Penicillin powder, England, 1942

Made:
1942 in England
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum, London|Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford
Science Museum Group Collection

Science Museum Group
The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Penicillin powder, 1942, used in early clinical trials

Penicillin was isolated in 1940 by an Oxford University team led by Howard Florey (1898-1968). At first the scientists managed to produce only very small quantities of impure product – the characteristic bright yellow colour of the early penicillin was caused by an impurity. Patients had to endure painful in-jections – usually into a buttock – every three hours because the body proc-essed the drug so quickly. This powder was intended for use in early clinical trials, which proved the effectiveness of penicillin as an antibiotic.

Details

Category:
Biotechnology
Object Number:
1964-458/8
Materials:
glass and metal
type:
penicillin
credit:
Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford