History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search


Former Display Label: 'Penicillin culture'

Penicillin is the active antibiotic agent secreted by the fungus Penicillium notatum. The fungus was grown for therapeutic extraction in a liquid or gel culture. The dried-up sample of pencillin culture [1] originally floated on top of fluid.

The early penicillin research at Oxford coincided with the beginning of World War II. Wartime stringencies meant that apparatus had to be improvised. Culture vessels included sheep dip cans [2], bedpans [3] and stacked biscuit tins [5].

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