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Village Pump, 18th-19th Century

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W. Britain

Item Number: 53027

Village Pump, 18th-19th Century

Village hand pumps were installed from the 18th century, and began to replace wells by the latter half of the 19th century.  Hand pumps chiefly operated with a piston or diaphragm mechanism with a check valve on the entry and exit ports to a water chamber.  Because water from these pumps is drawn directly from the soil, it is more prone to contamination.  If the water is not purified, consumption might lead to water-borne illnesses or disease.  A notorious case was the 1854 Broad Street, London cholera outbreak.  Contaminated water was suspected and when the handle of the public pump was removed, the outbreak subsided.  Public pumps were not merely water sources, but were also places where people gathered to share information, news, and gossip.

Released in FEBRUARY 2024.