BRIEF HISTORY DURING THE SNOW ERA (1813-58)
When cholera again appeared in London in 1848-9, an explosive outbreak occurred among residents of Albion Terrace, a small row of 17 households along Wandsworth Road, south of the River Thames. Wandsworth Road was a major route from London, serving as a turnpike (or toll) road until the 1860s. Building of houses was limited to the immediate roadside, with one such development being Albion Terrace. Snow described the outbreak in his book:
In Albion Terrace, Wandsworth Road, there was an extraordinary mortality from cholera in 1849, which was the more striking as there were no other cases at the time in the immediate neighborhood; the houses opposite to, behind, and in the same line, at each end of those in which the disease prevailed, having been free from it.
- Snow, John. Communication of Cholera, 1855, p. 25
But who lives there? He goes on to write of their personal characteristics:
The row of houses in which the cholera prevailed to an extent probably at that time quite unprecedented in this country, constituted the genteel suburban dwellings of a number of professional and trades-people, and are most of them detached a few feet from each other.
Before offering details, Snow tells how they likely became infected with cholera:
They were supplied with water on the same plan. In this instance the water got contaminated by the contents of the house drains and cesspools. The cholera extended to nearly all the houses in which the water was thus tainted, and to no others.
DETAILS OF INVESTIGATION
For further details of the outbreak, including cases, deaths and likely means of transmission, click .
Albion Terrace is around the corner from Albion Street. In the 1859 Reynolds map, the terrace is not identified but Albion Street can be seen in the bottom right of V 14. (see below).
Bailey KA. Battersea & Clampton, 1870. Old Ordnance Survey Maps, London Sheet 101, The Godfrey Edition.
Snow J. On the Mode of Communication of Cholera, Second Ed., 1855.
Weinreb B, Hibbert C (eds). The London Encyclopaedia, 1993.
Between 1859 and 1862, the names of Albion Street and Albion Terrace were changed to Milton Street and Milton Terrace, respectively. Perhaps the name change occurred because of adverse publicity due to the outbreak. Both Milton Street and Milton Terrace are shown in Stanford's Library Map of London and its Suburbs of 1862 (see below).
Stanford's Library Map of London and Its Suburb, 1862
Click here to see more details 13 years later
Addition details of the area are presented in the Old Ordnance Survey map of 1870 (see below). Milton Street (formerly Albion Street) is seen on the map, but the name is not clearly identified.
Old Ordnance Survey Map of 1870
Click here to see more details 11 years later
Dr. Snow and his colleagues write of a sewer that was close to Albion Terrace, emitting an odor that was often noticed by local residents. The location of this sewer (i.e. Health Wall sewer) in seen in Robert Mylne's 1856 map of the principal sewers in London.
Mylne's Sewer Map of 1856
Click here to see more details 3 years later
In September, 1849, following the outbreak, Dr. Snow wrote a letter to the London Medical Gazette describing more fully what occurred.
Written Account of Albion Terrace Outbreak
Click here to read John Snow's letter of 1849