Medicine through time

Medicine through time - content, activities and blog for teachers and learners of medicine through time

Home - Blog - Medicine by period - Medicine by theme - Timelines - Revision Activities - Teachers Resources - Links - Dummies Guide to Medicine - Audio-Visual Materials - Interactive Scheme of Work - Recommended Books

Site Search




Public Health during the Industrial Revolution


The impact of the Industrial Revolution. Source material that outlines some views of how industrialisation changed towns and cities.

Public Health in the countryside. Often ignored in a study of Public health in the era of Industrialisation.

Housing in Bradford during the Industrial Revolution - external link

Chronology and links

Date Event Brief Description
1786 Introduction of new machines The Introduction of machinery into the textiles industry had an immediate impact on the livlihoo of workers. No longer wre they skilled and highly sought after experts ina field, now a machine could perform the task in their stead.
1812 Workhouses The poor of the Parish of Bradford were catered for by a Workhouse prior to the Poor Law Amendment act.
1830-1836 Typhoid outbreaks Between 1830 and 1836 there were 4 major outbreaks of this disease.
1831 Cholera strikes! Cholera resulted in over 50,000 deaths in little over a year. How was 'King Cholera' stopped?
1834 Poor Law Commission The Poor law is examined and changed as a result of Industrialisation and pressures on the existing system. The source material looks at the way in which Huddersfield councillors reacted to the revised Poor Law.
1835 Municipal Corporations Act Town Councils were to be elected. The council was able to collect rates (taxes) to pay for street lighting, sewage disposal and fresh water. However an Act of Parliament would be necessary for each council to perform these tasks.
1837 Bradford Woolcombers Report A report written about the conditions faced by the Woolcombers of Bradford.
1842 Report on the conditions of workers in Leeds Dr. Robert Baker's report into conditions in the slums of Leeds.
1842 Report on the sanitary Condition of the Labouring Classes. Edwin Chadwick's landmark study into the health of ordinary people.
1844 Health of Towns Association This was a body that aimed at improving Public Health. It issued leaflets and lobbied parliament to improve sanitation.
1844 Health in Bradford Statistical evidence and contemporary accounts of health in Bradford in the mid 1840's.
1844 Health in Manchester A description of conditions in Manchester.
1848 Cholera returns 70,000 perish as Cholera strikes again.
1848 Public Health Act This act was largely the result of Chadwick's work and the pressure applied by the health of towns association. It allowed smaller towns to implement changes to sanitation but was limited in its overall scope.
1849 The Moral Condition of Bradford Sir Titus Salt, mayor of Bradford, commissions a report into the moral condition of Bradford and its inhabitants.
1850 Working Conditions in Bradford An observation of the conditions endured in Bradford at the height of the Industrial Revolution.
1851 Census figures Population and housing figures for the 3 census returns up to and including 1851 show that population boomed whilst housing provision lagged behind.
1853 Return of Cholera - again! Cholera accounts for another 30,000 lives
1854 John Snow's work on Cholera published John Snow studied the incidences of Cholera in Soho, London. he illustrated the fact that there was a very high correlation between a water pump and the victims of the disease. Removing the pump dramatically reduced the incidences of Cholera in the area. This added weight to the argument that Government had to be involved in maintaining health.
1860 Nightingale School of Nursing Reports of Florence Nightingale's work in Scolari, the Crimea, had been published in England by the Times. In 1860 a hospital was opened using her methods, which included cleanliness and compassion.
1862 Bradford Sewage Works Bradford opens its first sewage works. As you will see in the source material, it was much needed! problems continued however, as the sources illustrate.
1865 Germ Theory Louis Pasteur proves that Germs exist. Though opposed by many at the time, this results in the identification of the cause of many diseases and increases the body of evidence that shows that water has to be kept clean.
1866 Cholera strikes again A further 18,000 die of Cholera.
1867 Second Reform Act Working Class men were given the vote. This increased pressure on parliament to improve conditions for ordinary people.
1869 Royal Sanitary Commission Resulted in the Local Government Board Act which placed responsibility for Public Health on a local authority. This was followed by the 1872 Public Health Act which required the appointment of a medical officer in each area, to be responsible for sanitation.
1872 2nd Public Health Act See above
1875 3rd Public Health Act Made local authorities responsible for lighting, water supply, sewage disposal, parks, toilets and housing.
1875 Artisans and Labourers Dwellings Act Gave local authorities the power to demolish areas of housing with inadequate drainage or sewage disposal facilities. There was no compulsion to do this though. (Birmingham did, large sections of the city were rebuilt as a result).
1882 Tuberculosis Germ identified Robert Koch, a German scientist identifies the cause of TB, a major killer of the time.
1883 Cholera germ identified. Robert Koch identifies the cholera germ.
1890 Health in Bradford Margaret McMillan's assessment of Bradford when she visited the town for the first time. Contrasted with an account of Bradford in the mid-nineteenth century.
1907 Report into the health of Children in Bradford A major survey of the impact of school meals in Bradford.

Articles about Bradford during the Industrial Revolution

Articles from the Bradford Antiquary Website

Clearing the air

Back to back houses in Bradford

A Wibsey Medical Family

Occupations in Eightenth century Bradford

The Bradford branch of the Social Democratic Federation

Old photographs of Bradford - Wapping (Slum)

Building control in Bradford

Articles from the Teegraph and Argus newpaper

Past Times - full index of all of the newspapers 'past times' articles.








Latest blog and forum posts

On the medicine blog:


Medicine through time   


Want more detailed updates?





GCSE History Resource Website - Crime and Punishment Through Time Site - Schools History Resources for all Key Stages