Set of vaccination lancets, 19th century.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm

Set of vaccination lancets, 19th century.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


This set of lancets, made of steel and tortoiseshell, belonged to the English doctor Edward Jenner (1749-1823). Made by Weis of London, they are contained in a shagreen and silver case. Jenner introduced vaccination in 1896. His investigations, published in 1798, showed that fluid taken from a human with cowpox could be used more safely for vaccinations than could variolation - inoculating non-infected people with fluid from pustules of smallpox.

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