The famous image of Florence Nightingale is of the ‘Lady with the Lamp’ - the tireless nurse, treating the wounded soldiers of the Crimean War. Her famed letter to The Times, asking for help to improve the atrocious conditions for her patients, helped change perceptions of healthcare in warzones.
However, as this article from the Guardian posits, she was also something quite unusual for the mid-19th century: a capable data journalist.
Upon returning to England, Florence began a career without war. Aside from opening a school of nursing and writing a manual on routines of care, she also turned her hand to political campaigning.
Her hand drawn graphs in the 1858 report ‘Mortality of the British Army’ are an early example of efficient data visualisation being used to succinctly present the proof behind a campaign. Her efforts have created a remarkable legacy – she remains a household name to this day, and the nursing school she established is now one of oldest in the world.