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Set of glass pipettes made by Sir Almroth Wright for use in research, London, England, 1902-1914

These pipettes were invented and used by Sir Almroth Edward Wright (1861-1947), a pathologist and bacteriologist at St Mary’s Hospital, London. Wright pioneered the use of vaccine therapy, which involved using vaccines as treatments rather than as a preventative measures. His approach and theories were controversial and were later abandoned. However, Wright was very prominent in the early 1900s, and even provided the inspiration for the character of the doctor in George Bernard Shaw’s play, The Doctor’s Dilemma. Wright set up his own clinical research institute at the hospital. This was funded by the sale of his vaccines. It was at this institute that Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928.

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Glossary: pipette

A graduated tube (marked in ml) used to transport a definite volume of a gas or liquid in laboratory work.

Glossary: bacteriology

The study of a group of single-celled organisms called bacteria.