Mallam-type vaccinator, London, England, 1874-1900

Made:
1874-1900 in Smithfield
maker:
Arnold and Sons

Mallam's vaccinator, patented and manufactured by Arnold and Sons, London, 1874-1900

A number of different devices were invented to give smallpox vaccinations. Invented by Mallam in 1874, this device is curved to fit a child’s arm. Four double blades are triggered using the lever on top. All of the blades would have been prepared by being dipped in lymph material from the pustule of a person who had already been vaccinated. Pustules are skin blisters filled with pus that appear approximately five to eight days after vaccination. Vaccination did not give life-long immunity. Using human lymph became illegal in Britain in 1898 as it was found to spread other diseases, such as syphilis. Instead, specially prepared animal lymph was used.

Details

Category:
Public Health & Hygiene
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A654039/1
Materials:
case, leatherette, lining, silk, lining, velvet and vaccinator, brass
type:
vaccinator
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment