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The Oswald T. Avery Collection

Letter from Roy Avery to Wendell M. Stanley pdf (93,430 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Roy Avery to Wendell M. Stanley
Roy Avery sent this glowing response to Stanley after having read an early version of Stanley's festschrift of Thomas Francis, which included a considerable portion on the work of Oswald Avery on the "Transforming Principle." Roy Avery further complimented Stanley on his comments at the Oswald T. Avery Memorial Gateway dedication five years earlier.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (93,430 Bytes)
1970-01-26 (January 26, 1970)
Avery, Roy
Stanley, Wendell M.
Original Repository: University of California, Berkeley. Bancroft Library. Wendell M. Stanley Papers.
Courtesy of the University of California, Berkeley. Bancroft Library.
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Exhibit Category:
After the Discovery: The Transforming Principle's Reception by the Scientific Community
Box Number: 4
Folder Number: 7
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Commentary on Avery and His Work, 1944-2005
SubSeries: Chronological
Folder: 1969-1974
Jan. 26, 1970
Dear Dr. Stanley:
The arrival of your good letter and manuscript touched off the little red button on the switch-board of my mind marked, high voltage. It opened the flood-gate of memory and released an uncontrolled tumbling torrent of long pent up reminiscences.
The reading of your manuscript gave me much pleasure, I am in accord with the motivation and the make up of its contents. Do you feel that the addition of the word great in the title would further whet the curiosity of those who are unaware of this odd situation? The title would read: "The Undiscovered" Great Discovery. When I find myself doing this sort of thing I feel naughty as though I were laying a heavy hand on some one else's brain-child. So tell me off if you feel like it.
There are two apologies due you. One for this outrageously delayed reply that may have caused you some embarrassment in your effort to meet a possible dead line for publication. I had just recovered from a mild virus infection of short duration when a whopper toppled me. I am now back on the rails with a full head of steam ready to roll again. That's not a bad accomplishment for a fellow who carries around in his pocket a hunting and fishing license surcharged in red ink with the word "aged".
The other apology has been due you for almost five years. I should have personally congratulated you on your excellent presentation of brother's work, your tribute to and acknowledgement of the significance of his discovery. I only wish brother could have been there to have heard you and seen the evolvement of a genetic code. Unabashed I confess I was overcome with acute emotion. Then Dr. Bronk read an irrelevant portion from one of my two letters to him, in both of which I had pleaded with him not to call on me to speak. That scuttled me.
What you have said and written has added much to brother's stature and will go a long way toward helping to place his discovery in a proper scientific perspective.
Most cordially yours.
Roy C. Avery
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