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Letter from Peter Pauling to Linus and Ava Helen Pauling. October 28, 1952.
Peter writes to discuss his financial affairs and desired expenditures. He also discusses his latest research on fibrous protein structures, the dimensions of his curtains and his daily interactions with Francis Crick.



Dear Daddy and Mamma,

I was very pleased to get your letter today when I returned from a weekend & shopping in London. I know [sic] have a teapot. I am a member of the Society for Visiting Scientists. Very nice. Sort of club. Bed 7/.

Firstly, I think I would like to buy stock in Freeman. It is a good way to spend ones money; a better way to keep it. Problem 1: I don't have $935. I have $521 in bank & about $70 in debts owed & $168 in check. This is only $752. Problem 2: I can only add to this by about $125 a month, and perhaps not that. Problem 3. I have been considering buying a motorcycle, which would give me convenience and if I travelled enough would be cheaper than the train. I think I can afford to run one, though a car is out of the question. If I went to Switzerland this christmas, I could go on to Munich & get a BMW. About $500, much cheaper than in England. I could, perhaps, borrow some money for a bike. Actually, I think I would prefer a motorcycle to stock in Freeman, and even if I did not, I am shy $183. Presumably I could work hard and turn out chemistry problems and make it up. Still, while in many ways I would like to invest, I would also like to buy a dinner jacket, and the shorter OED, and some old English teaspoons, and an overcoat. I would be willing to enter into any agreements with you if a technical impossibility arises, but still, I would rather have a motor bike.

I have been working on an Ehrenburg tribe and Hugh Huxley's muscle camera. I shall take pictures of fibrous protein molecules, starting off with insulin. Huxley did a miserable job of building and designing, but I guess he got results. The machine blew up today, and it is such a mess I do not know if I can figure out what went wrong. I shall apply the Cochran-Crick theory to determine the helical nature of fibrous molecules, and globular → fibrous molecules. (Acta Cryct. (1952) 5, 581 And perhaps try to get some pictures of tropomyocin.

Curtain dimensions as already given. 50" & 37" wide. Surely, 3' curtains each is alright. The present ones stretch to 48" each. The windows are on the outside edge of a hole in a 1ft thick brick wall. ; The curtains hang from a overhead rail inside this hole:


rails ➚





The distance from the top of the hole to the bottom is 6'6". From the top of the hole to the bottom of the ring on the roller which runs on the rails is 1 1/2".


The old curtains would do fine. Don't cut the bottom off if they > 6'6", just turn them under. Next years windows will be different. I might live over the stables just in back. Lovely and big and cold and drafty. Huxley lived there.

I am glad you are having a new building. That will be fine. Make Holmes get you a nice big office with chinese vases and oriental rug and immense desk area to get messy.

Yes I met Crick and Odile. They live at 19 Portugal Place, having moved out of the Green Door. I see Francis daily. Odile thrice I guess since arrival. Great fun. Very nice. I must begin French lessons with some woman who has a house full of French girls. Jim goes there. He gives a lecture next spring. No women in this town.

I do not see how I can buy stock in Freeman. It is true I have not decided recycle, and if not I would prefer to buy Freeman than just keep an account in the bank. Yet, at the moment, I might have need of $500 cash in a couple of months or at Easter. The Easter vac is from 25 March to 16 April, and Perut, and Kendrew and perhaps I go to Austria to ski for a bit. How long will you be in Sweden?

Thank you very much for the international tables. I was very surprised and pleased when vol II arrived.

Much love,


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