Alexander Fleming's penicillin mold


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.

Date Made: 1928ca. 1940Date Made: Mold produced in 1928, mounted ca 1940

Maker: Fleming, AlexanderFleming, Alexander

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United Kingdom: England, London

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift from Pfizer, Inc.

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1999.0273.1Accession Number: 1999.0273Catalog Number: 1999.0273.1

Object Name: Penicillin Moldbiologicalpenicillin mold

Measurements: overall: 2 in x 2 in x 1/2 in x 2 in; 5.08 cm x 5.08 cm x 1.27 cm x 5.08 cm


Record Id: nmah_472861

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