Title

Catching cowpox : The early spread of smallpox vaccination, 1798-1810

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

7-31-2009

Abstract

The introduction of smallpox vaccination after the publication of Edward Jenner's An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of Variolae Vaccinae depended on the spread of cowpox, a relatively rare disease. How Europeans and their colonial allies transported and maintained cowpox in new environments is a social and technological story involving a broad range of individuals from physicians and surgeons to philanthropists, ministers, and colonial administrators. Putting cowpox in new places also meant developing new techniques and organizations. This essay focuses on the actual practices of vaccination and their environmental contexts in order to illuminate the dynamic exchanges of materials, images, and ideas that made the spread of vaccination possible.

Publication Title

Bulletin of the History of Medicine

Volume

83

Issue

1

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