Hilary Koprowski is considered by many to be equally important as Salk and Sabin in the quest to eradicate poliomyelitis. When Koprowski passed away last month, his illustrious career was recounted in his obituary and included such notable achievements as the development of a live-virus polio vaccine, improvement of the rabies vaccine, and directorship of the world-renowned Wistar Institute in Pennsylvania. His interest in the live-virus polio vaccine caused his career to overlap with Albert Sabin’s work regularly. The obituary details the competition between Sabin and Koprowski for the eventual triumph of their various polio vaccines. Letters in the Albert B. Sabin archives indicate that the two great scientists often shared material and data though, unfortunately, they did not have an entirely conflict-free relationship. Continue reading The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Remembering Hilary Koprowski
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) recently launched, and, of course, I wanted to see if there was anything Sabin-related in the collection. Doing a quick search for Albert Sabin revealed a bust which resides at the National Portrait Gallery. According to the DPLA, this bust, a 1966 cast after 1958 terra cotta original, was originally sculpted by Edmond Romulus Amateis. This bust was originally created for the Polio Wall of Fame in Warm Springs, Georgia. We have a photograph in our collection of Dr. Sabin and National Foundation President Basil O’Connor posing with the bust created by Amateis. Continue reading The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: An Unsolved Mystery
While updating metadata records in the digitized collection, I came across the name “Alan Goffe” several times. I was interested to learn more about this man who frequently communicated with Dr. Sabin. Luckily, I found a book called, Between Two Worlds: The Story of Black British Scientist Alan Goffe. This book was written by Gaia Goffe, cousin of the late scientist, as a high school project. Later, the book was published by Hansib Books. I found this book to be very interesting because it explains the relationship between Drs. Sabin and Goffe, as well as their shared interest in an oral polio vaccine. Continue reading The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Dr. Alan Goffe
I recently completed the processing of additional materials belonging to the Albert B. Sabin collection. This addendum to the original collection finding aid was received after Sabin’s initial donation of materials and consists of letters, lab data, photographs, and other items. A significant part of this collection reflects Dr. Sabin’s tenure as President of the Weizmann Institute of Science. The finding aid for this addendum can be found at the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository.
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Albert Sabin? While many may view Albert Sabin as a super scientist or a super doctor, I’m not entirely sure that many would consider him a Superhero. And yet… that’s exactly how hundreds of thousands of people worldwide viewed him almost 50 years ago.
While I was aware of Dr. Sabin’s contribution, it wasn’t until I began going through the letters sent to Sabin that I started to fully understand the impact that he had on the lives of others. In one letter, Julie Harrison writes, “How much you have enriched the lives of all of us! Your oral vaccine for polio is surely one of the greatest accomplishments. We do thank you; you are truly an American hero.” Continue reading The Albert B. Sabin Digitization Project: Super Sabin!
We are currently in the process of redesigning the current Sabin website, which is very exciting! For this new website, I have been doing some research to create new content and update content already there. Through my search, I came across some essays about Dr. Sabin written by Dr. Allen B. Weisse, a cardiologist and medical historian.
In 1987, Dr. Weisse contacted Dr. Sabin about one of the essays that appeared in a book called Medical Odysseys: The Different and Sometimes Unexpected Pathways to Twentieth-Century Medical Discoveries. (The Sabin Archives has a folder of correspondence between Dr. Sabin and Dr. Weisse that discusses this chapter.) They met later in 1987, when Dr. Weisse conducted an interview for this chapter.