Patrick Pollak

Antiquarian and Rare Books, Manuscripts, Images and
Related Items


 Click on an image to enlarge it. Click an enlarged image to view the previous/next image. 

SNOW, John.
On the Mode of Communication of Cholera.


pp. vi, (i), 162. WITHOUT the 2 maps [facsimiles provided, see below]. Original cloth, rebacked with the old spine relaid, some foxing, some early underlining in red pencil and some marginal pencil lines, two adjacent leaves with a rust mark from an inserted pin [though no pin holes in the paper], an early news cutting pasted to front paste-down [a letter to The Times from THOMAS SNOW, John's brother] and verso of Preface, with the PRESENTATION inscription from THOMAS SNOW - 'With T. Snow's best remembrances 6/9/1875', with later signature of R. M. MIDDLETON, and gift inscription from J. I. GOODLET [co-author of - Bacteriological Examination of the London Water Supply, 1906] to E. WINDLE TAYLOR, 1941 [co-author of : The disinfection of water mains after laying and carrying out repairs. E. Windle Taylor and L. C. Whiskin. 1949. And other works on water pollution]. TOGETHER WITH : Snow on Cholera Being a Reprint of Two Papers, etc. Hafner. New York & London, 1965. Containing a facsimile copy of the above with the maps.

*VERY SCARCE - although there are many copies in academic libraries, the book is very scarce in commerce, with only 3 records at major auctions going back to 1975 [and 2 of these records were for the same book]. The last of these was for a copy sold at Christies in 2012 for £20,000 hammer price. I further note the sale of a copy recently within the book trade for £50,000. John Snow died in 1858. His brother, Thomas, presented the above in 1875. It is bound in a green pebbled cloth and lacks the 2 maps; it is likely that Thomas Snow had been given a number of remaindered copies for presentation, in a later cloth, rather than the purple blind-decorated cloth of the original issue, and without the maps. This, Second Edition, is essentially a new work - PREFACE : 'The first edition of this work, which was published in August 1849, was only a slender pamphlet. I have, since that time, written various papers on the same subject, which have been read at the Medical Societies, and published in the medical journals. The present edition contains the substance of all these articles, together with much new matter, the greater part of which is derived from my own recent enquiries.' SEE Garrison-Morton #5106 - '........ His book On the mode of communication of cholera appeared in the same year [1849], and its second edition (1855) was in fact a new book, reporting much more elaborate and refined investigations on cholera incidence and water supply; it included the story of the Broad Street pump.' Thomas's letter to The Times was written to refute their statement that his brother John, had only formulated his theories on the transmission of cholera through polluted water in 1854 - 'Dr. Snow prosecuted his researches and furnished abundant facts in confirmation of his theory, long before the outbreak of 1854....'. John Snow (15 March 1813 16 June 1858) was an English physician and a leader in the development of anaesthesia and medical hygiene. He is considered one of the founders of modern epidemiology, in part because of his work in tracing the source of a cholera outbreak in Soho, London, in 1854. Oxford University researchers state that Snow's findings inspired the adoption of anaesthesia as well as fundamental changes in the water and waste systems of London, which led to similar changes in other cities, and a significant improvement in general public health around the world. A most attractive provenance of a foundation work in medical history, almost certainly as issued rather than defective, being without the maps. These are supplied for reference with the facsimile edition.

John Churchill. London.

Date Published: 1855. Second Edition, much enlarged.

Stock No. 13931

Price: 25,000.00