DescriptionFrancis H. C. Crick Endorsed Nobel Prize Check. One page, 7.75" x 4.25", in Swedish, Stockholm, December 10, 1962. As stipulated in the will of Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) when he first established the Nobel Prize in 1895, each Nobel laureate is presented a medal, a personalized diploma, and a cash prize. This is the check, representing the cash award, presented to Dr. Francis H. C. Crick when he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on December 10, 1962, for his discovery "...concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material."
Drawn on the Stockholms Enskilda Bank, check number 416955, made payable to Doctor Francis Crick in the amount of 85,739.88 Swedish Krona from the Nobelstiftelsen, the Nobel Foundation. Signed by two people, presumably members of the Nobel Foundation. Crick cashed the check two days later, on December 12, and placed his endorsement, "Doctor Francis Crick," on the verso. The prize amount for 1962 was 257,220 Swedish Krona and this check represents one-third the amount as the prize was divided between Crick and his co-discoverers, Dr. James D. Watson and Dr. Maurice Wilkins. Light overall wrinkling with two small spots of staining. Very small tear at the bottom edge. Dr. Crick's signature on the verso is bold and bright.
Francis Harry Compton Crick (1916-2004) originally pursued a career in physics, but his studies were derailed during the Second World War when a German bomb landed in his laboratory, destroying his equipment. He spent the remainder of the war in the employ of the British Admiralty designing acoustic and magnetic mines. In 1947, with a waning interest in physics, he embarked on the study of molecular biology. Having no knowledge of biology or organic chemistry, he had to begin from scratch, spending the first few years familiarizing himself with the subject. He met James D. Watson, a 23 year old American postdoctoral zoologist with a background in genetics, in 1951 and the two discovered they shared a common goal of solving the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. The pair successfully photographed a strand of DNA on February 28, 1953 using a technique called X-ray crystallography. For their discovery, they, along with Maurice Wilkins, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962. In his later career, Crick became interested in the origin of the genetic code, how genes controlled the processes of cell division, cell differentiation, and organ growth, and the origin of protein synthesis.
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