In this letter Coburn--an associate of both Avery and noted English bacteriologist Fred Griffith--thanks Avery for his recent
visit to the Coburn home. One of the first to hear of Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty's discovery that DNA was the transforming
substance, Coburn also made a gift to Avery of a photo of Griffith, whose work on bacterial transformation initiated Avery's
interest on the subject. Griffith was killed early in World War II when his laboratory was destroyed during an air raid.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (114,106 Bytes)
1943-05-25 (May 25, 1943)
Coburn, Alvin F.
Avery, Oswald T.
Original Repository: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Oswald T. Avery Papers
Courtesy of the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
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DNA as the "Stuff of Genes": The Discovery of the Transforming Principle, 1940-1944
[Fred Griffith and "Bobby"] 
Letter from Alvin F. Coburn to Joshua Lederberg (September 28, 1965)
[Oswald T. Avery] [March 1943]
[Avery with Alvin Coburn's son, Tim] [March 1943]
Letter from Alvin F. Coburn to Joshua Lederberg (November 9, 1965)
Letter from Alvin F. Coburn to Joshua Lederberg (November 19, 1965)
Letter from Alvin F. Coburn to Joshua Lederberg (March 21, 1966)
Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Alvin F. Coburn (April 1, 1966)
Letter from Alvin F. Coburn to Joshua Lederberg (April 20, 1966)
More than a month has slipped by since you were kind enough to join us and feast the children, young and old, with those delicious
sherry's chocolates. To one member of the Coburn family you gave a much greater treat, one that will always be remembered.
Hearing from you the evolution of your great work from 1927 to 1943 with its rare fruit harvested at the end was the most
inspiring experience that I have had in medicine. Out of it all came one deep conviction:--"it is up to the Fess to pursue
such important studies until the war is over and some of us become available to help him carry on."
Also it seemed to us that you felt the close association of your work with that of Griffith's. It is odd that you two
never met for there was much in common. And I know what great satisfaction would be Griffith's if he could know what you
have done. Because of this
[END PAGE ONE]
[BEGIN PAGE TWO]
it seemed only fit that Griffith's picture should be near your work. I am told that my little picture of Fred Griffith
and Bobby on the Downs near Brighton is the only one in existence. Adge is mailing it to you with our affection.
All goes well here. I am getting adapted and hope to find ways of making myself useful to the navy. The children are well;
Anne keeps me posted. And on Friday next Adge is flying down to pay me a visit. It will be good to have this great spirit
near me for a few days again.
With best remembrances to all the boys and kind thoughts to Fess from