Lancet belonging to Edward Jenner, 18th century.

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

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.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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