Primary Resource Sets

One of our 2019 MHL fellows, Kelly H. Jones, put together our first two primary source sets: one on disability and one on vaccination. We have plans for additional sets and are pleased to offer these to our users.




This is topic that is rich for exploration and requires careful contextualization. The words used to describe physical, mental, and emotional impairments have, over time, come to be used as degrading and dehumanizing terms, yet many such (including “cripple,” “feeble-minded,” “moron,” and the like) were commonly used in medical literature of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. My goal with these collections, therefore, was to provide ample specific context and to demonstrate how understandings of physical, mental, and developmental disabilities have changed over time.

Two collection areas are organized around what historians of disabilities have called the medical and social models of disability: the former sees conditions labeled as disabling as based in an abnormal process that must be corrected, while the latter considers disabilities to be the problem of the social or built environment (to cite a common example: using a wheelchair isn’t inherently a problem, until one encounters stairs). The sources contained in the medical model collections (which I termed interventions/care), were chosen because they each give a perspective on how the medical community at a specific point in time approached care for people with disabilities. This 1867 text,Infantile Paralysis and its Attendant Deformitiesby Charles F. Taylor, details not only the design of various apparatuses to treat children with lingering paralysis, but expounds on the author’s theory as to why the disease developed (nervously-exhausted parents were to blame!).

同样,社会模型收集(政策/社会)突出了MHL系列的物品,展示了残疾人如何应对他们一天的挑战,或者社会如何努力容纳残疾人。One particularly rich set of sources was produced by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Labor, which in 1944 set out to survey the prevalence and types of assistance available to citizens with disabilities (in all likelihood, for the purpose of having a list of what soldiers returning from World War II might expect). The “Hearings on Aids to the Physically Handicapped” ran to eight sessions and produced 1,138 total pages of testimony pertaining to services available to individuals with disabilities (and often on what was NOT available). The first volume in the series can be locatedhere.

我不是组织特定类型的残疾,而是选择这些分类,以突出这些类别的共同点。但是,我认为某种“案例研究”方法也是有用的,因为它可以提供通道叙事。为此,我选择了残疾退伍军人的主题。这让我允许我利用美国国立医学图书馆和海军医学局和医学历史上的海军局的收藏品。一个共同的主题是康复,特别是在第二次世界大战之后。这本杂志,Carry On: A Magazine on the Reconstruction of Crippled Soldiers and Sailors,was produced by the American Red Cross as a resource for individuals and relief societies interested in veterans with disabilities. It’s oft-repeated message was “not charity, but a chance.”

Creating this collection necessarily turned up sources that may be unsettling or disturbing to some, and where necessary I have included notes to that effect. One tendency in historical medical literature that discusses patients with disabilities is the use of images of patients (clothed and unclothed, face obscured or not) to illustrate examples. While the case can be made that these have been valuable teaching tools for medical students in the past, the question of whether the patient consented to the use of their image is not always answered. Unfortunately, it’s often safe to say that consent was not considered in the era prior to the 1970s.

After engaging with the materials curated for this exhibit, viewers should be able to:

  1. Explain how the experience of disabilities has changed over time.
  2. Explain what sorts of conditions have been labeled as disabilities and why, given changing historical conditions.
  3. Describe how medical understandings of disability have changed over time, especially in light of new technologies or understandings of the body.
  4. Give examples of some of the assistive programs and technologies that have been established to help those with physical and mental impairments.
  5. Understand the legal and ethical issues that surround disability research and treatment.



跟随“animal turn“在历史研究中,在动物的药物历史上进行了更多的工作作为研究科目。在疫苗接种的领域中,这个历史应该立即显而易见:它在名称中就在那里。Edward Jenner在他的1798年的论文中,探究痘痘疫苗的原因和影响, applied a Latin name to the cowpox:variolae vaccinae(来自奶牛的Smallpox +),从中获得名词“疫苗接种”。Jenner在观察到从牲畜收缩的牛皮克和牲畜的牛仔队和牲畜的牛仔组织不容易受到SmallPox感染或接种后,Jenner在疾病上开发了第一个疫苗。詹纳的创新,因为熟悉故事的人知道,并没有以普遍的热情问候。

Image 1: harvesting cowpox lymph from a calf for use in smallpox vaccine. Source: J. Aitchbee, What is Vaccine Lymph? Kilmarnock, Scotland: Joseph Scott, 1904, p. 6
从小牛中收获豇豆淋巴用于Smallpox疫苗。资料来源:J. Aitchbee,What is Vaccine Lymph?Kilmarnock, Scotland: Joseph Scott, 1904, p. 6

For one thing, just because a substance prevented deadly disease did not make all individuals wild about having it injected into their bodies. The author of“What is Vaccine Lymph?”当然,从活奶牛收集的淋巴不适合人类使用。参考政府报告关于疫苗收集过程(见上文)的报告(见上文),他解释说,18个月大的小牛沿着旋转桌散步,然后抬到水平位置。这种职位和束缚使得耕地机更容易造成小型切割并将牛皮疙瘩擦入它们中,鼓励更多的牛痘溃疡生长,后来收获了淋巴以用作小型疫苗。一旦奶牛从其栽培的牛皮克恢复过来,就是这是根据本作者的销售给屠宰场。

In all likelihood, the original intent of the photographer was to reassure officials that the vaccine was collected in a regimented manner, but the photos were spun differently by Aitchbee.

读者预计会得出结论,培养疫苗淋巴不仅对动物残忍,而且可能含有其他疾病的细菌,如结核病 - 奶牛也是这种可怕疾病的载体 - 因此对人类带来了危险健康。在抗疫苗接种文献中收获疫苗淋巴的污秽牲畜和病害牛的愿景。一位评论家认为,与动物或人类有无论是不自然和强制性的疫苗接种,因此构成了不自然和强制性的疫苗接种“assault and a crime in the nature of rape.”

Unsurprisingly, there was a great amount of overlap between anti-vivisectionist societies and anti-vaccination societies in the early twentieth century.

Contrast with this, the story of the diphtheria antitoxin. Whereas Jenner’s discovery took advantage of knowledge from farmers confirmed through his own clinical experiments and observations, the diphtheria antitoxin was developed in laboratories in France and Germany, using then-cutting-edge scientific techniques. As the antitoxin must be generated in an animal body, horses were used as they produce large quantities of blood and generate a fairly quick immune response to the antibodies (for a short history of the New York City Health Department’s diphtheria antitoxin farm,click here).

The antitoxin’s equine origin was not hidden from the public: newspapers coverage from 1895 included photographs of horses standing patiently, allowing their blood to be collected for use in serums that would save the lives of sick children.

Image 2: preparing a horse to harvest diphtheria antibodies for use in manufacturing antitoxin. Source: The Preparation of Diphtheria Antitoxin and Prophylactics (film), produced by G.B. Instructional Ltd., 1945.
Preparing a horse to harvest diphtheria antibodies for use in manufacturing antitoxin. Source:的准备工作n of Diphtheria Antitoxin and Prophylactics(薄膜),由G.B产生。教学有限公司,1945年。

对马匹的西方文化看法与奶牛相反 - 马匹是美丽的,有尊严的,奶牛很笨拙,乖乖,没有智慧(我个人不认识这些职位) - 可能会影响公众如何对最新的新闻作出反应的影响市场上的疫苗也在动物中培养。为无辜的孩子们提供血液的母猪的描绘将有很长的路要向努力抵御他们用作耕地机构的Qual。添加到价值服务的图像,这些马匹,一旦他们给予了几次血清捐款,就会退出到农村牧场。

Anti-vaccinationists仍然引用种植in animals generally, but illustrated anti-vaccination sources in the MHL collections only use images of cattle for the purpose of discomforting the reader.

A 1945 educational filmproduced in collaboration with the Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories gave audiences a first-hand look at the conditions in which horses were kept during the process of cultivating and harvesting diphtheria antitoxin. The horse was led into a clean tiled room, the site for injections and blood draws was scrubbed and sterilized, and the veterinarians and technicians wore surgical scrubs. The horse is removed from the barnyard and becomes part of the laboratory (I will caution you that the film is overall horrendously dull, as one might expect from a 1940s-era educational film).*

Image 3: Vaccinating a sheep against anthrax. Two men working together in this method could immunize up to 150 sheep in an hour, assuming the remaining 149 stood still after watching this procedure. Source: George Fleming, Pasteur and His Work, from an Agricultural and Veterinary Point of View(London: William Clowes and Sons, 1886), p. 51.
Vaccinating a sheep against anthrax. Two men working together in this method could immunize up to 150 sheep in an hour, assuming the remaining 149 stood still after watching this procedure. Source: George Fleming,Pasteur and His Work, from an Agricultural and Veterinary Point of View(London: William Clowes and Sons, 1886), p. 51.

So far I have highlighted the history of perceptions of the use of animals in the production of vaccines, but what about the effects of vaccines on animals themselves? As both vectors and victims of contagious diseases, animals have been recipients of vaccines to prevent illnesses such as rabies, anthrax, and distemper. Agriculturalists early realized the potential benefits to humans from vaccinating livestock: herds would live longer, healthier lives and produce more young.

Agricultural and veterinary historians have no doubt included vaccines in their accounts of the development of modern animal husbandry, but how have human and animal health alike been affected by vaccines? While the usual metaphor of the two-way street is an overstatement, given greater human agency, these sources indicate an inter-relationship between humans and the animals we’ve vaccinated.

*For more on mass media and its effects on popular perception of medicine, see Bert Hansen,将医疗进展从巴斯德到脊髓灰质炎(Rutgers University Press, 2009).

After engaging with the materials curated for this exhibit, viewers should be able to:

  1. Identify some of the key moments in the history of the development of vaccines.
  2. Describe how medical understanding about vaccination and immunity have changed over time.
  3. Describe the legal arguments for and against compulsory vaccination.
  4. Understand how the medical profession has reacted to the introduction of new vaccines and how their responses have changed over time.
  5. Recognize the salient medical, legal, and ethical questions surrounding vaccine research and regulations.

Vaccines and…

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