Letter from Florence R. Sabin to Ella Strong Denison
In this letter to Ella Denison, Sabin discusses the move from Johns Hopkins to the Rockefeller Institute, her indecision about
whether to take "Susan B.," her beloved car to New York, and some possible candidates for grants from the Denison
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3 (224,160 Bytes)
1924-04-15 (April 15, 1924)
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
April 15, 1924.
Dear Mrs. Denison,
I enjoyed your letter a lot. Let me hasten to say that I do not have such a gloomy idea of vacations. My appointment begins
July 1, but that is a way of giving a person an allowance for moving because my salary runs from September to September here.
I think that there are no stated times for vacations there but that they have them depending on the work and that I can arrange
my own and I shall surely take them summers just as I have here.
I really think that it is the wise thing to do, that I can now make my best contribution by following this problem that our
work here has opened up. Dr. Flexner says that less progress has been made with the anaemias and the leukemias than with
any other branch and I am very keen to see what I can do. I shall miss the students but others in the department will start
them off and I should not have stayed here very many years more at any rate because one's vitality for teaching certainly
decreases as one gets older because it's very hard work carrying other people along. As I sit here now there are three
of the students working in my room and the total group on hand is seven, quite a large group. Three of them were really started
by Dr. Cunningham but we have taken them all over into the work on blood. We shall have to see this group thru before we
In regard to special people who might be available for a grant, I know of two possibilities. Two years ago, Dr. Howell had
a man in Physiology whom he considered very superior but he left to work for the General Electric Company, his special training
having been in Physics. I think that he was from Denver originally. He became dissatisfied with that work and is now in
the Department of Physiology at Harvard working to get further training to take a chair in Physiology. He is now on a grant
from the National Research Council. I will find out more about him from Dr. Howell. He has recommended him already for a
chair so he is nearly ready for a position.
The other person is one of my research students, a Dr. Traut, who is now taking an internship in surgery here. Dr. Traut
has lots of ability for research. This year Mr. Buttrick of the Rockefeller Board came down here with a cancer of the face
and after it had been treated with radium one of our men did a very remarkable piece of skin grafting. They realized that
we do not know much about skin grafting, Dr. Halsted often talked to me about it so they began looking for a man with enough
training to attack it and have spoken to Traut about working on it next year. As yet they have no grant for it but I imagine
that Mr. Buttrick intends to put it before the Rockefeller Board. As you see both people have possible funds. All that I
know about the matter of the skin grafts is that the grant has not yet been made. I will keep the thing in mind and let you
know of anything especial that comes up.
To-night I am going to Buffalo for the Anatomical meetings, shall return Sunday morning and then get to work in earnest finishing
up the work we have outlined for the year and helping with the papers. Dr. Cunningham is wonderful about writing the first
draft of our stuff and then we all get busy polishing it up. I have written one paper, Doan is writing one and Dr. C. all
the rest, some four or five falling to his share. I think that Dr. Flexner was pleased with our progress and we are going
to send two of our papers to him for his journal.
I worry a little bit for fear that I may not be able to keep my beloved Susan B, in other words my Franklin in New York.
It's expensive keeping a car there and hard driving. I mean to try to keep it for getting out into the country on Sundays
but I surely will not be able to use it as much as here. How glad I am to have had the pleasure here and have had the chance
to get used to driving here. They go at a pace of 20 miles an hour in the down town district there and here about 12. I
asked a taxi driver about it when I passed thru New York the other day and he said that one soon got used to the greater speed
and that every one kept his breaks in awfully good shape in New York.