It was September 1928, when in a small room of the second storey of the Clarence Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London, Alexander Fleming discovered the antibacterial power of penicillin: "On returning from a holiday, he noticed that a colony of bacteria had been lysed by Penicillum notatum, a contaminating mold. Subsequents experiments confirmed that penicillin was a powerful antimicrobial, effective against many common bacteria"1. Even if the road towards practical uses of penicillin would proven to be long, a new era in therapeutics had been started.
"The Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum, opened by St Mary's NHS Trust, with financial support from the pharmaceutical firm of SmithKlein Beecham, in 1993, features a reconstruction of Fleming's laboratory as it was in 1928 in the actual room in which penicillin was discovered. Fleming had occupied this small, musty, dusty laboratory from 1919 until his move to a modern laboratory in the new Medical School buildings opened in 1933"2.
Besides the laboratory itself, the Museum hosts a room with didactical panels on the history and applications of penicillin and a video projection room with an Alexander Fleming's bust by Kovacs.
More informations on the Museum's official website.
- Photos by ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#ihgroB acuL (July 2011), courtesy of Kevin Brown, on behalf of the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum.
- Locate the item on this Google Map
- Alexander Fleming's bust by Kovacs
- Alexander Fleming’s first microscope
- Alexander Fleming’s Penicillin specimen
- Almroth Wright's field microscope
- Almroth Wright's opsonisation bath
- K.Brown, Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum. A Guide, St.Mary's Hospital, London 2000, pp. .