Source 10

A design for a ‘’cholera belt’, 1882, Catalogue ref.:  BT 45/30 (6563)


Design for Cholera Belt


Registered for Messrs Dodd & Monk, of Albert Mill, Canal St


Congleton, Chesire.






The purpose of utility to which the shape or configuration of this design has reference is to ensure that the belt shall always retain its position and not be liable to work up and become uncomfortable as does the ordinary cholera belt now worn.


The body part AA is lined with flannel, as far as the curved dotted line a, a colored red, and forms the cholera belt proper, this body-part being provided with trunk extensions B, B through which the legs are passed. The body-part is opened down the back at b, for the purpose of putting on the belt and is formed with a slit C at front and with a larger opening D at back, to enable the ordinary functions of the body – to be performed without removing the belt. The whole of this design is new in so far as regards the shape or configuration thereof.


« Return to Coping with Cholera

A ‘cholera belt’ was a wide cloth waistband made of flannel or wool worn around the stomach. The belt was supposed to protect the person from the cold and damp, as it was thought that a cold abdomen would lead to cholera or diarrhea, and other stomach ailments. 

  1. Can you explain how this design for a ‘cholera belt’ was worn?  
  2. How different is this from the ordinary belt described in the caption? 
  3. What advantages are claimed for this design? 
  4. What does it reveal about the understanding of the causes of cholera in 1882 despite the discoveries of Dr John Snow?