Benjamin Jesty was born in Yetminster, Dorset, England back in 1736 to Robert, could not find his mother’s name. During the eighteenth-century smallpox was widespread but the dairy-farmers knew something that most city folks didn’t. Anyway, more on that in a moment. As he aged tried an experiment on himself and two of his servants.
His experiment was met with hostility by his neighbors but he forged ahead. When his two sons were exposed to smallpox but did not get the disease, he knew the answer. In 1797, the family moved to Worth Matravers. The pastor of his local church encouraged Benjamin to vaccinate over 200 parishioners in 1806. He did in 1816, he was 80.
What you may not know about Benjamin is that he vaccinated several hundred people with cowpox, which made them immune to smallpox. I’m sure you knew Edward Jenner was given credit for the development of the smallpox vaccine in 1796, however Benjamin had already found the cure some 20 years earlier, he just never wrote about it. Now you know who really discovered the vaccine for smallpox.
Your day is worthwhile when you make someone smile, so give the free gift of a smile today