Lancet belonging to Edward Jenner, 18th century.
3 1 c m
40cm
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

Lancet belonging to Edward Jenner, 18th century.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

Description

Lancet made by Simpson and belonging to Jenner, probably used for vaccination. In the 1790s, Edward Jenner (1749-1823) used a lancet to introduce fluid from a cowpox sore through a person's skin, in order to inoculate them against smallpox, a similar but more dangerous disease. He called his method 'vaccination', from 'vacca', the Latin word for cow. The 1853 Vaccination Act heralded an era of compulsory vaccination against smallpox.
 

Image Ref.

10450386
 

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