Vaccination lancets, late 19th to early 20th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Vaccination was introduced in the 1790s by the pioneering doctor, Edward Jenner (1749-1823). He introduced fluid from a cowpox sore through a person's skin with a lancet, inoculating them against smallpox, a similar but more dangerous disease. He called his method 'vaccination' from 'vacca', the Latin for cow. The 1853 Vaccination Act brought compulsory vaccination against smallpox. Subsequently, many different types of vaccinator were developed. Left to right: triple-bladed lancet by Millikin, London, c 19th century; double-headed vaccination lancet, c 19th century; single-headed vaccination lancet, early 20th century; double-headed vaccination lancet by Ferguson of London, 19th century.