Waterhouse, Benjamin

Introduced Jenner’s smallpox vaccinations in the US, tested on his own children

Price: $150.00

Description:
(1754-1846) American physician, Harvard Medical School professor, 1st doctor to test the smallpox vaccine in the US, which he carried out on his own family. Medical career began at 16, when he apprenticed for a doctor in Newport, Rhode Island. At 21, studied medicine in London ( with Dr. John Fothergill), Edinburgh and Leyden, where he received his medical degree. While living in Holland, he roomed with John Adams. Upon 1782 return to the US, joined faculty of the new medical school at Harvard as one of 3 professors, including John Warren and Aaron Dexter, in the area of Theory and Practice of Physic. He was elected that year as a Fellow at Rhode Island College (now Brown University). In 1814, Waterhouse resigned his Harvard professorship after opposing a plan to establish the Medical School in Boston and attempting to found a rival medical school. He was a strong supporter of Samuel Thomson's medical system throughout the 1820s. With the support of President Thomas Jefferson, Waterhouse introduced Edward Jenner's method of cowpox vaccination in the US ca.1800. He attempted to maintain a monopoly over the cowpox vaccine, for both financial reasons and to protect the vaccine from incompetent or fraudulent physicians. The first American vaccinations were on 4 of his 6 children. He commissioned a controlled experiment at the Boston Board of Health in which 19 vaccinated and 2 unvaccinated boys were exposed to the smallpox virus. The vaccinated boys demonstrated immunity and the 2 unvaccinated boys succumbed to the disease. His portrait hangs at Harvard Medical School and his house near Cambridge Common bears a plaque commemorating his introduction of the smallpox vaccine in the US. 1 x 3 clipped signature (“B. Waterhouse”) + small b&w magazine portrait

Condition: Very good, tiny hole carefully repaired at left under “B”
Type:Signature






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