PIERRE CURIE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 05/29/1904 - HFSID 350478
Sale Price $5,100.00
The Nobel Peace Prize winning physicist apologizes for a missed appointment due to having been in his lab.
Rare ALS: "P. Curie", 1½p, 5¾x4¼, front and verso. Faculté des Sciences de Paris, Cours de Physique, Paris, 1904 May 29. To an unnamed woman. Written from the Curie home at 108 Boulevard Kellerman. In French, translated. In full: "We sincerely regret Mme Curie and I having missed your appointment yesterday, which you granted us. I was in the laboratory yesterday at 5:30 in the evening. I found your letter but it was already too late and Mme Curie does not go to the laboratory at this time. Please excuse us and accept our sincerest best wishes." Five months earlier, Pierre and Marie Curie shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with Antoine Henri Becquerel for discovering radioactivity and studying uranium. The Curies continued their work on radioactivity, but Marie did not go to the laboratory as often as before. She was then three months pregnant and radioactive material was not something of which to be in contact. The Nobel Prize brought the Curies overwhelming public popularity, to their dislike. The volume of visitors made it impossible for them to work with the reclusiveness they so much enjoyed. The demands of correspondence to be answered filled their evenings at their home on Boulevard Kellerman, from which this letter was written. A few months earlier, the French Parliament created Pierre Curie's position as Professor at the Sorbonne especially for him. In 1905, he was elected to the Academy of Sciences. In 1906, Pierre was run over and instantly killed on a Paris street; he was 46. Madame Curie continued her life in science and was awarded the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her isolation of radium and her studies of its chemistry. In spite of this, the Academy of Sciences refused to abandon its prejudice against women, and she failed by one vote to be elected to membership. The Curies had two daughters. Irène, the eldest, became a nuclear physicist. Eve, born December 6, 1904, six months after this letter, became a well-known musician and writer who wrote her mother's biography. Pierre Curie's autograph is extremely rare in any form. This letter is extremely desirable in that he mentions his wife twice and talks about being in his laboratory. Minor smudges at 2 words. Fine condition. Framed by the Gallery of History to an overall size of 35¾x21½.
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