History of Vaccines Blog


Pilgrimage to the Temple of Vaccinia

May 6, 2019

Editor's Note: The following blog was written by Robert D. Hicks, PhD, Director, Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library, William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine, and Anna Dhody, MFS, Curator, Mütter Museum, Director, Mütter Research Institute and Gretchen Worden Chair, College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Video: "A Very Short History of Vaccines in America," from PBS

March 10, 2019

Frontline from PBS published a short video on YouTube about the history of mass immunization in the United States. General George Washington ordered his troops to be inoculated against smallpox, even forcing some of them to get the inoculation (variolation). This assured that the Continental Army would remain smallpox-free at a time when the disease was causing a lot of disease and death, and leading to the defeat of the British troops during the War for Independence.

Black History Month: Onesimus Spreads Wisdom That Saves Lives of Bostonians During a Smallpox Epidemic

February 3, 2019

In the early 1700s, about a century before Edward Jenner conceived the idea of a smallpox vaccine based on the cowpox virus, smallpox was going through New England and other American Colonies. In Massachusetts, colonists there saw smallpox arrive with cargo ships to Boston over and over again. There was not much the authorities could do beyond imposing quarantines and treating the sick.

April 3 Lecture on 300 Years of Immunization Advocacy

March 21, 2017

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

A Scab Story Bites Back

March 6, 2017

Curator Dhody & John Faherty of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health
Curator Dhody & John Faherty of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Photo by Evi Numen, Mütter Museum

Today's blog post is by Robert D. Hicks and Anna N. Dhody

Lora Little: The Vaccine Liberator

February 10, 2017

Lora C. LIttle
Lora C. Little. The Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Today's blog post is by History of Vaccines intern Carley Roche.

Spurious Vaccination in the Civil War: December 13 Talk

December 8, 2016

Robert Hicks in Civil War surgeon uniform
Robert Hicks in Civil War surgeon uniform

Join us December 13 at 6:30pm for an illustrated talk about smallpox vaccination in the American Civil War.

Death, The Vaccinator

October 26, 2016

Today's blog post is by Carley Roche, History of Vaccines intern

D. A. Henderson, 1928-2016

August 31, 2016

Henderson in his office in 2010
Henderson in his office in 2010

A Scab Story

August 4, 2014

Man with smallpox, early 1900s, The Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of PhiladelphiaToday's blog post is by Robert D. Hicks, PhD, Director, Mütter Museum/Historical Medical Library, William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.