Sanitation In The 19th Century

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To begin, sanitation at the start of the nineteenth century was very bad. The industrial revolution caused an increase in population in England (Lawrence). In fact, between the beginning of the 1800’s and the start of the 1900’s, the population increased by over 5 million people (Ross). The urbanization caused by newcomers overwhelming London in search of new jobs and opportunities came before any expansion of London, forcing people to live in overcrowded slums (Salas). This environment was the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, while the close proximity of people allowed for the spread of diseases to occur more rapidly. In addition, many of the diseases spread due to improper sterilization of medical instruments. “Before the late nineteenth…show more content…
Once doctors decided to find a connection between sewage and sickness, they began to understand that diseases from the sewage left in the streets could be spread through the air (Lawrence). When this was discovered, the smell of feces had become unmanageable for those living in London, so, Joseph Bazalgette, an engineer, was recruited to make underground sewers so that diseases such as cholera could stop being spread through the air (London). The sewer system that Joseph Bazalgette built was a total of 82 miles of sewers installed along the River Thames and 1,100 miles of sewers that ran underneath the streets (London). While the sewer system had initially been created to help just 2.5 million people, the sewers’ benefits were being enjoyed by 4 million people by the time the sewer was completed in 1869, 9 years after the start of the building (London). After the completion of the new sewage system, the rate of cholera and death drastically decreased in London (Ross). This was just the beginning of the knowledge that doctors now had about sanitation. After the completion of the sewers, doctors discovered antiseptics and always washed their hands before seeing patients so as to not spread germs and diseases (Salas) Taxing soap was even removed in order for it to be more accessible to people of all incomes…show more content…
All of these new medical instruments were invented in the Victorian Era, but why were any of them actually important? To begin, an otoscope is a tool used in the ear that allows a doctor to diagnose ear infections or other abnormalities in the eardrum such as a puncture (Pillinger). Untreated ear infections within the middle ear will, at the very least, cause irreversible damage to the ear or may even cause irreversible hearing loss (Ear). Catching this early allows treatment to be provided without hearing loss. Second, an ophthalmoscope is a tool used to look at the back of an eye in order to diagnose diseases of the eye (Ophthalmoscopy). Some of the diseases and conditions that an ophthalmoscope can catch are tears in the eye, damage in the optic nerve, cytomegalovirus (an infection in the eye), and even melanoma, a skin cancer that can be found in the eye (Ophthalmoscopy). Some of these, if not found, can lead to blindness and melanoma, though it is rare, can spread and lead to death (Radiation). Third, a laryngoscope is a tool that allows doctors to look in the back of somebody’s throat to see the vocal cords and voice box called the larynx (Laryngoscopy). A laryngoscope can help diagnose voice problems (such as no voice), find the reason why one cannot swallow, abnormalities (such as lumps), and throat cancer (Laryngoscopy). While a laryngoscope can help diagnose these things, it can also take out

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