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The Francis Crick Papers

Letter from James D. Watson to Francis Crick pdf (450,721 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from James D. Watson to Francis Crick
Item is handwritten. Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (450,721 Bytes)
1953-12-16 (December 16, 1953)
Watson, James D.
Crick, Francis
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
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Reproduced with permission of James D. Watson.
Exhibit Category:
The Discovery of the Double Helix, 1951-1953
Box Number: 72
Folder Number: PP/CRI/H/1/42/3
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Notes and Drafts
SubSeries: Notes and Drafts 1950-1955
SubSubSeries: [Miscellaneous Papers Photocopied by Aaron Klug]
Folder: [Letters to Crick from James Watson]
December 16, 1953
Dear Francis,
Received your note, several hours ago. About the Discovery article -- O.K. Concerning the Scientific American. I do not want to write another article on DNA. Why not a joint article by Maurice and yourself. I believe Maurice should get as much credit as possible. The pay is 200 dollars per article. I'm still opposed to the BBC.
I was in Berkeley for a week. Very profitable and stimulating. Especially Calvin!!! The most inventive mind I've seen since returning to the states. He suggests an alternate way to pair Adenosine? with Thymine (enol) and guanine (enol) with cytosine. I'm not too happy about it but it is worth looking into. Spent much of my visit talking about RNA. Robley Williams has E.M. photographs which appear to indicate that it looks identical with DNA. (However he has not yet ruled out possibility that he is looking at DNA contaminant). If really true, very exciting. I obtained some new TMV RNA from Knight which looks quite encouraging. Yesterday to my great surprise I found I could pull pretty highly binefringent [?] fibres [sic]. One of them is now in front of an x-ray beam and I am keeping my fingers crossed. All of my previous experiments (which gave largely powder pictures) were obtained with the Bernal cover glass technique. I am thus in an optimistic mood -- Have done little with models recently -- largely because of a desire to know the equatorial spacing.
My situation with regard to the Draft has been quite depressing as of late. Upon my return from Berkeley I found the Appeal Board had turned me down unanimously and today an induction notice for January 11th arrived. Caltech, however, is fighting for me rather hard, and by calling Washington this morning we were able to postpone my induction until the case is review at still higher levels.
I am flying to Chicago on Wednesday for Christmas I shall probably continue onto to
the East Coast. Am tentatively scheduled to meet Av either in New York or Boston. I should also like to look over Bethesda. I would probably arrive on the 28th or 29th and leave the East Coast a week later. Av and I might meet at our place if this is convenient. I should like to talk over RNA with you. There is no one here with whom I can profitably talk with as none here believes himself capable of the Pauling type approach to structures -- Crystallographs are basically deadly. Pauling is now gone and will be so for 4 months India -- Japan. I would have written sooner but my draft situation has been so desperate as to presude [sic] any plan making.
Am sorry to learn that Odile and gabrielle may return to England. Is Brooklyn that ghastly. She should be persuaded to stay and give her the inducement of summer in Cold Springs Harbor -- very cheap and pleasant as hotter what temperature. Definitely not a hell hole. Very few if any decorative young men but splendid swimming, canoeing, clamming, etc.
I am beginning to tolerate Academia. Very little smog as of late and I have not someone I can talk to.
If my jumping in on you is inconvenient please write me (or telegraph -- collect!!) in care of my parents -- J.D. Watson R.R. #2 Box # 272 (Telephone Chesterton 8799) Chesterton Indiana. I shall have left here before you can reply.
Best Christmas wishes to Odile
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