A key period for public health came with the rise of the ‘modern state’ in the 19th century. Rapid economic growth and mass urbanization coincided with high mortality from infectious diseases, such as cholera and typhus, and the stalling of life expectancy increases because of unhealthy urban environments. ‘Sanitation to education: 1800–1900s’ shows how public health at this time was about sanitation. This focus changed during the century due to Louis Pasteur’s scientific breakthroughs, which brought vaccines and pharmacotherapy for specific diseases. The environmental emphasis of 19th-century public health gave way to a greater focus on the individual, to education and personal advice, and to a concern for the health of mothers and babies in the home.