Thursday, February 26, 2015

Salon des Refuses, NYC 1940 : Columbia Presbyterian Medical provides home for fungal slime, unwanted inside the World's Fair's synthetic autarky

Mother Nature was not wanted, more accurately, not needed , inside the 'World of the Future' so rhapsodized by the infamous 1939-1940 New York World's Fair.

The Fair planners had seen the future and the future , in 'just one word', was plastics : "get into nylon, Ben."

Nylon- through the alchemy of modern scientism - was made solely out of air, water and a carbon source.

Almost as in in response, a few kind souls (Dawson, Meyer, Hobby & Chaffee) arranged for M. Nature to have a sort of Salon des Refuses.

It happened - very sotto voce - in two small labs on Floor G of the Columbia Presbyterian Medical, about eleven mile to the north west of the Fair site at Flushing Meadows , Queens.

There trillions of tiny, primitive, ancient penicillium cells were set to work at the bottom of two litre Erlenmeyer flasks , happily spinning out the life-saving molecules of penicillin (penicillin G) from nothing more than ...air, water and a carbon source !

It was a pioneering example of postmodern commensal science at its best - and it all happened 75 years ago this Fall....

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