Sample of Original Penicillin

Description
In September 1928, British bacteriologist Alexander Fleming found something unusual growing in his laboratory. Mold had contaminated a plate of Staphylococci, disease-causing bacteria. Where the mold had spread, the bacteria had disappeared.
Further research revealed that the mold, Penicillium notatum, produced a substance harmful to microorganisms but relatively nontoxic to animals and humans. During World War II, British and American scientists expanded on Fleming's discovery to develop the powerful antibiotic penicillin.
Object Name
Penicillin, Mold, Fleming's
penicillin mold
biological
date made
ca 1940s
referenced
Fleming, Alexander
maker
Fleming, Alexander
Physical Description
Penicillium notatum (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 1/2 in x 2 in; x 1.27 cm x 5.08 cm
overall: 3/8 in x 2 in; x .9525 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
MG*M-06668
catalog number
M-06668
accession number
198819
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
National Treasures exhibit
Health & Medicine
Exhibition
American Stories
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL
http://americanhistory.si.edu/treasures

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