medicine through time - industrial revolution

HideShow resource information


  • The First Vaccine
  • Lady Mary Wortley Montague (wife of Turkish amabassador) brought innoculation back to britain
  • it involved dragging a piece of string through an infected persons cut then dragged the string through the cut of a healthy person.
  • sometimes a problem occured when the healthy person then contracted the infection, amounts were not controlled and many died.
  • Edward JENNER
  • 1796 - noticed that Sarah Newman was infected with cowpox
  • Edward Jenner selected James Phipps to infect with Sarahs cowpox, he was slightly unwell but soon recovered
  • He then inocculated James Phipps with smallpox, nothing happened. 
  • Months later he inocculates James Phipps with small pox again, but he never contracted the disease
  • Discoverey published in 1798
  • Factors: chance (noticed that people with cowpox didn't catch smallpox), government (made vaccines compulsory 1852), war (napoleon vaccinated army), religion (didn't want to contaminate with cow matter), communications (discovery was translated for others to read).
1 of 10


  • against Gods law to give a human an animal disease
  • smallpox is punishment for sin, the cure is prayers and Godly life
  • people had never heard of Jenner
  • vaccinations don't always work
  • innoculators lose money and jobs
  • the royal society say the idea is too revolutionary and refused to publish Jenners discovery
  • don't have time to vaccinate children
  • the government shouldn't interfere, they have no right to fine people who don't get their children vaccinated
2 of 10


SPONTANEOUS GENERATION: disease causes germs (not true!)

Germ theory - 1864

  • Pasteur was asked to find out why beet in a french brewing industry was going off
  • he put water in a flask and a few days later observed germs on the surface
  • then he used a swan-necked flask, he left it for weeks but still no germs
  • he shook the flask, a few days later germs had appeared (he had agitated the air)
  • he concluded that germs must be in the air, not the water so disease does not cause germs, instead it is the other way round.

Pasteur and cholera

  • Pasteurs daughter died in 1865, he wanted to use his knowledge to find out which germ causes cholera. He took samples from a cholera ward but couldn't identify individual germs.

The Pasteur Institute was set up in 1887, funded by the government

3 of 10


He discovered techniques for studying germs:

  • used industrial dyes to stain the microbes so he could see them
  • used daughters pet mice to experiment with germs, he injected them with the fluid that contained the single germ, they developed septicemia
  • he developed a new lens to photograph the experiment
  • he developed a solid culture to breed colonies of germs on

He discovered germs which caused:

  • Antharax - 1875
  • TB (tuberculosis) - 1882
  • Cholera - 1883

Robert Koch Institute set up in 1891 funded by the government (factor of government action and war - wanted to beat Pasteur)

4 of 10


  • employed by french farmers to find out and cure what was killing the chickens
  • he made a batch of cholera and asked Chamberland to inject the chicken with it
  • Chamberland forgot and went away, he got back and injected the chickens, they survived.
  • Pasteur made a new batch of cholera and injected the SAME chickens, they still didn't die.
  • he got a new batch of chickens and split the group in 2, half he injected with an old batch, then he injected both groups with a new batch.
  • The first group survived, the other died
  • He realised the attenuated (weaker) germs would not cause the disease but could be used as a vaccine
  • mother brought rabies infected child, Joseph Meister to Pasteur and asked him to cure him. 
  • he injected the weaker version of rabies into him, over and over in increasing strengths
  • this cured the boy
5 of 10


GERM THEORY: Pasteur - 1961

  • improvements in nursing care
  • cleaner healthier hospitals
  • more knowledgeable public leads to attitudes changing
  • improvements in public health
  • drugs industry
  • antiseptic and aseptic surgery
  • development of vaccines
  • more sophisticated research into cures

DNA: Crick and Watson - 1953

  • genetic screening - knowing if the baby will have problems
  • genetic engineering - choosing genetic nature of a child (illegal)
  • the development of customizing drugs - drugs designed for one persons genetic makeup
  • understanding of certain problems that are caused by genetics such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystostrophy
  • leads to stem cell research - correct medical issues, eg: damaged nerves
6 of 10


Quack Doctors:

  • creates 'patent medicines' which may or may not work but anyone can make money from them
  • James Morrison from Vegetable Universal Medicines sold over 1 million boxes of patent medicine to Europe and the British Empire
  • Thomas Holloway had a court case against them to make his medicine milder - he became a multi-millionaire and set up the Royal Holloway College in London
  • there were no laws to regulate them, they could become addictive and be harmful
  • by 1900 most harmful ingredients had been removed


  • Pharamaceutical companies grew in the 1800's
  • the main ones were Boots, Welcome and Beechams
  • Aspirin manufactured in 1890 by Bayer AG
  • drugs were being developed due to: research and development, improved techniques and equipment, industrial technology, experiments to find exact dosages
7 of 10


  • larger population in towns so disease spreads quickly
  • more people = more waste
  • people brought disease from the country to towns
  • factories cause pollution
  • poor housing because people didn't waste money on their house - they wanted big profits
  • sharing outside toilets between streets of people
  • putting human waste in courtyards
  • rubbish attracts rats and flies
  • flies land on the food and contaminate
  • industrial waste dumped in river
  • need water but rivers full of waste
  • dirty water causes illness
  • piles of sewege causes awful smells in the summer
  • clothes always black due to pollution
8 of 10


1848 - cholera epidemic

Rich people had the vote and didn't want to pay for clean water supplies.

Doctors had a vested interest in not finding the cure because they were gaining money from 'trying to help the sick'.

John Snow

  • 1848 - realised the Broad Street water pump was the main cause of deaths
  • they then removed the handle from the pump and the deaths decreased

Public Health Act 1875

Due to John Snow proving that cholera was carried in dirty water and Pateur proving that germs cause disease, people put pressure on the government to pass the Public Health Act

9 of 10


  • she realised the consequences of not being clean
  • made arrangements to make arm slings, stump pillows and other medical appliances
  • gave out mops and scrubbing brushes to clean wards
  • supervised a team of nuses and organised the wards
  • repaired the wards
  • set up a nursing school to train nurses to improve cleanliness
  • wrote 'noted on nursing' and 'notes on hospitals' 
  • improved clean water supplies, drains, sewers and toilets
  • good ventilation in hospitals
  • good supplies, clothing and washing facilities
  • death rate fell from 40% to 2%
  • space between beds for nurses to treat patients
10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Medicine through time (OCR History A) resources »