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Copeman writes: 'In the course of some experiments on the bacteriology of vaccine lymph, I was confronted by a difficulty in the practical testing of certain of the results of my work. Continuous experimentation on children being obviously out of the question, I was naturally led to turn my attention to the discovery if possible, of some one or more of the lower animals which, by reason of their passing through the various stages of vaccination and more especially variolation in a manner comparable with that witnessed in the human subject, might serve me for control experiments. Little or no success having been obtained with the various domestic animals, I next turned to the monkey tribe on account of their similarity in many respects to man, although assured at the time that they were not susceptible to either vaccinia or variola. On putting the matter to the test, however, I found that this was not the case, the inoculation of vaccine and of variolous lymph having each of them given, in my hands, successful results in every instance in which I have tried it on the monkey (Rhaesus).'

Annotations in pencil and ink.

Subject: Bacteriology / Pathology / Virology

Received 14 June 1893 / 11 July 1893. Read 15 June 1893. Communicated by Michael Foster.

A version of this paper was published in volume 54 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society as 'Experiments on variola and vaccinia'.

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Ink and graphite pencil on paper
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7 pages

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Sydney Arthur Monckton Copeman

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Sydney Arthur Monckton Copeman, Paper, 'Experiments on variola [smallpox] and vaccinia [cowpox]' by Sydney Arthur Monckton Copeman, 1893, PP/22/15, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 19 May 2024

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  • Proceedings Papers

    Dates: 1882 - 1894

    The archival collection known as 'Proceedings Papers' is comprised of manuscripts and occasional proofs of scientific papers sent to the Royal Society which were read before meetings of Fellows and printed in full in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

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