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Exhibitions Home | Current | Upcoming | Past | Virtual

Whatever Happened to Polio?

April 12, 2005 – September 4, 2006

Museum: American History Museum

Location: 2nd Floor, West Wing, near Star-Spangled Banner

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the polio vaccine, this multimedia exhibition tells the story of polio from the perspective of the patient, traces the development of the vaccine that ended polio in the U.S., and discusses polio survivors and the changes they have made in American society. The exhibition also explores the changes in American medicine in the 20th century and the impact a disease can have on society as a whole. Other themes include community activism, human resilience, the development and use of medical technologies and medical science, and competition and rivalry in science. Objects on view include a working miniature iron lung and a pair of Franklin D. Roosevelt's leg braces.

Free brochure
See articles in the following Smithsonian magazines: . May 2005, pp. 38 & 40 . April 2005, pp 82-89 . Oct. 2003

Online Exhibition