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Object Record

Catalog Number 16.0002.006
Object Name Book
Title Book: "Elements of the Differential and Integral Calculus" William Anthony Granville, 1911
Description .01 Book
.02 Hendrix College mid-semester grade report
.03 Subscription to Anti-saloon League of America
.04 Sheet of paper with outline of "Special devices for integration"
.05 Physics I, 1st semester Exam 1920-21

.01 Green cloth-covered with black title on front and spine. Inside cover has in pencil "89.350." The flyleaf has Margaret Pittman's signature in ink with "21", and in pencil, "3.00, Def of Psy.: Science of human behavior, base median and tertex angle." The other side has an inscription inked in Pittman's hand: "A distinguished thinker has said that Mathematical studies are of immense benefit to the student 'by habituating him' to precision. It is one of the peculiar excellencies of mathematical discipline that the mathematician is never satistified with a...pres. He requires the exact truth; and the practice of mathematical reasoning 'gives wariness of mind; it accustoms us to demand a sure footing.'" There is also an image of Sir Isaac Newton with the title page and a penciled ""see footnote page 25". Page 25 has an inked note by Pittman. She has heavily annotated the whole book, tucked in notes and flowers in three places.

.02 Report from Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas of Margaret Pittman: history (A), math 4 (B), mathematics 5 (B), and Spanish (B-).

.03 Yellow. Dated October 8, 1921. Pledge originally made on February 12, 1917, and signed "James Pittman, Summers, Ark." The back has calculus equation written on it.

.04 Yellowed sheet of penciled equations on both sides with outline.

.05 Very faded with 12 problems. On back are English versions of Spanish sentences.
Accession number 16.0002
Caption "Elements of the Differential and Integral Calculus" William Anthony Granvi
Catalog date 2016-07-27
Catalog type History
Provenance This book was used by Dr. Margaret Pittman at Hendrix College. It contained an inscription on mathematics written by Pittman and some flowers tucked between the pages. Other items tucked in included her grades, an outline of special devices for integration, her Physics I exam from 1920-1921, and a receipt to her father from the Anti-Saloon League which she had written equations on. The book is heavily annotated as well.

Bacteriologist Margaret Pittman's father, who was a country doctor, by have developed her interest in science. She graduated magna cum laude from Hendrix College in 1923 with degrees in biology and mathematics. In 1928, after teaching briefly, she received her MA in Bacteriology in 1926 and her Ph.D. in 1929 from the University of Chicago.

Her first position was Assistant Scientist at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City, where her first assignment involved research on the microbiology and immunology of Hemophylus influenza infections. She discovered a form of the bacterium had a capsule and was especially likely to invade the bloodstream to cause meningitis. The Hemophylus influenza vaccine introduced in 1985 is based on this very capsule.

In 1934, faced with a reduction in staff at Rockefeller due to the Depression, Pittman got a position with the New York State Department of Health in Albany. However, in 1935 the Social Security Act provided funds for the National Institute of Healh (NIH) to add positions, so in 1936 Pittman, as a top scorer on a Civil Service exam, was one of the three bacteriologists hired by the NIH. Pittman started at the Division of Biologics Control, which set standards for and licensed vaccines, antitoxins, and other biological products, as well as ensuring that commercial products met those criteria. The Division was transferred in 1975 to the Food and Drug Administration.

Pittman worked closely with Dr. Sara Branham, who had been one of her instructors in Chicago. The potency of commercial meningitis antisera was at that time highly variable; some were ineffective. Branham and Pittman developed a mouse assay to test the potency of antisera. The method was used to set standards for commercial products. Over the years, Pittman developed procedures for quantitative determination of potency for other biologics. Her work on pertussis vaccine was particularly notable and led to new standards that related to a lowered incidence of this disease. During World War II, the military found that some batches of blood products produced fevers. In collaboration with Dr. Thomas Probey, Pittman developed a pyrogenicity test for blood products that allowed manufacturers to change methods to provide pyrogen-free products.

Over the objection of her male colleagues, Pittman was named Chief of the Laboratory of Bacterial Products in 1957, becoming the first woman at NIH to be promoted to lab chief. Her work and publications increased her world-wide recognition. She served on World Health Organization study groups and committees. In the 1960s, Pittman helped establish the South East Asia Treaty Organization Cholera Research Laboratory in Dacca (then in India). Pittman retired from NIH in 1971 after 34 years and was promptly appointed a "guest worker." She actively engaged in scientific matters until 1993, when she suffered a stroke. She published over 100 articles as well as chapters in several reference books and received many awards. In 1994, the NIH established the Margaret Pittman Award in her honor.
Year Range from 1911
Year Range to 1922
Number of images 5
Updated 2016-12-20
Condition Fair
Organizations NIH (National Institute of Health), Division of Biologics Standards
Hendrix College
NIH Property # none
Old NIH Property # none
Serial # none
People Pittman, Margaret