Vaccination set, London, England, 1925-1928

1925-1928 in London
Down Bros Limited

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Vaccination case, nickel plated brass, with contents, by Down Bros., London, 1925-1928

Inside the cardboard is a small thin glass tube containing a single vaccine for smallpox. Made from calf lymph by the Jenner Institute for Calf Lymph Ltd, the vaccine has been sealed in glycerine so it can be easily transported over long distances. Calves were injected with smallpox and lymph material from the pus caused by the disease was used as a vaccine. From 1898, it was illegal to use human lymph as it spread other diseases. Vaccination against smallpox did not give life-long immunity and needed to be repeated. The kit contains nickel-plated instruments by Down Bros Ltd, surgical instrument maker. Nickel-plated instruments can be easily sterilised without damaging the underlying metal.

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Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

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Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
brass (nickel plated), cardboard, glass, ivory and steel
vaccination set
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
  • drug

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