Triple bladed vaccination lancet, London, England, 1822-1875

Made:
1822-1875 in London
maker:
John Millikin

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Triple-bladed, vaccination lancet, steel and ivory, by Millikin of London, 1822-1900

The three 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 was made by John Millikin, a surgical instrument maker.

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Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

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Details

Category:
Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
A615183
Materials:
ivory, steel
type:
lancet
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument

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