On the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great scientist Louis Pasteur, the founder of modern microbiology, Romfilatelia dedicates to him a postage stamps issue that will be introduced into circulation on Thursday, December 8th.
The issue entitled Louis Pasteur, 200 years since his birth, consists of a postage stamp with the face value of Lei 10 and a First Day Cover.
Louis Pasteur, chemist and bacteriologist, the founder of microbiology, was born on December 27, 1822, in Dole, in the Jura region, a small village in France. While studying at Arbois College, he discovered a talent for painting. He moved to Paris but returned to Arbois, disappointed by his artistic experience in the French capital, took his baccalaureate in letters (in 1840) and then, after a failure in 1842, his baccalaureate in mathematical sciences. Then, in 1843, he was admitted to the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, which he graduated in 1847, having defended two theses, one in chemistry and one in physics. In 1846, he was appointed physics teacher at the Lycée de Tournon (Ardeche), but continued to collaborate at the École Normale Supérieure. In 1848, he was appointed physics teacher at the Dijon High School and, later that year, accepted the position of chemistry professor at the University of Strasbourg. From 1854, he was professor and dean of the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Lille. In 1856, Pasteur became interested in the fermentation of products such as wine and beer, and presented a way that could prevent spoilage, called “pasteurisation”. By heating the wine to 50 degrees Celsius, microorganisms that can spoil it are killed. The pasteurisation process was successfully tested on April 20, 1862. Pasteur also conducted studies on other microorganisms interacting with organic matter. In 1867, Pasteur was appointed professor of chemistry at the Sorbonne University in Paris, but he also set up a laboratory at the École Normale Supérieure. Louis Pasteur began his research on rabies in 1880, and his aim was to find ways of preventing the disease, following the path opened up by his earlier research on chicken cholera. On October 26, 1885, Pasteur presents to the Academy of Sciences the promising results of his treatment of rabies in humans, since then, his laboratory is besieged by people bitten by rabid animals. On March 1, 1886, Pasteur reappears before the members of the Academy of Sciences to present the results obtained after vaccinating 350 people. Out of these, only one dies, because the treatment was applied too late, probably after the virus had already reached the nervous system, the rest being saved. A few months later, he reports the results of 726 inoculations. Pasteur then proposes the creation of an institute to treat rabies, an idea supported by the Academy of Sciences. With the help of donations from all over the world, an institute dedicated not only to the treatment of rabies but also to the study of pasteurisation was created in 1887. The Pasteur Institute was inaugurated on 14 November 1888 and Louis Pasteur remained at its head until his death on September 28, 1895. A centre for research, training and treatment, the institute rapidly expanded on an international scale.
Throughout his life, the scientist Louis Pasteur received numerous awards in recognition of the outstanding merits of his research and was elected to various academic authorities, including the Academy of Sciences in France. He was also awarded the Legion of Honour, France’s highest decoration. Louis Pasteur died on September 28, 1895, at the age of 72 at the Château de Villeneuve-l’Étang in France. He is laid to rest in a crypt in the institute that bears his name.
Romfilatelia thanks the specialists of the Faculty of Biology of the University of Bucharest for the documentary support granted to the development of this postage stamps issue.