Pauling arrived in Ithaca with his wife, Ava Helen, at the end of September 1936.
It was the beginning of a four-month stay as the Baker Lecturer. They left their four
young children in the care of friends, and spent their stay attending receptions,
dinner parties, and making occasional forays into New York City to see the latest
musicals or go dancing.
Pauling also worked hard preparing a detailed set of lecture notes for his presentations.
But he had more in mind. He wanted the Baker series book that would result from the
lectures to be more than the standard replay of what had been said at the podium.
Freed from the daily chores of chairmanship at Caltech, he had plenty of time to expand
his notes into a major project he had wanted to complete for some time: a summary
of all his ideas on the chemical bond. The Baker Lectures would be a starting point,
but the resulting books would be more far-reaching, more comprehensive. He worked
on the manuscript, writing it by hand, through the months of their stay at Cornell,
then expanded it through 1938 after returning to Caltech.
Click images to enlarge
Ava Helen and Linus Pauling, in Madison, Wisconsin. July 1939.
"Outline of the George Fischer Baker Lectureship, Cornell University." 1937 - 1938.
"I think my work on the chemical bond probably has been most important in changing
the activities of chemists all over the world -- changing their ways of thinking and
affecting the progress of the science."