Letter from John Desmond Bernal to Monsieur Beaudouin
X-ray equipment was a constant problem for Franklin and her colleagues, as reflected in this letter from Bernal to Beaudouin,
a French manufacturer of scientific instruments. Earlier correspondence between Franklin and Beaudouin on this matter is held
in the small collection of Rosalind Franklin papers at the Venter Institute in Rockville, MD.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (101,883 Bytes)
1956-12-14 (December 14, 1956)
Bernal, John Desmond
Original Repository: Churchill Archives Centre. The Papers of Rosalind Franklin
It is now nearly three years since we bought from you two X-ray sets. During a great part of these years neither set has
been in a condition to use, and the time during which it has been possible for us to use both sets has not been more than
a few weeks. The present breakdown of Miss Franklin's set (the details of which are familiar to M. Bardelli) is entirely
due to the delivery of faulty material, and is being greatly prolonged by your failure to deliver the replacement which M.
Bardelli promised. I am therefore writing to remind you of the facts.
Last September M. Bardelli came to install a new transformer for this set. The transformer arrived in a damaged condition.
M. Bardelli therefore installed it as a temporary measure, admitted that it would certainly break down quite soon, and promised
to send us the first new transformer available to you. The transformer broke down about a month ago. Miss Franklin then telephoned
M. Bardelli, and was informed, to her astonishment, that all the new transformers which, in September, you were waiting for,
had by November been delivered to other customers. This seems to me quite inexcusable as your other customers had certainly
not been waiting as long as we have, namely three years, for a set in good working order.
The break-down of the transformer caused also the break-down in the cable insulation, probably due to high frequency. We
are therefore now waiting for replacement of both the transformer and the cable. It should not be necessary for me to emphasize
to you again the disruption of our research programme which is caused by your failure to provide us with a usable X-ray set.
I should be grateful if you would let me know what steps you propose to take to rectify the present situation.
Miss Franklin will be in Paris at the beginning of January and will call on you then to make further enquiries.