Machines, germs, and politicians. The difficult beginnings of the antibiotics industry in Eastern Europe.
After the Second World War, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration offered six penicillin factories to European countries. The program stalled soon, however, because the United States imposed an embargo on deliveries of certain pieces of equipment needed to put the plants into operation. The paper discusses how engineers and scientists in Eastern Europe dealt with such difficulties and eventually launched the production of penicillin.
A presentation at the seminar of Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, The University of Manchester, UK. 26 September 2012, 2-3pm.
On August 30, 2012, Alec Badenoch, the Chief Editor of Inventing Europe Virtual Exhibit, presented the working version of it at the conference CIMUSET, held in Tampere, Finland. The main theme of the conference was “Brighter Perspectives for Science and Technology Museums”. I dare to say that with our Virtual Exhibit, these perspectives are even brighter!
In 1946 The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) declared, that several European countries devastated by war, would receive five fully equipped penicillin plants. For Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Italy, Belarus and Ukraine that would mean an enormous support in their efforts to improve health conditions, especially since after the war large anti-venereal diseases programs have been launched in these countries. The beneficiaries had to furnish the factory buildings to house the production lines. The local specialists had to be trained in the West in order to keep the plants working. But due to American strategic embargo, the equipment delivered to East European countries was incomplete. It caused a political stir at World Health Organization (WHO) forum, which resulted with withdrawal of several countries from the organization…
Event: „Beyond the Magic Bullet. Reframing the History of Antibiotics”
Location: Voksenåsen Conference Centre, Oslo, Norway. Conference: Beyond the Magic Bullet: Reframing the History of Antibiotics.
Organisers: Christoph Gradmann and Flurin Condrau / European Science Foundation Research Network Program DRUGS.
Decades before Kevlar was invented, Casimir Zeglen, a Polish-born priest living in Chicago, developed and started selling a bulletproof vest made of silk. At that time, it was the lightest and the easiest to wear. First and foremost, Zeglen’s vest was the most reliable and the only true bulletproof vest on the market. Silk is one of the strongest natural fibers, but Zeglen’s vest wouldn’t have been as resistant as it was if it hadn’t been woven in a peculiar way – a way developed by this ingenious monk.
A guest lecture at Wharton, sponsored by Penn Polish Society, University of Pennsylvania.