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Pshew! We did it!

The exhibitions staff at the Indiana Historical Society is breathing a collective sigh of relief, having recently opened to the public its newest You Are There offering that recreates a wonderful moment in Indiana (and national) history: the discovery and distribution of the polio vaccine.

LillyLilly blackboard

Bringing to life a scene of workers at Eli Lilly and Company packing up the newly discovered but not yet approved polio vaccine at Building 314 on the Lilly campus, we invite visitors to be a part of the action and help workers prep the vaccine for shipment to an eagerly awaiting public.

Polio currentThe exhibits team grew by leaps and bounds during the course of this project, welcoming graphic design interns Jamie Goldsborough, Amy Burres, Corey Venable and Tabitha Cravens; motion graphics specialist Aaron Gallimore; plus John Fish, a conveyor belt engineer enlisted for help creating the exhibit centerpiece. An adjacent content room explores the larger story of polio, including existing treatments, the science behind the vaccine, and the production process that occurred at Lilly.

With some very special objects loaned for display, this exhibition is one of the richest yet. We hope you will visit and share your stories about this momentous time in our history. This exhibition will be open through Sept. 14, 2013.

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Comments (3)

1. robert robinson says

June 21, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.
I was in law school at the University of Michigan while Jonas Salk worked on his vaccine and my part time job was cleaning his slides

2. Robert says

July 15, 2012 at 2:49 a.m.
The part I love on the site about the natural way to avoid polio? Medical hitrosy reveals that people who were vegetarians, did not eat junk foods, or drink soft drinks, but lived a clean life-and avoided polio vaccines; and those recently receiving them-have rarely contracted polio. I love the word rarely'. I'd to say people who lived any other way, but had the polio vaccine, never ever ever ever ever contract it. This sounds to me like saying. people who drink 1o drinks and drive home are rarely in accidents .The magic of using the word rare. Its non quantifiable. Its not a percentage change, which means, technically, it could be defined at like 49 % chance of getting polio, and that would be rarer' then not getting it.

3. Alfe says

Aug. 12, 2012 at 11:17 p.m.
By Alan Cantwell Jr., M.D.Vaccines help keep us safe from infectious diesaess. Smallpox and polio epidemics have been wiped out by mass vaccine programs. People rush to get flu shots every autumn, and kids are bombarded with a barrage of 22 required vaccinations before the age of six. Even pets need their shots. The manufacture of vaccines is a giant industry and what you pay for – inoculations and doctor visits – is big business for pediatricians, family practitioners and veterinarians. So why are more and more people worried about vaccines, especially the ones for kids?Vaccine-induced IllnessBarbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Centre, a consumer’s group based in Virginia, USA, claims vaccines are responsible for the increasing numbers of children and adults who suffer from immune system and neurologic disorders, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and seizure disorders. She calls for studies to monitor the long-term effects of mass vaccination and Fisher wants physicians to be absolutely sure these vaccines are safe and not harming people.No one can deny the dangers of vaccines. The measles, mumps, rubella (German measles) and polio vaccines, all contain live but weakened viruses. Although health officials tell you that polio has been wiped out in the US since 1979, they often fail to mention that all recorded cases of polio since that time are actually caused by the polio vaccine.Vaccine investigator Neil Z. Miller questions whether we still need the polio vaccine when it causes every new case of polio in the USA. Before mass vaccinations programs began fifty years ago, Miller insists we didn’t have cancer in epidemic numbers, that autoimmune ailments were barely known, and childhood autism did not exist.Vaccine ContaminationThere is also the problem of contamination that has always plagued vaccine makers. During World War II a yellow fever vaccine manufactured with human blood serum was unknowingly contaminated with hepatitis virus and given to the military. As a result, more than 50,000 cases of serum hepatitis broke out among American troops injected with the vaccine.In the 1960s it was discovered that polio vaccines manufactured in monkey kidney tissue between 1955 and 1963 were contaminated with a monkey virus (Simian Virus, number 40). Although this virus causes cancer in experimental animals, health authorities insist it does not cause problems in humans. But evidence of SV40 genetic material has been popping up in human cancers and normal tissue. Researchers are now connecting SV40-contaminated polio vaccines to an increasing number of rare cancers of the lung (mesothelioma) and bone marrow (multiple myeloma). In a 1999 report, SV40 DNA was detected in tissue samples from four children born after 1982. Three were kidney transplant patients, and a fourth had a kidney tumour. Could SV40 be passed on from parents to their children? No one knows for sure.