Documents and Figures About the Vaccine in Bologna at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century

N. Nicoli Aldini, L. Pontoni, P. Scarani, A. Ruggeri


An interesting documentation, related with the campaign for the diffusion of the vaccine in Italy at the beginning of the nineteenth century, is available at the Museum Luigi Cattaneo of Anatomical Waxes of the University of Bologna. In this collection there are two wax models reproducing a cow-udder with pocks and two girl arms with the pocks of a true and false vaccine rash. The waxes were moulded under the direction of the leading physician Pietro Moscati, and overlap with the engravings of the chief treatise about the cow-pox and vaccine publishedby Luigi Sacco in 1809. The presence of the same models also in the Museums of the University of Pavia, and the available documentation about these waxes, demonstrate the educational purpose of the preparations. According to Sacco, they would be an effective tool directed to physicians and midwiwes for the learning and the knowledge of the outcomes of vaccination.


Key words: Vaccination - Cow-pox Anatomical Waxes Medical education

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