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95   Louis Pasteur  $300 $400 $440 4 You must login to place a bid.
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#95 - Louis Pasteur Estimate: $3,500+

Declining a rabies vaccine test subject: "I am deeply touched by your offering, but unfortunately I cannot accept it because you have not been bitten"

ALS in French, signed “L. Pasteur,” one page, 4.25 x 7, October 30, 1885. Amusing letter responding to a proposal. In full (translated): "Mademoiselle, I am deeply touched by your offering, but unfortunately I cannot accept it because you have not been bitten. Please receive the expression of my respect for your gesture." In fine condition.

After five years of extensive study of the rabies virus and the successful treatment of several infected dogs, Louis Pasteur faced his first human patient in July of 1885. Certain that the severely bitten nine-year-old Joseph Meister would not survive without treatment, he began the course of the 13 injections; after administering all 13, one each day, in progressively stronger doses, Meister regained strength and never developed rabies. After a second successful treatment on a bitten shepherd which began in October, word spread and people began to seek him out for the vaccinations. In this instance, a young lady apparently aimed to 'sacrifice herself for science' and be an experimental subject for the vaccine, a gracious offer that Pasteur declined. A remarkable letter by the scientist penned at the height of his rabies research, on the subject of the dog bites and vaccine that made him famous.

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