Vaccination lancet, London, England, 1822-1850

1822-1850 in London

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Vaccination lancet, double-headed, folding, steel and tortoisehsell, by Ferguson of London, 1822-1869

The steel blades would have been dipped into lymph material from a pus-filled skin blister of a person already vaccinated against smallpox. The lancet blade would then be inserted into the skin and used to vaccinate another person. This arm-to-arm vaccination was made illegal in 1898, as it could transmit other diseases. Specially prepared animal lymph was used instead. Vaccination did not give life-long immunity and needed to be repeated. Smallpox was the first disease that could be vaccinated against. This vaccination lancet with tortoiseshell guards was made by Ferguson, a surgical instrument maker.

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Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
steel and tortoiseshell
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument

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