Vaccination lancets, late 18th-early 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
These vaccination lancets belonged to Edward Jenner (1749-1823). 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.