Visionary: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.
Jean-Étienne Liotard/Wikimedia Commons
Wortley Montagu popularised the Turkish practice of ‘variolation’, kickstarting the global battle against smallpox.
Today smallpox can only be found in deep freeze inside a few highly secured laboratories, like this one at the CDC in 1980.
The smallpox virus appears to have been with humanity for millennia before a global vaccination drive wiped it out. Current genome research suggests how smallpox spread and where it came from.
The Cow-Pock - or the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation! (1802) by James Gillray.
The smallpox vaccination used calf lymph, which was unacceptable to vegetarians and anti-vivisectionists who were growing in number from the mid 19th century.
A doctor inspects the growth of cowpox on a milking maid.
Edward Jenner deliberately infected a young boy with cowpox and then smallpox. But his method wasn’t as mad as is often made out.