The Scientific War Work of Linus C. Pauling All Documents and Media  
Home | Search | Narrative | Linus Pauling Day-By-Day

All Documents and Media

Interview with Linus Pauling.
Interview with Linus Pauling. August 23, 1991.
Interview by Thomas Hager for use in "Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling," (Simon & Schuster, 1995).

The Birth and Production of the Pauling Oxygen Meter. (2:31)

Download Audio File (Mp3) File to Your Computer


Thomas Hager: ...I understand that there was a meeting, just prior to America's entry into the war, where a number of problems were outlined in Washington, D.C.

Linus Pauling: Yes, that's right.

Thomas Hager: It was, I believe, at that meeting where you decided to work on blood plasma substitutes or saw that as an area of concern...

Linus Pauling: No, I don't think so. We were presented...there were about twenty chemists there. Irving Langmuir was one. I don't remember who the others were, and we were presented with a list of about twenty problems that the Armed Forces wanted solutions to.

Thomas Hager: Oh, it was the oxygen meter.

Linus Pauling: Yes. One of them was an oxygen meter that would determine the amount of oxygen in a mixture of gases. So, on the way back, on the train, I thought about these twenty problems, went over them one after another. And about halfway back to Pasadena I thought of building the oxygen meter.

Thomas Hager: That was a quick one.

Linus Pauling: Yes. And within a week we had built one of them.

Thomas Hager: And then Beckman produced those. Is that correct?

Linus Pauling: Yes. The Institute arranged at the end of the war. We built them in the laboratory. Sturdivant and Wood were in charge. We built several hundred of them, but that was a secret instrument clear until the end of the war. So around 1946, perhaps, the Institute made a deal with Beckman to manufacture it. So the Institute got some royalties, and Sturdivant, and Wood and I also got royalties.


Creator: Thomas Hager, Linus Pauling
Associated: Irving Langmuir, Arnold O. Beckman, J. Holmes Sturdivant, Reuben E. Wood, California Institute of Technology
Clip ID: hager2.006.3-oxygenmeter

Full Work

Creator: Thomas Hager, Linus Pauling

Date: August 23, 1991
Genre: sound
ID: hager2.006.3
Copyright: More Information

Home | Search | Narrative | Linus Pauling Day-By-Day