-By Scott Mims
Edward Jenner started in the field of medicine at the age of 13 as an apprentice to Daniel Ludlow. Ludlow was a surgeon in Sodbury. This is were he heard a dairymaid say "I shall never have smallpox for I have had cowpox. I shall never have an ugly pockmarked face". At the age of 21 he became an apprentice to a man named John Hunter. He was able to learn surgical techniques and how to use the scientific method. Soon Jenner was named Fellow of the Royal Society for his studie called "Observations on the natural history of the cuckoo" published in 1788.
The idea of a relation between people that were previusly infected with cowpox and them not being able to contract smallpox still intrgued Jenner. in May 1796 Jenner tested this idea. Jenner first infected an 8 year old boy, nammed James Phipps, with cowpox from someone. 6 weeks later Jenner infected the boy with smallpox. There was no effect on the boy. Jenner again preformed this procedure some mounths later and still the boy was not effected by the smallpox virus. Jenners findings were not a first completely recognised. Jenner then went to Londin to find voluntiers to be vacinated, but found none. Soon George Pearson confermed Jenners finding and started vacinating in 1799.
This proved that the urban ledgun that was passed on by
milkmaids was in fact true. And so came about the first widely used
vaccination for smallpox.