Letter from Florence R. Sabin to Ella Strong Denison
In this letter to her good friend, Sabin describes her ongoing work with blood cells, and her increasing desire to devote
her time solely to research. She is attracted by the opportunity of a research fellowship at the Rockefeller Institute.
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2 (162,354 Bytes)
1923-12-16 (December 16, 1923)
Sabin, Florence R.
Denison, Ella Strong
Original Repository: Smith College. Sophia Smith Collection. Florence Rena Sabin Papers
Reproduced with permission of Geraldine F. Swan.
On the Faculty at 'The Hopkins', 1902-1925
Box Number: 10
Folder Number: 2
Dec. 16, 1923.
My dear Mrs. Denison,
The towels came before your letter and I said to myself, how did Mrs. Denison ever find such linen as that these days; I know
that there is none like it to be had in Baltimore. Then the card explained. I shall surely enjoy them. They make it a joy
to wash dishes. The first little breaks are just the beginning to come in the other you gave me and I was mourning them.
Thank you very much. As you know I shall prize them especially for the old Lake Geneva days.
This is Sunday and as I drove over I kept thinking how fine it is to have Susan B. She's a real joy, doesn't mind
a cold morning a bit. And she is a real help in my work. Things have gone better than I dreamed this fall. We have two
nice things practically done. One of them is the first of our real physiological studies on blood. We have been studying
the effect of transfusions of blood on rabbits and have confirmed my original theory that the form of the cell I discovered
last year is the stimulus for producing or rather for calling out the new blood cells from the marrow. We have showers of
these cells in the circulating blood after transfusion which occur just before the numbers of new cells shoot up. This is
the kind of work that must underlie the study of leukemia. Then I have had a wonderful case of leukemia which I was asked
to see at the Hebrew Hospital where one of our graduates is director. I reversed their diagnosis and have made some very
interesting observations on the case. The whole thing opens up so many things to do that I feel thrilled all the time. Three
of us are working together, Dr. Cunningham, Dr. Doan and I. The experiments are so complex that it takes three of us and
a technician to do them. All this makes it very hard for me to decide whether to go the Rockefeller next year or not. I
am rather inclined to stay here another year, and then consider taking a pure research position instead of going on with the
teaching. This work is so very interesting that more and more I want my whole time for it and feel more and more like turning
the teaching over to younger people. I don't quite know. It's a hard decision to make. But to come back to the
car, our experiments are long and very fatiguing. I get here at the laboratory about eight in the morning and drive at it
hard all day until half past five or six and it's pretty nice to have the car to go home instead of the long street car
ride. When we both have to be here early I go out for Dr. Cunningham. Then when the autopsies come at night on the cases
I have studied at the hospital it's pretty nice to have the car to come over in. I never realized how nice it would be
to have one much as I have longed for one. It more than comes up to my expectation. I am willing to admit that a Franklin
may not be the car for hard mountain climbing, but it's great for city work.
Was Mary more hurt in her accident more than she let on to me. I was a little perplexed at her letter, she didn't write
about it for a week.