Blossom's Horn: Jenner's Inspiration

Contributed by Edward Jenner Museum

Blossom's Horn: Jenner's Inspiration

This cow horn, one of many, is at the Edward Jenner Musuem in Berkeley. According to the silver inscription it was polished by Edward Jenner himself and given as a gift, which was later passed on to the Royal College of Physicians. Blossom the cow was the inspiration for Jenner's work on the smallpox vaccine: her cowpox passed to Sarah Nelmes, a milkmaid, and was used as the first "vaccine" against smallpox. So Blossom was instrumental in assisting the great Doctor in saving billions of lives world wide and aiding the eventual eradication of the disease, the first, and so far only, disease to ever be eradicated. A recent study by the Edward Jenner Museum has been matching DNA from a number of the horns reputed to be from Blossom to a preserved hide, again reputed to be hers.

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Edward Jenner Museum, Berkeley

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