Caricature of an undertaker hoping for cholera, Europe, c. 1854
- circa 1854 in Europe
Print. lithograph, some col, caricaturing precautions in a cholera epidemic [c1840-1865]. 3. 'Hoping for the spread of the cholera' (a gleeful undertaker, in hat, news reports of deaths), image 10x7cm edged to 12x9cm. Framed together with /1, /2, 52x21x2cm
Drawn in 1854, during the third major British cholera pandemic of the 1800s, this caricature shows a gleeful undertaker standing next to a long list of deaths. Cholera improved the fortunes of many undertakers. The third pandemic reached its peak in 1854 and 23,000 people died in Great Britain. This caricature is one of a set of three based on the fear of cholera (showing a publican), preventing and treating cholera (showing a physician), and an undertaker hoping for cholera. 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.