John Snow and research
Shephard DA.
Department of Anaesthesia,
University Hospital,
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Can J Anaesth. 1989 Mar;36(2):224-41


John Snow's leadership in epidemiology as well as anaesthesia resulted from his research as much as his clinical practice. In anaesthesia, Snow's research concerned the regulation of concentrations of volatile agents and the development of efficient inhalers; the uptake and elimination of volatile agents; stages of anaesthesia; carbon dioxide metabolism and rebreathing; and metabolism in anaesthesia and the theory of anaesthesia. In epidemiology, Snow investigated the relationship of water supplies to mortality in cholera during the London epidemic in 1854, which led him to formulate an original and valid theory of the transmission of cholera. Snow's research, which has received less attention than anecdotes concerning his career (e.g., his anaesthetizing Queen Victoria and urging removal of the handle of a contaminated water pump), was always directed towards solving specific problems. The significance of his research is evident in its leading not only to improvements in health care but also to the evolution of anaesthesia and epidemiology as professional disciplines.
Dr John Snow
'My beloved chloroform'
Anaesthesia and anaesthetics
Anaesthesia/16th October 1846
Obstetric chloroform anaesthesia
First use of anaesthetics in different countries
Rebreathing of anaesthetic gases in exhaled air
Dr John Snow and the London cholera epidemics

and further reading
Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World