Fragment of "historical" mold sold at auction for $ 14,000

The "historical" mold is almost 90 years old. Her appearance at the London Bonhams auction is far from coincidental. She comes from the laboratory of the discoverer of penicillin, Dr. Alexander Fleming.

The sample is kept in a round glass jar with a pasted paper and Fleming's own signature. However, it is only a stretch to say that it was in this bank that the first antibiotic originated. At least ten such fragments are known, derived from the original specimen of the fungus.

According to the head of the repository of books and manuscripts of the Bonhams auction house - Matthew Haley, Fleming sent these samples to high-ranking officials and ordinary representatives of the scientific community almost like a kind of shrine. Pope Pius XII, Winston Churchill and Marlene Dietrich received them at the same time.

As you know, the discovery of the healing properties of mold happened by chance. Once, entering the laboratory, Fleming found that in a jar with inoculated bacteria, some of them died exactly in the place where the mold had grown, from which penicillin was subsequently isolated. The industrial production of penicillin was organized in the United States in 1944, which saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of wounded.

In the USSR, penicillin was first obtained in 1942. An outstanding microbiologist, academician Zinaida Vissarionovna Ermolyeva became the creator of the domestic antibiotic.