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Caricature showing 'The State Doctor' during a cholera epidemic, Europe, c. 1854

Drawn in 1854, during the third major British cholera pandemic of the 1800s, this caricature shows a well dressed physician standing in front of treatments and drugs and large pestles and mortars. This caricature is one of a set of three based on the fear of cholera (showing a publican), preventing and treating cholera, and an undertaker hoping for cholera. The third pandemic reached its peak in 1854 and 23,000 people died in Great Britain. Cholera is a bacterial infection of the small intestine causing severe diarrhoea and vomiting. The disease is now known to be spread through infected water supplies.

Object number:

1979-772/2

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Glossary:

Glossary: print

Pictorial works produced by transferring images by means of a matrix such as a plate, block, or screen, using any of various printing processes. When emphasizing the individual printed image, use "impressions." Avoid the controversial expression "original prints," except in reference to discussions of the expression's use. If prints are neither "reproductive prints" nor "popular prints," use just "prints."

Glossary: epidemic

A sudden widespread occurance of an infection with high numbers of people affected.

Glossary: cholera

A severe infection of the small intestine commonly contracted through eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea, leading to dehydration, which can be fatal.

Glossary: mortar

Cup-shaped vessel in which drugs or herbal mixtures are pounded with a pestle.

Glossary: pestle

An elongated piece of hard material usually made of stone. A pestle is used for grinding pigments, herbs, spices or other materials in a mortar.

Glossary: pandemic

An epidemic that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.

Glossary: caricature

A representation that exaggerates certain features or characteristics to humorous effect.