Florence Nightingale's moccasins, 1850-1856
It is said these moccasins were worn by Florence Nightingale (1820–1910), while she worked at Scutari military hospital, Constantinople – modern day Istanbul in Turkey. The traditional story reports that Nightingale dramatically reduced the death rates of soldiers from forty per cent to two per cent in two years by enforcing cleanliness, special diets and improving the day-to-day running of the hospital. Recent research suggests that the death rate actually rose during the beginning of Nightingale’s stay as she believed that poor nutrition and exhaustion were causing the high mortality rate instead of diseases such as cholera, typhus and dysentery. The death rate only dropped after a commission was sent out six months after her arrival to clean sewers and improve ventilation, preventing the spread of the water-borne diseases.
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