William Castle: Happily enough I was part of a committee, which Dr. Pauling was a member, and this
was the committee that gave some of the information to Vannevar Bush for the eventual
appearance of the book referred to yesterday by Dr. Knowles, of Science the Endless Frontier. We traveled about the country, we had very pleasant one night stands, on the whole,
here and there, and we had, we discussed scientific matters in general and sometimes
It was 1946, I think, that we were coming, Dr. Pauling and I, on the train from Denver
to Chicago. And I was very much interested in talking with him because I knew of his
interest in the relations of antigens to antibodies that just had been referred to
by Dr. Morell, and I was getting a great deal of exciting information from Dr. Pauling.
And then I mentioned a couple of things about sickle cell disease, but mainly the
fact that Dr. Sherman, who was working in Baltimore, in Windtropes Laboratory, had
observed that when the cells of this disease were sickled, they showed under the polarizing
microscope birefringence and suggested the possibility that this meant molecular orientation
and that might then mean, explain why the cells were, as it were, oriented in one
direction rather than spheroidal.
And I didn’t even appreciate, at that time, that this was the hemoglobin. This has
been overstated a bit, although the Hahn-Gillespie paper was clearly there. I am very
confident that I did not imply anything more in the discussion with Dr. Pauling than
this, I thought, was the kind of thing in which he was interested and that there was
Audience Question: Had Harris produced tactoids then?
William Castle: No, no, no, this had not been done. And that did not come until 1950, which was the
year after the Itano-Pauling paper. So I think at this point, having a historical
relevant, I should turn the floor over to Dr. Pauling because this was our last contribution
to the great things that happened thereafter.