31 October 2013

From Smallpox to Sun Lamps - London's Pulse, London's health records

The recent launch of London’s Pulse, a project from the Wellcome Library, offers around 5,800 reports, compiled annually by Medical Officers of Health, from 1848 to 1973.

These digitised reports offer a detailed portrait of London life and the lives of Londoners, providing a wealth of information about health and illness, home and workplace life, etc., over a period of major social, economic and technological change.

They record statistics on births, deaths and illness, infant mortality and infectious disease, and supply a comprehensive insight into how and where Londoners were living, working and dying.

Uncover the stories behind the statistics, and find information on:
  • London’s lost trades, such as hair-merchants and pigeon-fatteners
  • the conditions of child-workers in factories and families in slum housing
  • Londoners’ changing tastes in fast-food from oysters to Chinese takeaways
  • records of attendance at maternity and child welfare clinics 
  • medical statistics - from deaths from diseases such as ague and cholera, to the numbers of boils lanced or carbuncles cured 
Searchable by date and region, London’s Pulse allows you to trace the changing fortunes of London boroughs – even streets - and the spread of diseases across the capital.

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