The Scientific War Work of Linus C. Pauling Narrative  
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Changing Administration
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The month of July 1941 proved difficult for Pauling. His health, though steadily improving, was not yet at its peak, his government work was demanding much of his time and energy, and his responsibilities at Caltech were pushing him beyond his limits. The creation of the OSRD and resultant restructuring of the NDRC only added to the chaos.

Pauling, however, quickly found that things were not as bad as they seemed. His wife, Ava Helen, was carefully managing his diet and exercise, allowing him to maximize his time in the laboratory while remaining relatively healthy. His administrative work at Caltech was being overseen by the chemistry department staff and secretaries and his war research enjoyed the full support of the institution's administrators. Even better, the OSRD was handling things beautifully. With Vannevar Bush at the helm, the OSRD was reviewing and renewing NDRC contracts through a process designed to prevent disruption of research. This process was, in large part, facilitated by a few capable administrators. Irvin Stewart, secretary to the NDRC and one of Bush's pre-war companions, was one such official. He provided invaluable aid to researchers like Pauling throughout the war, keeping his charges funded, supplied, and debriefed. With his help, Pauling's oxygen meter contracts were renewed by mid-August and the operation continued undisturbed.

Over the next seven months Pauling's group worked virtually without contact from the OSRD or NDRC and focused on producing oxygen meters as rapidly as possible. In addition to the original model which had been distributed to labs around the country, Pauling's team also devised a unit with a special damping apparatus to be used on submarines. By early spring 1942, orders for the new model had begun pouring in from military outfits and scientists. With more than fifty requests by April, Pauling and his associates quickly realized that their small laboratory workshop couldn't keep up with the volume. Daunted, Pauling turned to another Caltech staff member, Dr. Arnold O. Beckman. In the 1930s, Dr. Beckman had garnered acclaim for the invention and production of a pH meter and a spectrophotometer, leading him to open an instrument manufacturing company. His skills were just what Pauling needed.

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See Also: Letter from Linus Pauling to Irvin Stewart. February 17, 1942. 
See Also: Letter from Linus Pauling to the California Institute Research Foundation. April 9, 1942. 

Click images to enlarge 

Portrait of Arnold O. Beckman, 1930s.

Page 1
"Patent Assignment and Agreement." 1942.

"I am glad to learn that the Office of Scientific Research and Development is willing to enter into a contract for support of our further investigation concerning the development of [the] important partial pressure indicator."

Linus Pauling
August 15, 1941
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