Their vision of the perfect penicillin , needed before ninety nine percent of them would do anything new to try and save the dying, was something crystalline, white and pure : rather like 100% pure table sugar with its top grade - and top price.
For table sugar is the only food humans eat that is actually a 100% pure compound (C12H22O11) rather than a very muddled mixture.
At least that is what people in the rich first world countries consume as sugar.
In the third world, the much less refined and much less expensive totally raw or crudely processed sugar is used - it is a dark dirty red-brown-yellow with an amorphous rather than crystalline structure.
But won't you know it, despite its origins on a much lower level of technology and its much lower price, it is actually much better for us.
Just filled with all those needed-to-survive vitamins and minerals that the corporations behind 100% pure sugar would rather we in the rich first world bought as expensive synthetic pills.
The kind of penicillin the wartime world's doctors didn't want to inject into their dying patients ?
It was a crudely refined amorphous dark dirty yellow-red-brown powder
or even a thick liquid.
Ironically, it looked a great deal like the cheap raw low grade sugar waste it was made from.
This was the stuff that the pioneering Dr Dawson grew and then injected in his upper Manhattan hospital between 1940 and 1943 - the same stuff his colleagues, making a sort of pun, mockingly dismissed as 'Manhattan impure'.
That pun played off of both the market lingo for the cheapest crudest sugar, 'impure Antigua' by calling Dawson's Manhattan-grown crude penicillin 'impure Manhattan' and off of the common term to describe Manhattan, among the many people who rejected its vision of a multi-cultural city and who preferred the tranquil small town world they'd grown up in.
I doubt Dawson felt their sting.
For Dawson loved the dynamic diversity of Manhattan.
He too had grown up in a small town like most of Manhattan's biggest critics.
But Dawson had always refused the easiest solution after graduating from med school, which was to return home with a bare MD degree and quickly set up as the prominent doctor son from a prominent family living in a quietly prosperous rail and market town.
Impure Manhattan you call it, yes ? --- Well, bring it on then, the impurer the better !
And as for the worth of his 'impure' Manhattan-made penicillin, he never had any doubts about its worth - far from it.
Dawson was dying through the war of a terminal case of Myasthenia Gravis .
However, long after his death, his closest colleague Dr Gladys Hobby convinced the very tight-fisted bosses of her company, Pfizer, to invest some expensive staff and lab time to dissecting crude penicillin for whatever extra ingredients it contained to account for why it seemed to work better than pure penicillin.
Rather like the extra goodies, vitamins and minerals, in impure sugar over pure sugar!
Her bosses were already convinced, as it happens, as were doctors world wide who had tried both impure and pure penicillin on patients.
Hobby even published a lengthy paper on the results.
White French was as determined not to let France be liberated, humilatingly, by well trained, well equipped, well experienced black French troops as white America was determined not to let the world's best ever lifesaver, penicillin, be made by dark dusky negresses in some dark dank Molasses factory in Brooklyn, rather than by white upper class men in chemists cloaks in some shining white tiled lab...
it is easy to see unconscious racism here, as many have already done for impure sugar versus pure.
Dark dirty raw sugar harvested by raw-boned dark dirty Negroes in the dark green fields of the hot sweaty Caribbean.
Pure white, chemically pure, table sugar crystals (crystals being the ultimate totem of modernity !) chemically refined for refined White folks by other refined White folks.
Anyone reading descriptions of impure penicillin versus the later white crystal stuff should be struck by the latent racism.
Just read Ronald Hare's dismissive description of natural penicillin made in a Brooklyn Molasses plant by dusky, husky black maidens, 'Negresses', if you doubt my word ...