After discussing the apparatus with Pauling, A. O. Beckman accepted a contract with
Caltech for the manufacture and distribution of the Pauling oxygen meter. While
he admitted the meter was well constructed, he was concerned by the difficulty nature
of the glass spheres. Beckman's solution was to create what was then the world's
smallest glass-blowing device which allowed the bulbs to be made in a quick and efficient
manner. Through this and a few other innovations, Beckman soon found himself capable
of manufacturing nearly 100 units monthly, ten times faster than what Pauling and
his team could have hoped to achieve.
For the remainder of the war, Pauling continued to oversee the production and distribution
of the oxygen meter. Beckman, with his refined manufacturing process, succeeded in
equipping the British navy - and, to a lesser extent, the U.S. military - with hundreds
of oxygen meters. Customized models were also provided to laboratories and government
institutions in both the U.S. and abroad, and were instrumental in the development
of life-support system for both pilots and submariners. But it wasn't just soldiers
and scientists that benefited from the meter's development. As partial owner of the
meter's patent, Caltech enjoyed a meaningful royalty income from the device. Beckman
also profited greatly from the apparatus, using its popularity to boost the value
of his company and eventually selling Beckman Instruments for a cool one million dollars.
Pauling, Wood, and Sturdivant also received royalties, though a mere fraction of Caltech's
intake. For them it did not matter. They had been charged with the task of saving
lives and had succeeded admirably.
The use of Pauling's oxygen meter did not end with the war. Following the close of
hostilities, the meter was repurposed for the incubators used to house and protect
premature babies. Hospital staff were now able to maintain safe oxygen levels, reducing
brain damage and death among infants. Pauling was proud of his instrument's peacetime
applications and occasionally noted it as one of his more significant accomplishments.