George N. Papanicolaou

Dr. George Papanicolaou, Pap Smear Inventor and Research Scientist Writes Letter to Leon Whitney, Eugenicist on their Mutual Passion

Dr. George Papanicolaou, Inventor and Research Scientist Writes Letter to Leon Whitney, Eugenicist on their Mutual Passion


Single page autograph letter signed, 8" x 5.25," on Cornell University Medical College, New York City letterhead. Dated "September 13, 1937," and signed by  George Papanicolaou as "George." Expected folds, else fine.


From one research scientist to another, Dr. George Papanicolaou, inventor and research scientist, founder/discoverer of the Pap Smear, writes a letter to Leon Whitney, Eugenicist, dog breeder, behaviorist and author. But in this letter the two share a mutual passion which is seen throughout their years of friendship, that of growing, raising and propagating Dahlias. They have sent each other Dahlias, and both raise them, perhaps with the awareness of Whitney's background in breeding, and genetics it would be quite likely that his hobby extended to the interbreeding and crossbreeding plants. However was is clear, is that both these men hold the same passion of growing Dahlias.


A warm rapport between two colleagues. Leon Whitney had just published a key scientifically based book, The Case for Sterilization (New York 1934", while Papanicolaou was deeply entrenched in his research on human endocrinology of reproductive organs, leading up to his stunning discovery that allowed for Cancer detection of the cervix from a Vaginal smear. However in this letter one sees them as friends with a common passion. The ALS is shown below:



"Dear Leon                              September 13, 1937


I cannot tell you how much we have been disappointed not to have you with us over the Labor Day weekend. And we were much more disappointed to see that you did not specify the day when you are coming. Does this mean that you plan to postpone your trip indefinitely? I hope not. If you come, I promise you some better Dahlias for next year. I have some new cactus dahlias which are very lovely. As for your red dahlia, I am unable to identify it when I see it. It may be a "(illegible) Champion" or a "Jersey's beacon." If it is very large and real red, it may be a "Bagdad."


Is Tioga food good for guinea pigs?, I will be glad to try it. By the way, the fish food which you gave to Mrs. Papan… was excellent! Can we buy it anywhere? We think it is far superior to any (illegible) food we have used.


Now I will ask you to tell me again when you are coming. Let me hear from you soon.


As ever yours,



A wonderful letter showing the personal connection between these two ground breaking scientists. Other than the source of this letter we have yet to see another example of his offered.


Item: 64784

Price: $750.00
George N. PapanicolaouGeorge N. PapanicolaouGeorge N. PapanicolaouGeorge N. Papanicolaou
George N. Papanicolaou
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