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Whittemore's Automatic Vaccinator

https://mhc.andornot.com/en/permalink/artifact9882
Dates
1860
1890
circa 1860-1890
Collection
University Health Network - Academy of Medicine Collection
Category
Patient Care Artifacts
Vaccination
Classification
Patient Care
Vaccination
Accession Number
1930.3.1 a-b
Description
Nickle-plated brass vaccinator (a) in brown leather covered wooden case (b) with interior of blue velvet; rectangular vaccinator has finger hole on one end, thumb-worked single-action and hollow needle.
  1 image  
Accession Number
1930.3.1 a-b
Collection
University Health Network - Academy of Medicine Collection
Category
Patient Care Artifacts
Vaccination
Classification
Patient Care
Vaccination
MeSH Heading
Vaccination
Smallpox Virus
Immunization
Public Health
Description
Nickle-plated brass vaccinator (a) in brown leather covered wooden case (b) with interior of blue velvet; rectangular vaccinator has finger hole on one end, thumb-worked single-action and hollow needle.
Number Of Parts
2
Part Names
a - vaccinator - Length 6.0 cm x Width 0.5 cm x Depth 4.5 cm
b - box
Provenance
Acquired from the Academy of Medicine; donated by Dr. Gilbert Parker.
Maker
Codman & Shurtleff
Site Made (City)
Boston
Site Made (State)
Massachusetts
Site Made (Country)
United States of America
Dates
1860
1890
circa 1860-1890
Date Remarks
Patent date of 1866 stamped on vaccinator
Material
leather: brown
fabric: dark blue
metal: silver
Inscriptions
Stamped on vaccinator: "WHITTEMORE'S // PATENT // FEB. 21, 1866"
Permanent Location
Storage Room 0010
0010-D6-5
Temporary Location
(a): On exhibit “Growing Pains: the 1867 Kingston General Hospital Crisis” at Museum of Health Care, 25 June 2017.
Condition Remarks
Case hinge broken; operable; #2: vaccinator is in good condition, with no active corrosion; minor metal wear in the form of fingerprints on the lever and body; parts move freely; case is in fair condition; leather is dry and brittle; top lid covering is totally detached; leather well worn at top and bottom and along edges; velvet lining is slightly faded; round velvet-covered piece in bottom of case is loose; front eye hook moves freely
Copy Type
Original
Reference Types
Internet
Reference Comments
http://obgynmedicalantiques.com/med-vaccination-1/whittemores-automatic-vaccinator
Research Facts
In using the device, the forefinger is passed into the ring and the thumb pressed upon the lever, by which the perforator is raised, and upon reaching a point is deployed by the force of a spring, and, slightly puncturing the skin deposits the virus. Thus, in a single, easy motion, a vaccination is performed. “The pain attending its use is so slight, as rarely to awaken a sleeping child, while the operation is rendered much more certain than by other methods.”
At the time Whittemore’s vaccinator was available, just smallpox had a vaccine, with rubella, measles, mumps, polio and other dreaded diseases still running unchecked.
The tip of the vaccinator is a hollow tube for holding the vaccine or serum. It is activated by a lever on the top, which both cocks and releases the blade. These are often mistaken for bleeders.
Exhibit History
"When Medicine Met Science," Museum of Health Care, April 29, 2003 (a) - 25 Jan 2017
Images
Less detail