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Today instruments are usually mass-produced by commercial manufacturers. But for much of century that was not the case and Rockefeller was unique in keeping skilled craftsmen in staff in the instrument, electronics, and glassblower’s shops: Josef W. Blum, Nils Jernberg, Werner Krug, John P. Hervey, Robert L. Schoenfeld, Edward F. MacNichol, Laurence Eisenberg, Paul Rosen, Otto Hopf, Otto Post, Wolfgang Papperitz, George deMartino. Their everyday work ranged from routine repairs on existing instruments to producing one-of-a-kind devices designed to meet specific laboratory and scientist needs. Early in the Institute’s history there were uniquely designed glass flasks and tubing; later – the pump for perfusing organs with oxygenated blood. In the 1950s-1960s – digital programmer, microtome, ellipsometer, automatic fraction collector. When in recent decades scientific practice has come to rely on computers as much as on mechanical instruments, University remained a center for invention, developing prototype programs for gene mapping and comparing the genomes of different organisms.


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