*Land of Promise*

The author is Michael Lind and the subtitle is An Economic History of the United States.  I am just beginning to browse my copy, here is one bit:

In 1947, twice as many Americans worked in industrial-research centers as in 1940.  Among the breakthroughs that resulted from wartime research, in addition to nuclear energy, were jet engines, radar, computers, synthetic rubber, and a range of new drugs: penicillin, synthetic quinine, and sulfa drugs.

A massive government R&D and production effort was devoted to penicillin.  in 1928, Alexander Fleming had discovered that penicillin could kill bacteria.  During World War II, the US government coordinated efforts by universities, the Department of Agriculture, and nearly two dozen pharmaceutical companies to devise technologies for the mass production of the drug.


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