1848 – The Public Health Act

The 1848 Public Health Act was the first step on the road to improved public health.  One of the individuals who played an important role in its creation was Edwin Chadwick, a social reformer. He considered that the most important steps to improve the health of the public were: • improved drainage and provision of sewers • the…

1842 – Edwin Chadwick

After the influenza and typhoid epidemics in 1837 and 1838, Edwin Chadwick was asked by the government to carry out a new enquiry into sanitation. His report, The Sanitary Conditions of the LabouringPopulationwas published in 1842. Chadwick argued that disease was directly related to living conditions and that there was a desperate need for public…

1827 – Chlorinated solutions

Labarque in 1825 used calcium hypochlorite for washing mortuaries, hospital wards, and other potenitally contiminated sites. He also reprted that hypochlorites were used succesfully in Paris on infected wounds in burns, and in England for the purification of drinking water.   Reference: Graham A. J. Ayliffe,Mary P. English (2003). Hospital Infection: From Miasmas to MRSA Photo:…

1810 – Canning process discovered

Nicolas Appert was a confectioner and chef in Paris from 1784 to 1795. He had great skill with foods and was also familiar with brewing and distillation. He set up a small kitchen in the back of his shop and decided to answer the challenge. For ten years he labored patiently with different foods, cooking…

1797 – Massachusetts passed a law allowing local boards of health to be established

Many other acts throughout the 17th and 18th centuries addressed prevention of disease and the spread of contagions. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, the appearance of several epidemics of influenza, smallpox, scarlet fever, and yellow fever brought the investigation of disease to the forefront of medical interest. Notably, on June 22, 1797, a…

1793 – The first local Board of Health in the US was created in Baltimore

The Baltimore City Health Department was founded in 1793 and is considered the oldest continuously operating health department in the United States. It was established in response to the first recorded yellow fever outbreak in Baltimore at Fell’s Point. On September 12, 1793, Governor Thomas Lee issued a proclamation appointing Baltimore’s first health officers, Drs.…

1786 – Protection of factory apprentices

In a law of September 28, 1786 in Austria, some regulations may be found in regard to factory apprentices, providing for separation of dormitories for the sexes, one child apprentice to each bed, washing and bathing once a week.

 

Reference: Price G (1914). Administration of Labor Laws and Factory Inspection in Certain European Countries

Photo: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/40/Some_of_the_boys_in_a_%22school_factory.%22_De_Pedra_Casellas_Cigar_Factory._18_employees,_5_of_them_are_apprentices._Pay…_-_NARA_-_523164.jpg

1779 – Johann Peter Frank – public hygiene

The most important European figure in the German public health movement was Johann Peter Frank (1745-1821), who established the concept of “medical police” with his publication of The System of Medical Police in 1779. Frank’s idea of “medical police” meant that government medical policy should be implemented through enforced regulations. He presented medical policing as…