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.