Anti-vaccine activists have always been violent. It’s just that today they have very big megaphones to transmit their violence.
What questions will be included in the 2020 census in the United States has become a political discussion. Back in 1880, there was one particular question that we doubt would be included today.
Vaccination against smallpox made its way slowly from Europe to Bengal (India) in the early 1800s. This account explains the efforts to vaccinate in detail.
In recent years, we have posted a blog about survivals of early smallpox scabs in archival collections today, and in a follow-up blog, “A Scab Story Bites Back,” we described the discovery of several 19th century smallpox vaccination kits in our museum collection. These kits showed visible residue on glass slides from lymph taken from pustules on infected human bodies and desiccated scab material. Since the last report, we have begun to correspond with other European and American collections with early vaccination tools that could be assayed for residue. Our own kits were examined first by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and then via the World Health Organization to Canada’s McMaster University. At this writing, the analysis of the kits continues: exciting results will be reported in “Revenge of the Scab Story,” forthcoming.
You’ve probably heard about biological warfare. That is when a group or government uses a…