The eighteenth and nineteenth century saw an explosion in freak show performers and exhibitions. Anyone deemed ‘out of the ordinary’ had the potential to be displayed and exhibited, including giants. These giants performed to earn a living, yet whilst previous work by historians’ paint giants as passive performers who were exploited by entertainment managers and… Continue reading Paper, Flesh and Bone: An Exploration of Giants’ Lives in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Britain
Edward Jenner's development of the smallpox vaccine in the 1790s was a crucial turning point for the eradication of smallpox. Variolation, the direct exposure of an individual to the smallpox virus to encourage immunity, was replaced by Jenner with vaccination, in which a scab from the infectious cow-pox virus was inserted into the skin. Inoculation… Continue reading Irre-moo-vable Side Effects: Cows, Etchings and Opposition to the Smallpox Vaccination, 1800-1810.