Sherman's Influenza Bacterial Vaccine 38

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Description (Brief)
During the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 the best medical minds in the country were focused on the problem of discovering the cause of the flu and how to prevent it — and they failed. Sherman’s Vaccine was developed in response to the pandemic. Essentially it was a “stew” of numerous bacterial strains (“influenza-bacillus-pneumococcus-streptococcus-staphylococcus-micrococcus-catarrhalis vaccine”), including that of the “influenza bacillus,” which had been identified in the 1890’s as the probable cause of influenza. The bacillus resisted attempts to completely prove or disprove its essential role in the disease and so remained for a long time our “best guess.” The human influenza virus was not isolated until 1933; this sample of Sherman’s Vaccine dates to 1937.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1937
product expiration date
G.H. Sherman, M.D., Inc., Bacteriological Laboratories
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
Physical Description
influenza bacillus 200,000,000 (drug active ingredients)
staphylococcus aureus (drug active ingredients)
staphylococcus albus (drug active ingredients)
micrococcus catarrhalis (drug active ingredients)
pneumococcus (drug active ingredients)
Streptococcus (drug active ingredients)
overall: 3.7 cm x 6.9 cm x 3.8 cm; 1 7/16 in x 2 11/16 in x 1 1/2 in
overall: 1 1/2 in x 2 3/4 in x 1 1/2 in; 3.81 cm x 6.985 cm x 3.81 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Sidney Glaser
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
The Antibody Initiative
Health & Medicine
Antibody Initiative: Influenza
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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