History of Vaccines Blog

Revisiting Early Uses of Diphtheria Anti-Toxin in the United States

June 13, 2013

NYC anti-toxin horse, Old Faithful. From Park, 1929.I’ve previously written about an early use of diphtheria anti-toxin in the United States, on October 16, 1894. A pair of young Cincinnati physicians managed to find some anti-toxin in the possession of a local doctor who had brought it back from Europe.

Please, Nurse, May I Have Some Plague Vaccine?

March 11, 2013

Hicks Vaccination Record, The College of Physicians of PhiladelphiaToday's blog post is by Robert D. Hicks, PhD, Director, Mütter Museum/Historical Medical Library

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?

Spanish Influenza Pandemic and Vaccines

December 5, 2011

Philadelphia Naval Aircraft Factory. US Naval Historical CenterIt’s National Influenza Vaccination Week, and we’re taking a look back to 1918, the time of the “Spanish” influenza pandemic. When the illness emerged, several useful vaccines had already been developed: smallpox, typhoid fever, and rabies, for example.

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.

Early Uses of Diphtheria Antitoxin in the United States

August 2, 2010

In honor of National Immunization Awareness Month, we look at one of the diseases that immunization has nearly eliminated in the United States…

Cincinnati Hospital interns, 1894-95. Charles Waugh Reynolds, MD, is seated at the right, and George Joseph Hermann, MD, at the far right. Courtesy GA Hermann, MD

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.

Calling the Shots: NOVA Documentary

September 10, 2014

Dr. Offit and Iron Lung, Independence Mall, 2012Tonight be sure to watch or record "Vaccines: Calling the Shots," the latest installment of NOVA on PBS. This documentary looks at parental attitudes toward vaccination and their influences on disease spread. Check your local listings -- here in the Philadelphia area it's scheduled for 10 pm, but in other areas it's scheduled at 9 pm Eastern.