaneous Generation,” Journal of the History of Biology 17, no. 2 (1984): 225–248


p. 31

“On Tahiti”: A. Neale. Researches to Establish the Truth of the Linnaean Doctrine of Animate Contagions. (London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Greene, 1831), 119.

“Romeo and Juliet”: H. Keil, “Scabies and the Queen Mab Passage in Romeo and Juliet.” Journal of the History of Ideas, v. 18, no. 3 (1957), pp. 394–410. .

“The remarkable Benedictine”: J. R. Busvine, Insects, Hygiene and History (London: Athlone Press, 1976), 204–206, 215– 217; J. Romaní and M. Romaní, “Causes and Cures of Skin Diseases in the Work of Hildegard of Bingen,” Actas Dermosifiliogr 108, no. 6 (2017): 538–543 .

p. 32

“Poor Women, when their children are troubled”: G. C. Bonomo, “An Abstract of Part of a Letter from Dr Bonomo to Signor Redi, Containing Some Observations Concerning the Worms of Humane Bodies,” trans. R. Mead, Philosophi- cal Transactions (1683–1775) 23 (1702): 1296–1299.”

“Giovanni Maria Lancisi … intervened”: M. A. Montesu and F. Cottoni, “G. C. Bonomo and D. Cestoni: Discoverers of the Parasitic Origin of Scabies,” American Journal of Dermatopathology 13, no. 4 (1991): 425–427.

“Even literal firsthand experience”: Busvine, Insects, Hygiene and History, 217.

p. 33

“Doctors probably also dismissed”: Ibid, 215.

“A single ox went astray”: L. Wilkinson, “Rinderpest and Mainstream Infectious Disease Concepts in the Eighteenth Century,” Medical History 28, no. 2 (1984): 129–150. doi:10.1017/S0025727300035687

“Many of the explanations invoked”: DeLacy, Germ of an Idea, 76–77.

p. 34

“The new disease caught the attention”: Wilkinson, “Rinderpest and Mainstream Infectious Disease”

“The immediate success of culling sick animals”: G. M. Lancisi, “he Draining of Swamps as a Key to the Elimination of Disease,” in Tropical Medicine and Parasitology: Classic Investigations, ed. B. H. Kean, K. E. Mott, and A. J. Russell (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1978), 22. First published 1717.

P. 35

‘It was less threatening”: DeLacy, Germ of an Idea, 82.

“This savage epidemic”: C. F. Cogrossi, New Theory of the Contagious Disease among Oxen, trans. D. M. Schullian (Rome: Sixth International Congress of Microbiology, 1953), 1.

“In a careful study of flies”:

Egerton, FN (2008). A History of the Ecological Sciences, Part 30: Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology During the 1700s. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 89(4), 407-433. doi:10.1890/0012-9623(2008)89[407:ahotes];2.

“Bizarre hypothesis”: Cogrossi, New Theory, 32.

“Philosophize on the itch”: Ibid, 9.

“A ridiculous one” and “due to very minute worms”: Ibid, 4.

“These very nimble animalcules”: Ibid, 5.

“Indisputable principle”: Ibid, 6-7.

p. 36


“The proper food and habitat”: Ibid, 6

“The most ragged sheets”: Ibid, 7.

“The famous Dutchman”: Ibid, 15.

“Such tiny living creature”: Ibid, 17.

“Demolish with such vehemence”: Ibid, 18.

“Long-robed peripatetics”: Ibid, 13.

“That enormous spread of locusts and grubs”: Ibid, 28.

p. 37

“I shall always find it easier”: C. A. Spinage, Cattle Plague: A History (New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum, 2003), 61.

“A straight line of development”: Wilkinson, “Mainstream Infectious Disease.”



p. 39

“At 3:00 a.m. on a Tuesday”: C. Mather, Diary of Cotton Mather (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1911), 8:657–658.

“An uneasy crowd”: R. Calef, More Wonders of the Invisible World: Or The Wonders of the Invisible World Displayed. In Five Parts. (Salem, MA: John D. and T. C. Cushing, Jr., 1823), 213. .

“From about 1700 on”: S. Coss, The Fever of 1721 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016), 183; K. Silverman, The Life and Times of Cotton Mather (New York: Harper & Row, 1984), 221.

“Knotts of riotous Young Men”:  Mather, Diary of Cotton Mather, 2:216–217.

p. 40

“Sickness or Shiverings” and “Ravings and Deleriums”: Z. Boylston, An Historical Account of the Small-Pox Inoculated in New-England (London: S. Chandler, 1726), 44. .

“Preserve her beauty”: Boswell Collection, box 58, folder 1220, General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Boswell’s Memorial for Sir John Pringle, n.d.

p. 41

“The destroying Angel”: Mather, Diary of Cotton Mather, 2:621. 

“But from childhood”: T. Beall and R. H. Shryock, Cotton Mather, First Significant Figure in American Medicine (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1954), 52ff.

“The Angelical conjuction”: C. Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana: Or, the Ecclesiastical History of New-England: From Its First Planting in the Year 1620. Unto the Year of Our Lord, 1698. In Seven Books. (London: Thomas Parkhurst, 1702), 151.

“A wonderful practice”: G. L. Kittredge, Some Lost Works of Cotton Mather (Cambridge, MA: John Wilson & Son, 1912), 422, 431–432.

“A Buddhist nun”: D. J. Macgowan DJ. “Report on the health of Wenchow for the half-year ended 31 March 1884.” China, Imperial Maritime Customs Medical Reports 27:9–18, 1884.

p. 42

“A brief description”: C. Mather, E. Timonius, and J. Pylarinus, Some Account of What Is Said of Inoculating or Transplanting the Small Pox (Boston: Z. Boylston, 1721), 8.

“Let it be considered”: Mather, Some Account, 8.

“A Guramantee-Servant”: Kittredge, Some Lost Works, 431.

p. 43

“A pretty intelligent fellow”: Ibid, 422.

“He devised clumsy dialect” and “I don’t know why ‘tis more unlawful”: Mather, Some Account, 9.

“When Young men among them”: B. Colman, Some Observations on the New Method of Receiving the Small-Pox by Ingrafting or Inoculating (Boston: Gerrish, 1721), 15–16.

“Children ‘were daily in danger'”:  Boylston, An Historical Account, ii

“They rave, they rail”: Mather, Diary of Cotton Mather, 2:632.

p. 44

“Boylston, likewise”: An Historical Account, 2

“Lady Mary Montagu”: I. Grundy, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 209–210.

“‘There let me live””: M. W. Montagu, Essays and Poems, and Simplicity: A Comedy, ed. R. Halsband and I. Grundy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), 204.

“Newgate Prison”:  E. Dyck, The Uses of Humans in Experiment: Perspectives from the 17th to the 20th Century. (Netherlands, Brill, 2016), 15.

“The Princess of Wales”: Grundy, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, 214-215.

p. 45

“This was not wilful inaccuracy”:  Ibid, 211.

“Strangers accosted Lady Montagu”: Montagu, Essays and Poems, 35-36.

“Some sanguine traveler”: W. Wagstaffe, A Letter to Dr. Freind: Shewing the Danger and Uncertainty of Inoculating the Small Pox. (London, UK: Samuel Butler, 1722), 5-6, 36

“The physician William Douglass”: W. Douglass & A. Stuart, Inoculation of the Small Pox As Practised in Boston: Consider’d in a Letter to A– S– M.D. & F.R.S. in London. (Boston, MA:  J. Franklin, 1722)

“Valid objections”: Boylston, An Historical Account, 53; Wagstaffe, A Letter to Dr. Freind, 45.

“There is not a Race of Men”: Douglass & Stuart, Inoculation, 7

“A certain cutter for the stone”: Coss, The Fever of 1721, 103.

“Groundless Machinations” and ‘what hand or art of Man”: J. B. Blake, Public Health in the Town of Boston, 1630–1822 (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1959), 57–58.

p. 46

“The introduction of smallpox inoculation”: DeLacy, Germ of an Idea, 4–5.

“A long and an hard Death”: Mather, Diary of Cotton Mather, 2: 249.

“It was the same in households” Silverman, The Life and Times, 349.

p. 47

“This Abominable Town”: Mather, Diary of Cotton Mather, 2:655

“The implication is that” Beall and Shryock, Cotton Mather, 147-149.

“Accounting of results”: J. Jurin, “A Letter to the Learned Dr. Caleb Cotesworth,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 32, no. 374 (1723): 213–227

“First appearance”: M. Best, D. Neuhauser, and L. Slavin. ““Cotton Mather, you dog, dam you! I’l inoculate you with this; with a pox to you”: smallpox inoculation, Boston, 1721.” BMJ Quality & Safety 13.1 (2004): 82-83.

“Improvements in technique”: R. A. Weiss and J. Esparza, “The Prevention and Eradication of Smallpox,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 370 (2015): 20140378.

“When another smallpox epidemic”: P. E. Razzell, The Conquest of Smallpox: The Impact of Inoculation on Smallpox Mortality In Eighteenth Century Britain (Firle, UK: Caliban Books, 2003), 94.

p. 48

“God told it to poor Negroes” Colman, Some Observations, 23.

“Of great Use to the Guinea Traders”: Douglass & Stuart, Inoculation, 20.

“Soon experimenting”: L. Stewart, “The Edge of Utility: Slaves and Smallpox in the Early Eighteenth Century,” Medical History 29, no. 1 (1985): 54–70.

“Every Part of Matter is Peopled”: C. Mather, The Angel of Bethesda (Worcester, MA: American Antiquarian Society, 1972), 43–44. .

“An obscure London physician”: R. N. Doetsch (1978). “Benjamin Marten and his ‘New Theory of Consumptions'” Microbiological Reviews, 42(3), 521-8, DOI: 10.1128/mr.42.3.521-528.1978 ; B. Marten, A New Theory of Consumptions: More Especially of a Phthisis, or Consumption of the Lungs (London: R. Knaplock, 1720), 45, 56.

p. 49

“That Insects occasion most of the Diseases”: Mather, The Angel of Bethesda, 45.

“James Jurin asked Leeuwenhoek”: J. Jurin, The Correspondence of James Jurin (1684–1750): Physician and Secretary to the Royal Society (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996), 100–106; DeLacy, Germ of An Idea, 130-132.


p. 51

“Offered a partnership in London”: J. C. Moore, The History and Practice of Vaccination (London: J. Callow, 1817), 4.

“Still under the dominion of indolence”: J. Baron, The Life of Edward Jenner: With Illustrations of His Doctrines, and Selections from His Correspondence (London: Colburn, 1838), 1:1–6, 1:88.

p. 52

“Specimens of five hundred species”: W. Moore, The Knife Man: The Extraordinary Life and Times of John Hunter, Father of Modern Surgery (New York: Broadway Books, 2005), 4, 239.

“Why not trie the experiment”: “Letter: From John Hunter to Edward Jenner, 2nd August 1775,” Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 54, no. 3 (1974):149.

 “Anne Hunter was John’s opposite”: J. Oppenheimer, “Anne Home Hunter and Her Friends,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 1, no. 3 (1946): 434–445.

“Harmless gentlemanly facetiousness”: T. D. Fosbroke and J. Smyth, Berkeley Manuscripts: Abstracts and Extracts of Smyth’s Lives of the Berkeleys . . . and Biographical Anecdotes of Dr. Jenner, Etc. (London: John Nichols, 1821), 230 ; R. B. Fisher, Edward Jenner 1749–1823 (London: André Deutsch, 1991), 31; Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:20, 1:26, 1:71.

p. 53

“Address to a Robin”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:20

“Come all ye bold Britons”: Fisher, Edward Jenner, 31.

“A truth (which added years will make more clear)”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:71.

“Rather under the middle size”: Ibid, 15-16.

p. 54

“Activity of mind with indolence”: D. Fosbroke, A Picturesque and Topographical Account of Cheltenham and Its Vicinity: To which Are Added Contributions towards the Medical Topography, Including the Medical History of the Waters (Cheltenham, UK: S. C. Harper, 1826), 276–277.

“A skilful surgeon and a great naturalist”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:16.

“Mitral stenosis”: Fisher, Edward Jenner, 52-53.

“Do you mean to take out a Patint?”: Fisher, Edward Jenner, 45–46.

p. 55

“In his original version”: E. L. Scott, “Edward Jenner, F.R.S. and the Cuckoo,” Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, April 1974, v. 28: 2: 235-40

“It threw off its load with a jerk”: E. Jenner, “Observation on the natural history of the cuckoo. By Mr. Edward Jenner. In a letter to John Hunter, Esq. F. R. S,” Philosophical Transactions, 78:219-237.

“Many who can hardly believe it wholly”: Scott, “Edward Jenner”.

“A tissue of inconsistencies and absurdities”: C. Creighton, Jenner and Vaccination: A Strange Chapter of Medical History 
(London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co. 1889), 14, 17.

“Fine ruddy boy,” “emaciated and feeble” and “After this barbarism”: Fosbroke and Smyth, Berkeley Manuscripts, 221–222.

p. 56

“Gives my brain a kind of death blow”; Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 2:427–428.

“Jenner asked a milkmaid”: A. W. Boylston, “The Myth of the Milkmaid,” New England Journal of Medicine 378, no. 5 (2018): 414–415.

“I cannot take that disease”: Baron Life of Edward Jenner 1:121-122.

“A vague opinion prevailed”: Baron Life of Edward Jenner 2:427-428.

“Some scholars also cite a Fewster publication”: R. Jesty and G. Williams, “Who Invented Vaccination?,” Malta Medical Journal 23, no. 2 (2011): 29–32. (Asked about it, one such scholar replied:  “We’ve never seen the MS, nor has anyone else. The clue is in the word ‘unpublished’!” Pers. comm G. Williams)

“With force and influence”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:122.

p. 57

“The reveries of a rural enthusiast”: Moore, The History and Practice, 19.

“The quantum leap from cowpox”: Fisher, Edward Jenner, 61.

“An eruptive disease”: Ibid, 55-56, 65.

p. 58

“Sarah Nelmes,” “James Phipps,” and “Blossom”: E. Jenner, An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolæ Vaccinæ (London: SampsonLow, 1798), 31-34, ; Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 2:303–304.



p. 59

“Early in 1797”: Moore, The History and Practice, 19-20.

“Much too few to admit of Conclusions” and “I want faith”: Banks, J. (2007). Scientific Correspondence of sir Joseph Banks, 1765-1820. (N. Chambers, Ed., London: Pickering & Chatto), 4:474-475.

 “Matters were handled uncourteously”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 2:168.

p. 60

“More for the relief of human misery”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 2:169.

“Not so easily made as at first sight”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:141.

“These experiments afforded me much satisfaction”: Fisher, Edward Jenner 1749–1823, 127–131; Banks, Scientific Correspondence, 5:217.

“The deviation of Man”: Jenner, An Inquiry, 1-2.

p. 61

“Forever after secure”: Ibid, 6.

“No pustules appear” and “So that a single individual”: Ibid, 67.

“Never known fatal effects”: Ibid, 66-67.

“A state of perfect security”: Ibid, 67.

“Rendered unfit for inoculation”: Ibid, 37.

“He rushed to provide a detailed description”: E. Jenner, Further observations on the variolæ vaccinæ, or cow pox. (London, UK: Sampson Low, 1799). .

“Jane Austen described a dinner party”: J. Austen, My Dear Cassandra: The Letters of Jane Austen, ed. P. Hughes-Hallett (New York: Potter, 1991), 36.

p. 62

“It was worse than that”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:307–314, 342.

“Swollen with replies”: Moore, The History and Practice, 23-24.

“Not the most distant expectation”: G. Pearson, An Inquiry Concerning the History of the Cowpox: Principally with a View to Supersede and Extinguish the Smallpox. (London, UK: J. Johnson, 1798), 3.

“It reminded Moore”: Moore, The History and Practice, 24.

p. 63

“Pearson soon went on” and “Jenner replied angrily”: Fisher, Edward Jenner 1749–1823, 96.

“Years later, when Parliament”: Ibid, 127–131.

“Pearson was left to whine”: Banks, Scientific Correspondence, 5:217.

“Having sought the lowly and sequestered paths”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:155–156.

p. 64

“Inoculated with vaccine virus”: G. Miller, Letters of Edward Jenner and Other Documents Concerning the Early History of Vaccination (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983), 11–12.

“An Angel’s trumpet”: E. J. Edwardes, A Concise History of Small-Pox and Vaccination in Europe (London: H. K. Lewis, 1902), 42; Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 2:53.

“In Vienna, physician Jean de Carro”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:453, 1:403.

“A physician in Milan”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:453.

“At Palermo” … “a procession”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:403.

“A doctor in Spain proposed”: M. Few, “Circulating Smallpox Knowledge: Guatemalan Doctors, Maya Indians and Designing Spain’s Smallpox Vaccination Expedition, 1780–1803,” British Journal for the History of Science 43, no. 4 (2010): 519–537.

p. 65

“When the cowpox liquid caused rusting” through “Jenner’s first attempt to get cowpox”: A. Rusnock, “Catching Cowpox: The Early Spread of Smallpox Vaccination, 1798–1810,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 83, no. 1 (2009): 17–36.

“A beautiful little patient”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:410–413.

“Jenner then urged the British government”: Ibid, 1:409.

“In 1801, before that could happen”: Rusnock, “Catching Cowpox”; Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:410.

“It gives me great pleasure”: Baron, Life of Edward Jenner, 1:413.

“Jenner sent vaccine in 1798”: Fisher, Edward Jenner 1749–1823, 110–111; T. Jefferson, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. B Oberg (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), 40:179.

p. 66

“Efficacy as a preservative”: T. Jefferson “Instructions for Meriwether Lewis, 20 June 1803”

“The Royal Philanthropic Vaccine Expedition”: C. Mark and J. G. Rigau-Pérez, “The World’s First Immunization Campaign: The Spanish Smallpox Vaccine Expedition, 1803–1813,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 83, no. 1 (2009): 63–94. See also M. Smith, The “Real Expedición Marítima de la Vacuna” in New Spain and Guatemala. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 64(1) 1974, 1-74. doi:10.2307/1006158; and M. Few, Circulating smallpox knowledge: Guatemalan doctors, Maya Indians and designing Spain’s smallpox vaccination expedition, 1780-1803. The British Journal for the History of Science, 43(4), 2010, 519-537.

p. 67

“A device for advancing”: J. Pearson, Medical Diplomacy and the American Indian: Thomas Jefferson, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the Subsequent Effects on American Indian Health and Public Policy. Wicazo Sa Review, 19(1), 2004, 105-130.

“Unimaginably profound relief”: It is extraordinary how often the words “pleasure” and “great pleasure” turn up in vaccine correspondence with Jenner. Go to and search the word in, for instance, Baron, Life of Edward Jenner.

“Apparently decided with his heart”: Mark and Rigau-Pérez, “World’s First Immunization Campaign”.

p. 68

“Kinepox” and “Richard Dutton”: Fisher, Edward Jenner 1749–1823, 76.

“And yet as early as 1801” and “the annihilation of the Small-Pox”: E. Jenner, On the Origin of Vaccine Inoculation (London: D. N. Shury, 1801), 7-8,

“The calendar of human afflictions”: Thomas Jefferson to G. C. Edward Jenner, May 14, 1806, manuscript/mixed material, https://

Unfortunately, Chadwick’s career as an executive


p. 69

“The French took the lead”: See A.F. La Berge. Mission and Method: The Early Nineteenth-Century French Public Health Movement. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992); A. Corbin, The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination. (Cambridge MA:: Harvard University Press, 1986). D. S. Barnes,  The Great Stink of Paris and the Nineteenth-Century Struggle Against Filth and Germs. (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

“The character of Fantine”: B. Lewis, “The Sewer and the Prostitute in Les Misérables: From Regulation to Redemption,” Nineteenth-Century French Studies 44, no. 3–4 (2016): 266–278. doi:10.1353/ncf.2016.0002. (Of note: Parent-Duchâtelet himself misinterpreted his data, and cited character flaws in the women. That unfortunate moralizing tendency also tainted the work of many other sanitarians in their dealings with the poor.)

p. 70

“Poisons, as dangerous as mad dogs”: A. S. Wohl, Endangered Lives: Public Health in Victorian Britain (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), 88. For an example of contemporary thinking, see J. Arbuthnot. An Essay Concerning the Effects of Air on Human Bodies. (London, J. Tonson, 1733).

p. 71

“Jeremy Bentham”: Bentham’s taxidermied body now sits, smiling benignly, in a glass display case at University College London, much as the hide of Blossom the cow, source of Jenner’s smallpox vaccine, occupies a place of honor a few miles away at St. George’s Hospital.

“Few men have done so much”:R. A. Lewis, Edwin Chadwick and the Public Health Movement, 1832–1854 (New York: Kelley, 1970), 3.

p. 72

“This uncelebrated status”: Chadwick is not buried in Westminster Abbey, nor has Britain ever issued even a postage stamp in his honor. He IS listed on the frieze of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and there is a blue English Heritage plaque on his house in Richmond, Surrey. Also, at the end of his life, he was granted a knighthood.

“Firm-set massive build”: B. W. Richardson, The Health of Nations: A Review of the Works of Edwin Chadwick (London: Longmans, Green, 1887), xxi.

“A really outstanding specimen of bore”: R. A. Lewis, Edwin Chadwick and the Public Health Movement, 1832–1854 (New York: Kelley, 1970), 3.

“Mr. Chadwick is not an orator”: Richardson, The Health of Nations, xvii.

p. 73

“Charles Dickens”: S. Litsios, “Charles Dickens and the Movement for Sanitary Reform,” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 46, no. 2 (2003): 183–199. 320. doi:10.1353/pbm.2003.0025

“One of the most hated men”: R. Watson, Edwin Chadwick, Poor Law and Public Health. (United Kingdom: Longman, 1969).

Being Chadwicked“: Lewis, Lewis, Public Health Movement, 22.

“The rich and powerful hated Chadwick”: K. Ringen, “Edwin Chadwick, the Market Ideology, and Sanitary Reform: On the Nature of the 19th-Century Public Health Movement.” International Journal of Health Services, 9(1), 107-120. doi:10.2190/lr4g-x2nk-9363-f1ec

“A devastating outbreak of typhus“: Lewis, Public Health Movement, 34.

p. 74

“A prodigious correspondence”: E. Chadwick, Report to Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, from the Poor Law Commissioners, on an Inquiry into the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain (London: HMSO, 1842), xviii-xiv,

“A determined explorer into British slums,” Richardson, The Health of Nations, xxviii-xxix

“A masterpiece of protest literature”: Wohl, Endangered Lives, 147–148.

“The swarm of wretched inhabitants” and “several women were imprisoned”: Chadwick, Inquiry into the Sanitary Condition, 24.

“Every article of food and drink”: Ibid, 47.

p. 75

“Stirling, Scotland”: Chadwick, Inquiry into the Sanitary Condition, 34.

“Methodically as a legal brief”: A. Brundage, England’s “Prussian Minister”: Edwin Chadwick and the Politics of Government Growth, 1832-1854. (University Park and London: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1988), 83.

“The annual slaughter in England”: Chadwick, Inquiry into the Sanitary Condition, 3.

“He compared the decreasing mortality”: Ibid, 28-29.

“In Bethnal Green”: Ibid, 159.

“Why, the undertaker is never absent”: Lewis, Public Health Movement, 63.

p. 76

“Do not diminish but tend to increase the pressure of population”: Chadwick, Inquiry into the Sanitary Condition, 369. See also Richardson, The Health of Nations, 128.

“I do differ from him, to the death”: Litsios, “Sanitary Reform”; C. Dickens, Dombey and Son (London: Bradbury & Evans, 1848), 359.

“Troubled Water Question”: C. Dickens, “The Troubled Water question,” Household Words: A Weekly Journal 1 (1850): 49-54.

“Intolerable ills … imperil the public health”: C. Dickens, “To Working Men,” in Household Words: A Weekly Journal 10 (1854), 170.

Reeves, M., & Watson, R. (1978). Edwin Chadwick, Poor Law and Public Health. Longmans.

p. 77

“Fifty thousand corpses a year into just 218 acres”: Lewis, Public Health Movement, 66.

“Characteristically for Chadwick”: E. Chadwick, A Supplementary Report on the Results of a Spiecal [sic] Inquiry into the Practice of Interment in Towns (London: HMSO, 1843), 25, 35.

“A royal commission soon followed”: C. Hamlin, “Edwin Chadwick and the Engineers, 1842-1854: Systems and Antisystems in the Pipe-and-Brick Sewers War,” Technology and Culture, 33(4), (1992), 680. doi:10.2307/3106586

“The recommendations included”: First Report of the Commissioners for Inquiring into the State of Large Towns and Populous Districts (London: HMSO, 1844) ; Second Report of the Commissioners for Inquiring into the State of Large Towns and Populous Districts (London: HMSO, 1845), 11–12, 25, 122.

p. 78

“It took another three years of political infighting”: S. Halliday, The Great Filth: Disease, Death and the Victorian City (Gloucestershire, UK: History Press, 2011), 25.

“By hard lobbying, Chadwick won appointment”: Lewis, Public Health Movement, 181.

“Parsimony compounded by ignorance”: Wohl, Endangered Lives, 151.

“A delegation questioned the Lord Mayor”: Report of the Health of London Association on the Sanitary Condition of the Metropolis (London: Health of Towns Association, 1847), vii.

p. 79

“The cholera epidemic of 1848–1849”: Brundage, England’s “Prussian Minister,” 135.

“In the General Board of Health’s first five years”: Wohl, Endangered Lives, 150.

“There had been one fiasco”: Lewis, Public Health Movement, 315-316.

“Novel in design, cheap to construct”: Ibid, 340-341.

“The General Board of Health reported”: Report of the General Board of Health on the Administration of the Public Health Act . . . from 1846 to 1854 (London: HMSO, 1854), 14, 28–30

p. 80

“Unfortunately, Chadwick’s career as an executive”: Brundage, England’s “Prussian Minister,” 84; Hamlin, “Edwin Chadwick and the Engineers”.

“The Prime Minister ousted Chadwick” and “blowing sparks into flames”: Brundage, England’s “Prussian Minister,”146, 140.

“The Times rejoiced”: “If There Is Such a Thing as a Political Certainty,” Times (London), August 1, 1854, 8 (col. 6),



p. 81

“A special horror to the method of dying”: Wohl, Endangered Lives, 118–119.

“Our other plagues were home-bred”: W. T. Gairdner, Public Health in Relation to Air and Water (Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, 1862), 15-16.

p. 82

“When the first global cholera outbreak began”: R. Pollitzer, “Cholera Studies: 1: History of the Disease,” Bulletin of the World Health Organization 10, no. 3 (1954): 421–461.

“It hitchhiked”: Ibid, 17-21.

p. 83

“It is very difficult to obtain”: W. Macmichael, “A Brief Sketch of the Progress of Opinion on the Subject of Contagion,” The Pamphleteer 15, no. 1 (1825): 519–531.

“A rather timid half-blind little farmer”: R. H. Major, “Agostino Bassi and the Parasitic Theory of Disease,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 16, no. 2 (1944): 97–107.

“Bassi spent eight years testing”: Major, “Agostino Bassi”.

p. 84

“Bassi identified a parasitic fungus”: J. R. Porter, “Agostino Bassi Bicentennial (1773–1973),” Bacteriological Reviews 37, no. 3 (1973): 284–288. DOI: 10.1128/br.37.3.284-288.1973

“Perhaps some of my readers will respond”: Major, “Agostino Bassi.”

“Bassi also proposed practical measures”: Porter, “Agostino Bassi Bicentennial.”

“Bassi finally published his silkworm work in 1835″: Major, “Agostino Bassi.”

p. 85

“One key element was lacking”:

“An immense number of minute whitish specks”: W. C. Campbell, “History of Trichinosis: Paget, Owen and the Discovery of Trichinella spiralis,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 53, no. 4 (1979): 520–552.

“All the men in the dissecting-rooms”: J. Paget, Memoirs and letters of Sir James Paget (London: Longmans, 1901), 55. ; J. Paget & S. Wilks, “On the discovery of Trichina”. The Lancet, 87(2219), (1866), 269–270.

p. 86

“In a letter to his brother”: Campbell, “History of Trichinosis.”

“Alfred Donné (1801–1878) examined purulent matter”: W. C. Campbell, “A Historic Photomicrograph of a Parasite (Trichomonas vaginalis),” Trends in Parasitology 17, no. 10 (2001): 499–500 ; A. L. Thorburn, “Alfred François Donné, 1801– 1878, Discoverer of Trichomonas vaginalis and of Leukaemia,” British Journal of Venereal Diseases 50, no. 5 (1974): 377–380, doi:10.1136/sti.50.5.377 .


p. 89

“On July 1, 1846, Ignaz Semmelweis” and “of a happy disposition”: K. C. Carter and B. R. Carter, Childbed Fever: A Scientific Biography of Ignaz Semmelweis (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994), 21–24.

“Of a happy disposition” to “life seemed worthless”: Carter and Carter, Childbed Fever, 44–45.

p. 90

“Blaming the victim” and “The high mortality”: Carter and Carter, Childbed Fever, 47, 65, 34-35; I. Semmelweis, Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever, trans. K. C. Carter (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983), 73.

“Semmelweis methodically investigated”: Semmelweis, Etiology, 71.

p. 91

“I hoped the Venetian art” to “Not the wound”: Semmelweis, Etiology, 87-88.

p. 92

“Sufficient to remove all adhering cadaverous particles”: Semmelweis, Etiology, 88.

“Five separate internal exams”: Carter and Carter, Childbed Fever, 24. (But I see I have misrepresented the statistic. The physician the Carters quote says that each woman doesn’t merely experience five different vaginal exams, but is examined by at least five different people, and sometimes two or three times that number.)

“Suddenly the statistics”; N. Kadar, “Rediscovering Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (1818-1865).” American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 220(1):26-39 (Jan 2019)  doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2018.11.1084.

“Only God knows the number”: Semmelweis, Etiology, 98, 122.

“Semmelweis instituted a remedy”: Semmelweis, Etiology, 89.

p. 93

“The mortality rate”: Semmelweis, Etiology, 89-92; C. H. Routh C. H. (1849). “On the Causes of the Endemic Puerperal Fever of Vienna.” Medico-Chirurgical Ttransactions, 32, 27–40. doi:10.1177/095952874903200103

“Boston physician and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes”: O. W. Holmes, “The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever,” New England Quarterly Journal of Medical Surgery (1843): 1:503–530.

“A gentleman’s hands”: C. D. Meigs, On the Nature, Signs, and Treatment of Childbed Fevers (Philadelphia: Blanchard and Lea, 1854), 104.

“The annihilating logic of his statistics”: W. J. Sinclair, Semmelweis: His Life and Doctrine: A Chapter in the History of Medicine (Manchester: University Press, 1909), 1.


“In the leading Austrian medical journal”: Sinclair, Semmelweis, 79.

“He differed from British physicians”: Sinclair, Semmelweis, 37; K. C. Carter, “Ignaz Semmelweis, Carl Mayrhofer, and the Rise of Germ Theory,” Medical History 29, no. 1 (1985): 33–53, DOI:

p. 94

“Medical thinking then was still thoroughly confused about how to identify a disease”: Carter and Carter, Childbed Fever,  72-73.

“Semmelweis became entangled in political disputes”: Obenchain, Genius Belabored: Childbed Fever and the Tragic Life of Ignaz Semmelweis. (Birmingham, University of Alabama Press, 2021), 103-109; Sinclair, Semmelweis, 93.

“His allies also thrust him headfirst into the politics”: Sinclair, Semmelweis, 81.

p. 95

“An Austrian medical journal published an account” Carter and Carter, Childbed Fever,  69.

“A former intern there recalled”: Carter and Carter, Childbed Fever,  64.

“I denounce you before God and the World”: Sinclair, Semmelweis, 247-251.

p. 96

“Professional homicide”: O. W. Holmes, Medical Essays, 1842–1882 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1883), 128.

“Decomposed animal-organic matter”: Semmelweis, Etiology, 120.

“Späth acknowledged’: Carter, “Rise of Germ Theory”

“Even Scanzoni”: Carter, “Rise of Germ Theory”; Sinclair, Semmelweis, 55, 290–291.

p. 97

“Semmelweis himself was unable” to “pyemia”: K. Carter, S. Abbott, and J. Siebach, “Five Documents Relating to the Final Illness and Death of Ignaz Semmelweis,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 69, no. 2 (1995): 255–270.

“Semmelweis had envisioned a time”: Sinclair, Semmelweis, 367.



p. 99

Filippo_Pacini._Photograph_by_A._Hautmann_e_Ca._Wellcome_V0026955_0“What are these?” to “Pacinian corpuscles”: Bentivoglio and P. Pacini. “Filippo Pacini: a Determined Observer.” Brain Research Bulletin 38.2 (1995): 161-165.

p. 100

“Many Italian scientists still viewed the microscope” to “University of Florence”: C. Pogliano, “Eye, Mind, Hand: Filippo Pacini’s Microscopy,” Nuncius 28, no. 2 (2013): 313–344. doi:

“Corroded by moths”: D. Lippi and E. Gotuzzo, “The Greatest Steps towards the Discovery of Vibrio cholerae,” Clinical Microbiology and Infection 20, no. 3 (2014): 191–195, doi: 10.1111/1469-0691.12390 ; F. Pacini, “Osservazioni microscopiche e deduzioni patologiche sul cholera asiatico” (Microscopic observations and pathological deductions on Asiatic cholera), Gazzetta Medica Italiana: Toscana, 2nd series, (1854) 12.

p. 101

“In spite of the most precise and meticulous search”: N. Howard-Jones, “The Scientific Background of the International Sanitary Conferences: 1851– 1938” (Geneva: World Health Organization, 1975). : Pacini, “Osservazioni microscopiche,” 25.

“ORGANIC, LIVING, SUBSTANCE”: Howard-Jones “Scientific Background”; Pacini, “Osservazioni microscopiche,” 27.

“A notice in the medical press”: “Microscopic Observations and Pathological Deductions on Asiatic Cholera,” British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review 16, no. 31 (July 1855): 144–145.

“By 1866, when Pacini published an account of his further research”: “A Treatise on the Specific Cause of Cholera, Its Pathology and Cure,” British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review 38 (July 1866): 167–168.

p. 102

“In Italy, his fellow scientists” and “When they finally heard it being mouthed back to them by a foreigner”: Pogliano, “Eye, Mind, Hand’; Howard-Jones “Scientific Background”.

“He arrived to the spectacle of miners”: J. Snow, On the Mode of Communication of Cholera (London: John Churchill, 1855), 20; Richardson, BW (1952). “The Life of John Snow, M.D.,” in Snow, J & Richardson, BW (1858). On Chloroform And Other Anæsthetics: Their Action and Administration. London, UK: John Churchill.

“Snow’s decision in 1848”: Vinten-Johansen, P … & Rip M (2003). Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 165-6.

p. 103

“He lived simply . . . on anchorite’s fare”: Richardson, BW (1952). John Snow, M.D., a Representative of Medical Science and Art of the Victorian Era. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 24(4), 267-291. doi:10.1093/bja/24.4.267

“Avoidance of ‘common water’”: J. F. Newton, The Return to Nature: or, A Defence of the Vegetable Regimen (London: Cadell & Davies, 1811), 37–43, 137.

“The question, What is cholera? is left unsolved”: “The Splendid Report on Cholera,” Lancet 62, no. 1573 (1853): 393–394.

“Anticontagionist physicians theorized”: See, for instance, the six potential causes listed in “Report on the Cause of Asiatic Cholera,” in W. Baly and W.W. Gull, Reports on Epidemic Cholera. (London, J. Churchill, 1854).

“He argued that the thickening of the blood”: J. Snow, On the Mode of Communication of Cholera (London: John Churchill, 1849), 8–18; Vinten-Johansen et al., Science of Medicine, 202–210.

“He proposed that clear fluids from the final stages of cholera”: Snow, Communication of Cholera (1849), 10-11.

p. 104

“His 1849 pamphlet focused on an outbreak” and “The first case of cholera”: Snow, Communication of Cholera (1849), 15, 17-19.

“A surveyor for the Commissioners of Sewers”: General Board of Health, Report of the General Board of Health on the Epidemic Cholera of 1848 & 1849 (London: HMSO, 1850), 56–57.

p. 105

“Zymotic theory”: M. Worboys, Spreading Germs: Disease Theories and Medical Practice in Britain, 1865–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 41.

“Monster Soup”: W. Heath, Monster Soup Commonly Called Thames Water (London: Thomas McLean, 1828); “Dirty Father Thames,” Punch 15, October 7, 1848, 152; A. H. Hassall, “The Filtration of Water,” Morning Post, April 11, 1850.

p. 106

“A microbiologist who sampled the water”: A. H. Hassall, “The Filtration of Water,” Morning Post, April 11, 1850.

“To estimate exactly”: Vinten-Johansen et al., Science of Medicine, 261; J. Farr, “Cholera and the London Water Supply,” Registrar General’s Weekly Return of Births and Deaths, 1850–1886, November 19, 1854, 401, 409.

“On the grandest scale”: Snow, Communication of Cholera (1855), 75.

“He set to work when cholera returned”: Vinten-Johansen et al., Science of Medicine, 267–270.



p. 109

“The most terrible outbreak of cholera”: Snow, Communication of Cholera (1855), 38–39.

“Experience had taught Snow that intense, highly localized”:

“According to the medical legend” and “anecdote resembling an urban legend”: H. Brody, M. Rip, P. Vinten-Johansen, N. Paneth, and S. Rachman, “Map-Making and Myth-Making in Broad Street: The London Cholera Epidemic, 1854,” Lancet 356, no. 9223 (2000): 64–68.

p. 110

“A nearly perfect model”: J. Snow, Snow on Cholera, Being a Reprint of Two Papers, Together with a Biographical Memoir by B.W. Richardson, ed. W. H. Frost (New York: Commonwealth Fund, 1936), ix.

“Greatest doctor”: .

“The myths about Snow”: Brody et al., “Map-Making”; Vinten-Johansen et al., Science of Medicine, 328–337.

“There had been no cholera, Snow argued”: Snow, Communication of Cholera (1855), 40.

“A hasty and scant luncheon of rumpsteak”: Ibid, 44.

p. 111

“She drank it on Thursday, August 31” and “eighteen of them died”: Ibid, 43-44.

“Loud and long the exulting shouts of children”: Vinten-Johansen et al., Science of Medicine: 316-7.

“Detective work by Rev. Henry Whitehead”:  H. Whitehead, “The Broad Street Pump,” Macmillan’s Magazine (December 1865): 113–122 ; “The Broad-Street Pump,” The Examiner (London), November 24, 1855, 738–739.

“Which scarcely anyone believed”: N.B, the corrected quote is “which scarcely anyone seriously believed,” Whitehead, “Broad Street Pump.”

p. 112

screen-shot-2023-01-14-at-11.38.59-am“He published 300 copies”: S. Hajna, D. L. Buckeridge, J. A. Hanley, “Substantiating the Impact of John Snow’s Contributions Using Data Deleted During the 1936 Reprinting of his Original Essay On the Mode of Communication of Cholera,” International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 44, Issue 6, December 2015, Pages 1794–1799,

“Special contamination”: A. B. Hill, “Snow—An Appreciation,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 48, no. 12 (1955): 1008–1012; Whitehead, “Broad Street Pump.”

“Four days previous to death” to “seven hundred people”: Whitehead, “Broad Street Pump.”

“Evidence of “continuous passage of fluid”: Whitehead, “Broad Street Pump”; and a diagram of No. 40 Broad Street, its cesspool, and the adjacent well supplying the Broad Street pump (shown at left) appears in Snow, J., & Cholera Inquiry Committee. Report on the Cholera Outbreak in the Parish of St. James, Westminster During the Autumn of 1854. (London: Churchill 1855), 172.

p. 113

“In June, the committee unanimously agreed”: Snow, Communication of Cholera (1855), 83.

“But the critics and contemporary public health officials were right”: T. Koch, “Commentary: Nobody Loves a Critic: Edmund A. Parkes and John Snow’s Cholera,” International Journal of Epidemiology 42, no. 6 (2013): 1553–1559.

“Edmund A. Parkes doubted ‘whether the source of supply'”: E. A. Parkes, “Mode of Communication of Cholera,” British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review 15, no. 30 (April 1855): 449–463.

p. 114

“An honest and conscientious observer”: Parkes, “Mode of Communication”.

“In the aftermath of the cholera outbreak”: D. E. Lilienfeld, “John Snow: The First Hired Gun?,” American Journal of Epidemiology 152, no. 1 (2000): 4–9. ,

“In an unsigned editorial, Thomas Wakley”: “It Is the Misfortune of Medicine,” Lancet 65, no. 1660 (1855): 634–635.

p. 115

“In a June 1858 report, he provided”: E. H. Greenhow, Papers Relating to the Sanitary State of the People of England (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1858), xiv–xv.

“That same year, the French Academy of Science”: Howard-Jones, “Scientific Background.”

p. 116

“A cholera outbreak that year still killed about six thousand”: General Register Office, Report on the Cholera Epidemic of 1866 in England: Supplement to the Twenty-Ninth Annual Report of the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1868), xiii.

“Bazalgette confirmed in a letter to Farr”: General Register Office, Report on the Cholera Epidemic of 1866, 95.

“‘It has been so for two weeks'”: General Register Office, Report on the Cholera Epidemic of 1866, 88.

“Writing in the Times, he asserted”: General Register Office, Report on the Cholera Epidemic of 1866, 92.

“Can an eel pass through a filter bed”: General Register Office, Report on the Cholera Epidemic of 1866, 128-129.

p. 117

“An ‘implied sanction'”: General Register Office, Report on the Cholera Epidemic of 1866, 100-101.

“93 percent”: S. Halliday, “William Farr: Campaigning Statistician,” Journal of Medical Biography 8 (2000): 220-227.

“‘A great public benefactor”: “Medical Annotations,” Lancet, 88, no. 2248 (1866): 363-4. 

“Farr announced himself a convert”: S. Halliday, William Farr: Campaigning Statistician, Journal of Medical Biography 8, No. 4 (2000): 220-227. DOI: 10.1177/096777200000800409

“British sanitarian John Simon”: Vinten-Johansenet al., Science of Medicine: 394. 

“He was an advocate of clean air and water”: Howard-Jones, “Scientific Background.” J. P. Vandenbroucke, H. M. E. Rooda, and H. Beukers, “Who Made John Snow a Hero?,” American Journal of Epidemiology 133, no. 10 (1991): 967–973. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a115816


p. 119

“He saw one sister die of tuberculosis …”: P. Debré, Louis Pasteur (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), 6, 54.

“Like Leeuwenhoek, Pasteur was not at first driven”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 183–184.

p. 120

“For although he conveyed the impression”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, xxiv; L. Geison, Private Science of Louis Pasteur (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), 8-9, 40.

“Let us all work”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 86.

“Pasteur does not want anyone next to him”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 140-141.

“Permit me to tell you, Monsieur le marquis”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 208.

“Ethical lapses and difficult personality aside”: Geison, Private Science, 16-18, 171


p. 121

“If I could only smell the odor”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 12.

“Where Pasteur père wore the red ribbon”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 4.

p. 122

“Decades earlier, French physicist Jean-Baptiste Biot”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 39-45.

“Pasteur looked closer”: J. Gal, “In Defense of Louis Pasteur: Critique of Gerald Geison’s Deconstruction of Pasteur’s Discovery of Molecular Chirality,” Chirality 31, no. 4 (2019): 261–282; Debré, 46–51.

p. 123

“Pasteur theorized that”: Geison, Private Science, 96.

“He continually advanced, as a fellow scientist put it”: Debré, 103.

p. 124

“His wife Marie Pasteur worried that”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 103, 87; Geison, Private Science, 94.

“Advanced scientific thinking then” … “Pasteur, on the other hand, had a hunch”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 90-93.

“Biot, who had become his mentor, had mentioned to him”: Geison, Private Science, 96.

 “Pasteur proceeded instead to go well beyond”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 106-108, 113.

p. 125

“In the course of this fermentation research”: Geison, Private Science, 90–91.

“Even in his first speech on fermentation”: R. J. Dubos, Pasteur and Modern Science, ed. T. D. Brock (Madison, WI: Science Tech, 1988), 36; Debré, Louis Pasteur, 101.

p. 126

“Where do they come from, these mysterious agents”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 148; L. Pasteur and L. P. Vallery-Radot, Oeuvres de Pasteur, (Paris: Masson et cie, 1922), v. 2, 192.

“Pasteur agreed that it was ‘only a digression.’” L. Pasteur, “On the Organized Bodies Which Exist in the Atmosphere; Examination of the Doctrine of Spontaneous Generation,” in Brock, Milestones in Microbiology, 44. First published 1861.

“He became openly engaged with the debate”: Debré, Louis Pasteur, 158.

Pouchet’s doorstop of a book: F. Pouchet. Hétérogénie, ou, Traité de la Génération Spontanee: Basé Sur de Nouvelles Expériences. (Paris: J.B. Baillière et fils, 1859).

“Pouchet’s strategy was to repeat experiments”: N. Roll-Hansen, “Revisiting the Pouchet–Pasteur Controversy over Spontaneous Generation: Understanding Experimental Method,” History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40, no. 4 (2018),

“Looking to see where Pouchet had gone wrong”: Pasteur and Vallery-Radot, Oeuvres de Pasteur, 2:237, 2:315, 2:343.

“I worry about him only enough to spit”; Debré, Louis Pasteur, 166.

“Pasteur’s decisive experiment”: Dubos, Pasteur and Modern Science, 47.

p. 128

“Sinuosities and inclinations”: Pasteur and Vallery-Radot, Oeuvres de Pasteur, 2:190.

“The Pouchet-Pasteur dispute has lived on”: Geison, Private Science, 124-130; see also Roll-Hansen, “Spontaneous Generation.”

p. 129

“I shall show you where the mice”: Pasteur and Vallery-Radot, Oeuvres de Pasteur, 2:328-329, 2:337; Debré, Louis Pasteur, 159; Geison, Private Science, 130.

“His ‘whole ambition’”: R. Vallery-Radot, La Vie de Pasteur (Paris: Hachette, 1900); Debré, Louis Pasteur, 128.


p. 131

“Lister had grown up with a front-row seat”: M. W. Davidson, “Pioneers in Optics: Joseph Jackson Lister and Maksymilian Pluta.” Microscopy Today, 19(3) (2011), 54–56. doi: 10.1017/s1551929511000277



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