Smallpox Scab Carrier - Dr. F. E. Chatard

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Description (Brief)
This small gold case has ornate chasing upon its hinged lid. The bottom half of the case is filled with wax. It is a decorative scab carrier - a scab containing vaccinia virus would have been set upon or within the wax, which, along with the tightly closed case, would have kept the scab moist and fresh. The fresh scab could then be easily carried by a doctor who used it when performing vaccination against smallpox.
The engraved inscription on the lid of the case on reads "Dr. F. E. Chatard." Ferdinand Edme Chatard was born August 3,1805 and died October 18, 1888. He had a general practice in Baltimore and specialized in obstetrics. Chatard received a degree in medicine in 1826 from the University of Maryland. He later studied in France for three years. F.E. Chatard's father had been a physician, as well.
Currently not on view
date made
Physical Description
gold (overall material)
wax (overall material)
overall: .6 cm x 2.7 cm; 1/4 in x 1 1/16 in
overall: 1/4 in x 1 1/8 in; .635 cm x 2.8575 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of the State of Maryland
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
The Antibody Initiative
Antibody Initiative: Smallpox
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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