Smallpox Through Time


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10.Public Health, Public Protest

The story of how the compulsory vaccination of infants in Britain provoked a furious backlash. (3.25 mins)

11.Epidemic on Camera
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1896 next video 11/13next

iconSecondary Resources

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1. The vaccine controversy
Over the past thirty years, historians have debated... Read more
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2. Resistance to vaccination
From the start, vaccination had its critics... Read more
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3. The persistence of smallpox
Because of widespread resistance to vaccination... Read more
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4. Vaccination vs 'variolation'
Inoculation against smallpox ('variolation') was... Read more
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5. The decline of smallpox in the West
By the early 20th century, smallpox fatalities...Read more

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iconLocation details


We shot this module in Westminster. How many times have I filmed pieces to camera with the Palace of Westminster as the backdrop? The Great Reform Act, the Chartists, Keir Hardie, the Suffragettes. Even the Gunpowder Plot (spot the glaring historical anachronism there!).


Filming the Palace of Westminster these days is frankly such a hassle. In this terrorist conscious age, getting permission to film there has become increasingly difficult. (The first freedom we gave up was the freedom to film the very building that's meant to secure our freedoms!).

iconOur Sponsor: The Wellcome Trust

Free resource

The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charity dedicated to achieving improvements in human and animal health.

Timelines: "Smallpox through Time" was entirely funded with through a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Award. We are very grateful for the Trust's support in the making of this resource.

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