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Letter from Sidney Weinbaum to Linus Pauling. December 8, 1950.
Weinbaum writes to Pauling to convey aspects of his life in prison.


Dec. 8, 1950

From: Sidney Weinbaum

To: Linus Pauling, Calif. Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

Dear Linus:

It has been very pleasant to receive your letter and hear about you and some of the happenings around the laboratory. I am very sorry to hear that Bob Smith left school and I hope that he will soon recover completely.

My life here has assumed a very uniform and monotonous character. It is well regulated and disciplined. No physical hardships but, let us say, just humdrum existence. Today, by the way, I "celebrate" the three-months' mark of my incarceration,

I see most of the current magazines and the library is not a bad one, but no scientific books are available at all. I am allowed to buy a few technical books. It has to be done by me personally from here and I’ll be thankful if you let me know whether any interesting books have appeared lately.

There is neither privacy nor possibility for concentration here as I share my cell with nine other people. Unfortunately too, I have, and shall continue having for a long time to come, an upper bunk.

Breakfast is at the ungodly hour of 5:45 A.M. and the first "count" (we are counted four times daily) at 630. We have to stand up for count, so even missing breakfast allows only an extra hour of sleep. After the count we go back to sleep for another hour but I usually utilize this quiet period for reading.

I have a limited access to a piano and I hope that I shall be allowed to buy some music. I have learned to type and continue practicing. I am joining a small French class which is very well conducted by an inmate who taught once upon a time in one of our Southern Universities.

I heard from David that the structure of (NH4)6MnMo9O32••8H2O has worked out as you predicted. David’s letter came a few days ago and made me feel quite nostalgic.

It was most wonderful to see Lina and Selina and I dread to think that a long time may elapse before I see them again.

With best wishes for Christmas and New Year

Yours friendly

Sidney Weinbaum 21593

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