Ivory and box wood vaccinator, Europe, 1701-1800

The history of smallpox vaccination does not necessarily start with Edward Jenner’s (1749-1823) introduction of a cowpox vaccine in 1798. A procedure known as ‘variolation’ was devised in China about a thousand years ago and then spread westwards to Turkey and a number of other Islamic countries. In variolation, material from smallpox pustules was given to an uninfected person by blowing dried sma…

Mareschal-type vaccinostyles, France, 1881-1920
Weir vaccinator, Europe, 1831-1870
Set of six vaccinators, France, 1860-1871
Mallam-type vaccinator, London, England, 1874-1900