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.