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Wyndam Bolling Blanton diary, 4 August-19 September 1915

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We had uppermost in mind an audience c the great Metchnicoff. The old man is 70 & it was a rainy day & he must have grown tired of waiting for us, for he was gone when we arrived. However we went up to his private laboratory of study. Oh, the dusty dirty quarters of genius. Little contracted old timey rooms which smelt of the fused odors of all kinds of rats, for there were rats upon rats! Rats on which the old man is working. He is still interested in that fascinating problem "old age" It is as old as the sister problem how to transform the simpler metals to gold. It lead Spanish explorers to bath in a socalled "fountain of youth" in Americas early days, and though it may have prolonged life as baths no doubt can, it certainly fell short of its claim for I am sure I remember that the leader of the party died a little while after from no other cause than old age. Science is grappling with the same problem today. Sour milk was not the last word on the subject as the activity of the old mans laboratory signifies. He is using rats to advance his knowledge. There they are cages & cages of aged members of the rat family. Some day one reaches the 3 score & ten