Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Curious Case of Typhoid Mary


Mary Mallon was the first identified carrier of typhoid in the United States. From 1900 to 1907 Mary worked as a cook for seven different families in New York and Long Island. While Mary was employed as a cook in these different households, members of the families would develop typhoid fever. It is believed that she infected at least 51 people during her cooking career.

George Soper, a typhoid researcher, was eventually hired by one of the families to investigate the cause of typhoid within their household. Soper investigated the families that employed Mary Mallon and discovered this common pattern of family members developing typhoid. He went on to publish his results in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Curious Career of Typhoid Mary is a story map of Soper's entire paper for the American Medical Association. All the locations mentioned in the paper have been annotated to link to the accompanying map. This means that as you read the paper you can track Typhoid Mary's career as she moved from family to unfortunate family.

The map includes vintage map overlays taken from the New York Public Library's Digital Collections. It also includes historical images from the NYPL Digital Collection. The map itself was created using the Neatline story map template from the Scholars' Lab at the University of Virginia Library.
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