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Death By Beer

Episode 2 of 5

1900 Manchester. Beer drinkers are dropping dead like flies but no one knows why. Epidemiologist Professor Hugh Pennington draws lessons about modern contamination outbreaks.

Files from the National Archive reveal preposterous acts both grand and petty. Julian Putkowski distills them down.

Question- How many pints of beer a day does it take to kill a woman living in Manchester in 1900? Answer- 1.5.

Professor Hugh Pennington is shocked by the scale of death caused by accidental contamination. There are many similarities between how the authorities dealt with the disaster then and his own experience in modern poisonings.

Producer: Matt Thompson
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 14 Sep 2010 15:45


  • Sun 30 Sep 2007 14:45
  • Sat 2 Feb 2008 05:45
  • Tue 14 Sep 2010 15:45