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    Louis Pasteur. Group of Six Letters Concerning Rabies, 1871-1890.
    1) ALS. "L. Pasteur." Four pages in French, 4.25" x 6.5", Clermont[-Ferrand], France; June 27, 1871. Addressed to a student named Raulin, presumably at the École Normale Supérieure laboratory of physiological chemistry, where he served as director, Pasteur gently rebuts his pupil's negative reaction to housing soldiers in the laboratory. He then proceeds to inform his pupil that he is overeager in wanting to be judged for the "Conseil Supérieur", possibly due to an administrative obstruction of some kind. According to Pasteur, Raulin will be changed by his marriage to a sweet, kind woman. At the end of the letter, he asks his pupil a few questions concerning what appears to be rabies experiments, and invites him to visit him when he returns to Paris so Pasteur can share with him his procedure. 2) ALS. "L. Pasteur." One page (of a bifolium) in French, 5.25" x 8", n.p.; July 1, 1884. A letter to the French physiologist Jules-Auguste Béclard (1817-1887), professor of medicine at the University of Paris and secretary of National Academy of Medicine in Paris, in which Pasteur informs Béclard of the apparent success of rabies vaccines administered a few weeks before. Invites Béclard to visit him, presumably in his laboratory. 3) ALS. 'L. P." One page in French, 4.5" x 3.5", n.p.; July 1, [ca. 1884-1885]. A note to the president of the Academy, probably the National Academy of Medicine in Paris, that he is hesitant to send out invitations to his cohorts to hear about his method of curing rabies, since he will need more time to "fortify his conclusions." 4) ALS. "L. Pasteur." One page in French, 4.5" x 3.5", n.p.; November 12, 1885. A note addressed to the French mathematician Emile Picard (1856-1941), advising him to get treatment at Tenon Hospital in Paris by the surgeon Just Lucas-Championnière (1843-1913). Once Picard is healed, Pasteur offers to treat him for rabies in case the cat who bit him was rabid. The note would serve as an introduction to Lucas-Championnière. 5) ALS. "L. Pasteur." One page (of a bifolium) in French, 5.25" x 8", Bordighera, Italy; October 9, 1886. In this letter addressed to "My dear Eugene," Pasteur writes about rabies experiments on cats and dogs and poses questions about which experiments were conducted. He offers his opinion on potential implications and next steps. 6). ALS. "L. Pasteur." One page (of a bifolium), in French, on Pasteur Institute stationary, 4.25" x 6.75", Paris; September 29, 1890. Pasteur addresses this letter to the "Director" and offers details about a young boy showing symptoms of rabies who was admitted to the hospital per his instructions. The boy was bitten by a rabid dog eleven days prior to his admittance. He died shortly thereafter.

    In addition to the six Pasteur letters, there is 7) ALS. "Dr. Roux." Two pages (recto and verso of 4.5" x "3.5" card) on Pasteur Institute stationary, Paris; August 20, 1888. A letter by Émile Roux (1853-1933) to an unnamed correspondent in which he describes how rabies is caught by someone even when bitten by animals that may not be in the "raging" period. He describes the vaccination process and claims that it is not dangerous for someone who has never been bitten by a rabid animal. Roux ends the letter with advice concerning the dangers of rabies and benefits of the vaccine.

    Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was a French biologist, microbiologist and chemist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of diseases. Among his achievements was the creation of the first vaccine to treat rabies.

    Pierre Paul Émile Roux (1853-1933) was a French physician, bacteriologist, and immunologist. Roux was one of the closest collaborators of Louis Pasteur, a co-founder of the Pasteur Institute, and responsible for the Institute's production of the anti-diphtheria serum, the first effective therapy for this disease.

    A nice collection of letters on Pasteur's path breaking work on rabies.

    Condition: Most of the letters show the usual folds. 1) has tears at both ends of the middle crease, and a slight tear on the right hand edge of the middle horizontal fold. 2) has a slight tear on the right hand edges of the horizontal folds. 4) has heavy toning, several small stains, and a deep horizontal fold through the last line of the letter, but does not affect the text. 5) has slight foxing and paper and glue residue at the top and bottom left hand edges. 6) has a 2" tear at the top of the letter that has been repaired by tape on the verso. Overall, letters are in good condition.


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    September, 2019
    4th Wednesday
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