Lot #2012
Alexis Carrel Typed Letter Signed

Carrel forwards a formula for treating battle wounds during WWI
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Estimate: $200+


Carrel forwards a formula for treating battle wounds during WWI

French surgeon and biologist (1873-1944) who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1912 for his work related to the transplantation of blood vessels and organs. World War I-dated TLS signed “A. Carrel,” one page, 8.25 x 11, December 19, 1916. Written from the "Hopital Temporaire 21, Rond-Royal, Compiegne," a letter to Colonel A. E. Bradley of the U.S. Army Medical Corps, providing the formula for treating battle wounds, in full: "I have just received your letter of Dec. 16th. The formula for making the wax paraffine mixture similar to Ambrine is as follow:

Paraffine melting at 52° [centigrade] — 18 gr
Paraffine melting at 40°— 6 gm
Beeswax…… — 2 gr
Castor Oil………. — 1 gr

The mixture should be sterilized at about 125° C and kept in closed jars. To use on a wound it should be melted at 60 or 70° C. Apply on the surface of the wound with a brush when it is still very fluid. I was very sorry to not have been able to see more of you when you were in Compiegne. I will always remember with great pleasure our meeting, and I hope to see you again in Europe or in America.” In very good to fine condition, with creasing to the right half, and two paperclip impressions to the top edge.

During the first World War, Carrel served as a Major in the French Army Medical Corps and devised the widely used 'Carrel-Dakin' method of treating war wounds. In 1935, in collaboration with aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, he devised a machine for preserving animal organs outside the body. The Lindbergh-Carrel perfusion pump led to the development of the heart-lung machine, which allows a heart to be stopped for open-heart surgery. The recipient, Colonel Bradley, was part of a four-man military medical team sent to England in 1916 to study British wartime medical procedures. After the U.S. entered the war Bradley was promoted to Brigadier General and appointed Chief Surgeon of U.S. forces in France.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Science & Technology and Space Exploration
  • Dates: #588 - Ended July 16, 2020

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