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Type > Tools & Equipment > Vaccination knife

Accession # SRM1988-61.9

Vaccination knife

1800-1825


A vaccination knife was used by dipping the point of the knife into a vaccinating agent (such as a lymph infected with cowpox as is done when vaccinating against small pox) and then piercing a person's skin with that point. A vaccination knife was not always used to vaccinate a person against a disease. It is commonly believed that Anglo settlers often vaccinated Native Americans with smallpox and sent them back to the tribe to unknowingly infect them with the disease.




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