'Med-E-Jet' inoculation gun, United States, 1980.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Made by the 'Med-E-Jet' Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio, this gun was designed to make mas immunisation more efficient. It enabled the user to give many people a small dose of vaccine or drug and was used during the smallpox eradication campaign. The medication is forced through the skin at high presure without using a needle. The gold coloured handle holds a carbon dioxide gas cartridge to supply the power, and the white part protruding from the top of the gun holds the vials of vaccine. In the event, the very simple bi-furcated needle was generally preferred to this hi-tech approach.