What was life like before childhood vaccines? In this episode, hear from people who grew up in the shadow of a crippling disease—among them, “polio pioneers,” schoolkids from the clinical trials of Jonas Salk’s killed-virus vaccine. Their accounts tell the story of how ordinary people helped win the struggle against one of the most crippling diseases in history.
This Pitt Medcast was inspired by “Among My Souvenirs,” a story from the August 2005 issue of Pitt Med magazine. Written by Elaine Vitone. Production by Janine Faust, Margaret Palko, and Elaine Vitone with additional research by Elaina Zachos and Luisa Garbowit. Executive produced by Erica Lloyd. Sound effects by freesound.org. Special thanks to Pitt alumna Cassie Nespor, curator of the Melnick Medical Museum and University Archives at Youngstown State University, for firing up their refurbished Emerson iron lung for this podcast. Archival audio from Old Time Radio Downloads and Old Radio World. Contemporary news clips by NPR’s All Things Considered. Music by Chad Crouch, Chris Zabriskie, Borrtex, Podington Bear, and the Pitt Band.