'Pock-marked faces: A curious illusion', published by the AntI-Vaccination League, London, England, c. 1880s
Smallpox vaccination was made compulsory in Great Britain in 1853 for children under three years of age, and in 1867 for children less than 14 years of age. The National Anti-Compulsory Vaccination League was founded in 1874 to protest against these laws as many felt that government was interfering too much in their private lives. Those in favour of vaccination argued that the pock-marked faces of the survivors of smallpox would be a thing of the past when the disease had been eradicated. This eight-page leaflet informs the reader that “pock-marked faces” were a “curious illusion” and had disappeared before vaccination was introduced but were now making a comeback. Vaccination ceased to be legally required in 1909.