Old object: the molecular model of penicillin in 1945
Old object: the molecular model of penicillin in 1945
Chemist Dorothy Hodgkin made it herself.

this rather ingenious molecular model shows penicillin, a drug of great significance to humans. Chemist Dorothy Hodgkin (Dorothy Mary Hodgkin) made the model in 1945. What is special about this model is that it presents the three-dimensional structure of molecules. This structure is determined by X-ray diffraction analysis of the crystal. A circle of strange patterns can be seen on the background plate behind the molecular model. These lines represent the distribution of electron density (Electron density map), which is the data obtained by analyzing the crystal X-ray diffraction pattern.

Dorothy Hodgkin made a very important contribution in the field of X-ray crystallography. She determined the structure of penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin and was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1964.

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(photo of Hodgkin himself with the molecular model. Keele.ac.uk)

this molecular model is now in collection at the Science Museum in London (Science Museum, London). On May 12, 2014 (the 104th anniversary of the birth of Dorothy Hodgkin), it also appeared on googledoodle:

Hodgkin also made another molecular model of penicillin in different styles, this time, the electron distribution maps of different cross sections on the crystal are stacked one after another, reflecting the three-dimensional spatial structure.

this model is kept at the Museum of the History of Science at Oxford University (Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford). It would be nice to have a look at it if you have a chance.