1909 Pennsylvania girl's vaccination card (smallpox vaccine)
Printed form on yellow laid paper with watermark, 3 x 5 inches, completed in ink and pencil in the tradition of barely legible physician handwriting. Stamped signature of F. H. Singer, Secretary of the Board of Health. Strong vertical fold and assorted creases, soil. 1909 was a big year for vaccines with the debut of BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Gu?rin), which was adopted in Europe and America to fight tuberculosis. The vaccine administered here would have been for smallpox, which produced a sore at the injection site after a few days, if successful. Compulsory smallpox vaccination laws became enforced in Pennsylvania schools in 1906 amidst much protest--the New York Times reported on the small town of York, with the headline "Vaccination Stirs Revolt... Threats to burn schoolhouses, whip teachers, and punish school directors have been the outcome of the enforcing of the compulsory vaccination law in this county. The most disrupted school system is in Springettsbury township, where there are not enough pupils in attendance to fill one schoolhouse. ... The teachers at the Glades have been smoked out, and are holding the fort with coal oil stoves which they take to school every morning..." (Feb 5, 1906).