History of Vaccines Blog


The Stranger in the Mirror in Bleak House

September 16, 2013

Nurse and Patient, Bleak HouseAs I was reading Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, I was interested to find a description of an illness that most likely was smallpox. The incident involves Esther Summerson, the self-sacrificing heroine.

Philly Students Learn About Smallpox

August 14, 2013

>Yesterday I had the pleasure of working with the College's new group of Karabots Junior Fellows.

American Presidents and Infectious Diseases

July 3, 2013

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and MuseumWe've expanded and updated a popular post from 2012 by History of Vaccines former intern Alexandra Linn. 

Testing a Smallpox Digital Game

May 3, 2013

Pox in the City, courtesy Lisa RosnerOn Wednesday I spent some time working with students from nearby Science Learning Academy.

Animal Vaccination Scene 1872

December 13, 2012

Charles F. Guillou, 1872. The Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.We came across this sketch of smallpox vaccine production in the Historical Medical Library’s collection of materials from Charles F. Guillou (1813-1899).

Epidemiologist Benjamin Franklin

May 2, 2012

Benjamin Franklin, The College of Physicians of PhiladelphiaWhat do you think about when someone mentions Benjamin Franklin? Do you think of the statesman, the inventor, the man with the kite in the thunderstorm, or the first Postmaster General?

Spurious Vaccination in the Civil War

March 25, 2011

Spurious Vaccination, The College of Physicians of PhiladelphiaRobert D. Hicks, PhD, Director, Mütter Museum/Historical Medical Library, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, contributes today’s blog post. In preparation for an exhibit on Civil War Medicine at the Mütter Museum in 2012, Dr. Hicks has been researching, among other topics, the occurrence of spurious vaccination in the Civil War.

1879 Surgical Catalog: Mail-Order Smallpox Vaccine

July 27, 2010

Guest post by Robert D. Hicks, Ph.D.

Director, Mütter Museum & Historical Medical Library

William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine

Cover of Codman & Shurtleff catalog. Courtesy of The Bakken Library and Museum.

NFID Annual Conference on Vaccine Research: Focus on Eradication

April 23, 2013

We’re spending National Infant Immunization Week in Baltimore at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases Annual Conference on Vaccine Research. It’s three full days of sessions focused on research into existing and new vaccines, as well as research on epidemiologic and public health aspects of infectious diseases and vaccines. One of the main threads at the first day of the conference was disease eradication.