Edward Jenner horn

Contributed by Gloucester City Museum

Edward Jenner's horn

A section of cow horn, inscribed 'G C Jenner, 1825'; possibly a relic of a cow called 'Blossom' - the source of the first vaccination fluid. 'G C' is Edward Jenner's (1749-1823) nephew, George Charles Jenner. For centuries, smallpox was greatly feared. A third of people who contracted the disease died of it, and the survivors were often badly disfigured. Jenner noted that his milkmaids did not get smallpox. He suspected that they were prevented from getting the disease because they had previously contracted cowpox (a disease similar to smallpox, but less virulent) from their cows. Jenner inoculated 8 year old James Phipps with pus from the cowpox blisters of Sarah Nelmes, a milkmaid who had caught cowpox from Blossom the cow. Phipps suffered a fever, but no other symptoms. Edward Jenner had proved that persons inoculated with cowpox were immune to smallpox.

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Berkeley, Gloucestershire




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