Jonas Salk's Syringe


Jonas Salk used this syringe during the testing of his polio vaccine. In the early tests carried out in 1952 and 1953, Salk gave all the vaccinations himself. The first subjects included children at the D. T. Watson Home for Crippled Children, residents of the Polk State Home, Salk, and members of his laboratory staff. In 1953, the first community-based, pilot vaccine trial was carried out with volunteer families in the Pittsburgh area. A second pilot trial included thousands of Pittsburgh schoolchildren. The success of these early tests paved the way for the Salk Vaccine National Field Trial of 1954.

Date Made: ca 1950

Maker: Becton, Dickinson and Company

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine, Health & Medicine, The Antibody Initiative, National Treasures exhibit, Antibody Initiative: Polio


Exhibition Location:

Related Web Publication:

Related Publication: Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History, National Museum of American History. Treasures of American History online exhibition

Credit Line: Gift of The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MG.221419.07Catalog Number: 221419.07Accession Number: 221419

Object Name: biologicalsyringe, vaccine, polioOther Terms: syringe, hypodermic; Hypodermic

Physical Description: glass (plunger; barrel; tip material)steel (handle; needle material)Measurements: overall: 10.4 cm x 2.8 cm x 1 cm; 4 1/8 in x 1 1/8 in x 3/8 inoverall: 4 1/8 in x 1 1/8 in x 3/8 in; 10.4775 cm x 2.8575 cm x .9525 cm


Record Id: nmah_734498

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