The Lancet wishes to correct, after an unduly prolonged period of reflection, an impression that it may have given in its obituary of Dr John Snow on June 26, 1858
Even allowing for Lancet founding Editor Thomas Wakley’s surprising contempt for Snow, the obituary was extraordinary in its brevity and its failure even to mention cholera. The excoriating Editorial 3 years earlier had been provoked by Snow’s support for what were known as the “nuisance traders”. Snow told Members of Parliament that the foul smells from processes such as tanning and soap boiling were not capable of producing acute fever or epidemic disease in an individual. Wakley, incensed at what he saw as an attempt to block important public health reforms, accused Snow of unscientific thinking.