“There is no substitute for doing things with your own hands.”

Self-portrait by Roger Hayward, ca. 1930s.

Self-portrait by Roger Hayward, ca. 1930s.

In the archival world, scrapbooks are typically regarded to be “high-value” items, deserving of close descriptive and preservation attentions.  As we work our way through the arrangement and description of the Roger Hayward Papers, we are reminded again as to why scrapbooks are held in such high regard.

Though the Hayward Papers consist primarily of correspondence and sketch books, the collection’s lone biographical scrapbook is especially noteworthy for its inclusion of dozens of photographs, newspaper clippings and original art works that are not otherwise replicated elsewhere in the collection.    Flipping through the pages, one is reminded that Hayward was much more than an illustrator noteworthy for having provided technical drawings for scientists the likes of Linus Pauling.

Portrait of Betty Hayward, Roger's wife of fifty-seven years.

Portrait of Betty Hayward, Roger's wife of fifty-seven years.

Weaving looms designed and built by Roger in the mid-1930s for Betty's use.  During the Depression, Betty's Navajo-inspired textiles helped contribute to the household income.

Weaving looms designed and built by Roger in the mid-1930s for Betty's use. During the Depression, Betty's Navajo-inspired textiles helped contribute to the household income.

Roger, Betty and Roger's brother Julian also constructed puppets and staged puppet shows at their house and at the Caltech Atheneum - another source of income during hard times.

Roger, Betty and Roger's brother Julian also constructed puppets and staged puppet shows at their house and at the Caltech Atheneum - another source of income during hard times.

Throughout his life, Roger maintained a keen interest in optics and would eventually hold four patents related to telescope design.  This is likely the first telescope that he built.

Throughout his life, Roger maintained a keen interest in optics and would eventually hold four patents related to telescope design. This is likely the first telescope that he built.

Hayward to Sara Ross, Sept. 16, 1967, p. 1.

Hayward to Sara Ross, Sept. 16, 1967, p. 1.

Hayward to Sara Ross, Sept. 16, 1967, p. 2.

Hayward to Sara Ross, Sept. 16, 1967, p. 2.

This two-page letter, written by Hayward in 1967 to a woman requesting career advice for her son, an aspiring artist, is a tidy example of Roger’s multiplicity of skills, including his facility with words.  His career advice, and perhaps his philosophy of life, is neatly encapsulated near the end of the document.

If there were available a course in ‘How to Learn’ it might be a good preparation for science illustrating.  A next best subject might be the History of Science.  I found ‘A History of Technology,’ edited by Singer Holmyard, Hall & Williams (Oxford, 1957) of some interest, at least through the first two volumes, but sense that the editors haven’t soiled their fingers by actually doing the things they write about.  There is no substitute for doing things with your own hands.

To learn more about Roger Hayward, see our blog series devoted to his life and work.

Cancer and Vitamin C Redux

Group photo of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine staff, 1989.  Ewan Cameron stands adjacent to Linus Pauling's left shoulder.

Group photo of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine staff, 1989. Ewan Cameron stands adjacent to Linus Pauling

The conversation concerning the possible use of vitamin C in the treatment of cancer continues to gather momentum. 

As we’ve noted before on the PaulingBlog, the possibility that ascorbic acid might be a useful tool in the fight against cancer was a topic of intense interest to Linus Pauling and a handful of his colleagues (Ewan Cameron and Irwin Stone, among others) over the last two decades of his life.  Pauling’s devotion to the subject, and often-fiery defenses of his beliefs, attracted no small amount of criticism from the scientific and medical mainstream.  More than anything else, Pauling’s vitamin C and cancer research is the source of the “Pauling as quack” notions still prevalent in certain circles.

With Pauling’s death in 1994, the push for rigorous study of the vitamin C and cancer question steadily dissipated.  In recent time however, thanks in large part to new findings published by the National Institutes of Health, the possibilities suggested by Pauling, Cameron, Stone and others are now re-entering the scientific discourse.  As reported yesterday in Cancer Monthly, a new commentary written by Dr. Balz Frei and Stephen Lawson of the Linus Pauling Institute, and published in the August 12, 2008 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, (free extract available here) lends further credence to the preliminary results reported in early August by the NIH.  Quoting from Cancer Monthly

“[Pauling and Cameron’s] research was intriguing enough that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) launched two subsequent studies on the subject at the Mayo Clinic.  However, when those studies failed to show that vitamin C increased survival in terminal cancer patients, interest in the antioxidant as an anticancer therapy began to wane….Where the NCI studies were likely missing the mark was by giving vitamin C orally in relatively small doses, say the commentary authors….’We know that IV vitamin C produces levels in blood that are many times greater than those achieved with oral supplementation, and these very high concentrations may be necessary to kill cancer cells,’ says Lawson.”

In the spirit of lending added historical perspective to this evolving topic, the PaulingBlog is pleased to provide exclusive access to Linus Pauling’s first complete speech typescript on the subject at hand.  Below the fold is the entirety of a fourteen-page talk titled “Ascorbic Acid and Cancer,” delivered by Pauling to the California Orthomolecular Medical Society at a meeting in San Francisco on February 14, 1976. While this typescript does not represent the first presentation that Pauling gave on the topic (the earliest talks date back to at least November 1971), the content published below does represent the oldest complete vitamin C and cancer speech typescript held in the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers. Continue reading

Beaver Pep

Q – What is your reaction to Sandy Koufax leaving the Dodgers?

A – I haven’t really developed a reaction to that.  Doesn’t the young man have some kind of a pain in his arm?

-“Scientific Genius Dotes On Comic Strips, Miniskirts, But Can’t Cure Golfer’s Slice,” The (Portland) Oregonian, December 2, 1966.

Fans storm the field at Reser Stadium following Oregon State's upset win over USC, September 25, 2008.

[Photo by Andy Cripe, (Corvallis) Gazette-Times]

Oregon State University’s remarkable college football victory over top-ranked USC last night has us thinking about a few entries in one of our more important documents — Linus Pauling’s Oregon Agricultural College diary, which dates to his freshman year as an undergraduate in 1917.

The OAC Diary, which we’ve mentioned before on the PaulingBlog, is a terrifically-valuable resource in which the young Pauling records his thoughts and feelings in an honest and personal fashion. Both in content and in tone the document is quite different from most of Pauling’s later writings which, letters to Ava Helen excepted, tend to be rather formal.

As one might expect, much of the diary documents Pauling’s process of assimilating into a new environment as an eager but unsure college freshman.  On page 54 of the journal, in an entry dated October 10, 1917, Pauling writes of an event that seems equal parts hazing ritual and spirit rally.

Am getting along all right; cleaned the fountain today, and serpentined with a couple of hundred other rooks to the football field, where we yelled for O.A.C. and sung some songs.  We then marched to Waldo Hall and sang ‘How green I am’ to a crowd of the inmates.  We were guarded by about 20 sophs.

Nearly three weeks later, on October 29, Pauling’s devotion to his new school seems to be strengthening.

Am getting along all right.  Have lots of beaver pep.

Pauling OAC Diary, pg. 54.

Pauling OAC Diary, pg. 54.

In truth, there is little evidence that Pauling maintained much of an interest in athletic pursuits, be it as a participant or a fan.  He liked to go for walks in the Big Sur countryside near his home at Deer Flat Ranch — a hobby that nearly resulted in his untimely demise.  Otherwise, the only real connection between Pauling and sports is again found in the OAC Diary where he records, in a list of resolutions, the desire to “go out for track as a high jumper and succeed.”  As it turns out, behind this resolution there was indeed a method.  Tom Hager writes in his Pauling biography, Force of Nature

Pauling paid less attention to subjects outside the physical sciences, receiving…an F in his second semester of freshman gymnasium.  He failed the gym class when, in true Pauling fashion, he tried to get around the rules.  He knew that members of the school athletic teams weren’t required to take the standard gym classes, so he planned to join the track team instead of taking the required course. (He had thought about being a high-hurdles and high-jump competitor since high school.)  Trying out for the team, however, was a disaster:  He knocked over a hurdle and couldn’t clear a high enough bar to interest the coach.  Although he ran in one meet, he failed to make the team, got an F in the course he tried to bypass, and gave up on competitive athletics.

Linus Pauling (second from left), 1917.

Linus Pauling (second from left), 1917.

Oregon 150

The Paternal Ancestry of Linus Pauling

The Pauling family tree.  Certain annotations courtesy of Linda Pauling Kamb.

The Pauling family tree. Certain annotations courtesy of Linda Pauling Kamb.

Linus Pauling’s earliest known ancestor was Andreas Pauling, born ca. 1630.  Records indicate that Andreas’ grandson, Johann Christoph Pauling, married and started a family in Preusslitz, Prussia.  There the Paulings remained for at least two generations, until Johann Andreas Pauling (perhaps the grandson of Johann Christoph) move to Golbitz, in what is now western Germany.

In 1842 a son of Johann Andreas’, Christoph Friedrich (born 1808), immigrated to the United States with his wife and two daughters.  A son, Frederick, was born during the family’s passage across the Atlantic, and two additional sons, William Frederick and Charles Henry (whom everyone called “Carl”), were born in the U. S.  The Paulings settled as farmers in Concordia, Missouri, though Christoph Friedrich and all three of his sons would eventually fight on behalf of the Union during the American Civil War.

In 1868 Carl Pauling married Adelheit Blanken and the couple started a family of their own.  Carl and Adelheit’s fourth child, Herman Henry William (born 1876), is Linus Pauling’s father.

In 1877 Carl moved his family from Missouri to California and then, five years later, to Oswego, Oregon, where he worked in the iron wholesale business.  Herman Pauling was raised in Oswego and apprenticed with a local druggist.  As part of his work, Herman would often travel to communities well-outside of the Portland area, for purposes of selling pharmaceuticals in rural areas.  On a trip to Condon, Oregon, some 150 miles east of Portland, Herman met Lucile Isabelle Darling, one of Linus Wilson Darling’s (a local shopkeeper) five daughters.  Lucy Isabelle, known to everyone as “Belle,” is Linus Pauling’s mother. [The Darling family lineage is discussed in this blog post]

After a brief long-distance courtship, Herman and Belle married on May 27, 1900.  Though Herman would die just ten years later — suddenly, at age 34, of a perforated ulcer and peritonitis — he and Belle would have three children:  Linus Carl, born February 28, 1901; Pauline Darling, born August 7, 1902; and Frances Lucile, born January 1, 1904.

Lucile, Linus, Belle and Pauline Pauling, Portland, Oregon, 1916.

Lucile, Linus, Belle and Pauline Pauling, Portland, Oregon, 1916.

Page 1 of a letter sent by Linus Pauling to Ava Helen Pauling, August 16, 1942.

Page 1 of a letter sent by Linus Pauling to Ava Helen Pauling, August 16, 1942.

Health and longevity were not necessarily in Linus, Pauline and Lucile’s DNA; their father’s life was quite short and Belle’s not much longer — she died at age 45 of pernicious anemia.  Nonetheless, all three lived well into old age:  Lucile died at age 88 on January 18, 1992; Linus died at age 93 on August 19, 1994; and Pauline, a colorful woman who married four times (the last to Linus’s boyhood friend and Caltech first-year roommate, catalysis chemist Paul Emmett), lived to the age of 101, passing on October 19, 2003.

Linus Pauling’s papers contain ample documentation of his family geneology.  While much of this was compiled by other family members or the various biographers who have written on his life, Pauling himself pretty clearly maintained a long-standing interest in his roots.  Page one of a letter sent by Linus to Ava Helen in August 1942 (reproduced below) is an early example of the geneological work that might fairly have been termed a minor hobby — or, at least, intellectual interest — of Pauling’s throughout his long and illustrious life.

Oregon 150

Roger Hayward and Linus Pauling


Pastel drawing of a Tantalum Halide cluster ion. 1964.

[Part 4 of 4. Questions about Roger Hayward may be directed to the authors of this text — Dr. J.R. Kramer, Miriam Kramer and John Benjamin — at jkramer2[at]cogeco.ca]

Linus Pauling may have learned about Roger Hayward and his “drafting” talent in the early 1930s. Hayward had designed several new architectural structures in the LA area (the Doheny Library and the Los Angeles Stock Exchange, for example) many of which had been prominently displayed in the local papers.

With the onset of the Depression, Hayward was looking for work. At the same time, Pauling was going “great guns” in determining new molecular structures, and was likewise building models for use in classes at Caltech. Hayward possessed the ability to visualize these structures in three dimensions, to illustrate these structures in a 3-D perspective and to make models of the structures.

Initially Pauling may have viewed Roger only as a “draftsman”, albeit a particularly talented one. Despite their proximity, Pauling and Hayward communicated mostly by letter. One reason for this was that Pauling was always busy or traveling, thus making face-to-face meetings difficult to arrange. Hayward, on occasion, would go to Caltech to pick up sketches or notes, but otherwise the collaborators did not often meet in person.

Fundamentally, the two men were consumed with rather different lifestyles: Pauling was usually in a rush and often did not have enough time to follow all of his pursuits. On the other hand, Hayward, at least upon his departure from the Lunden partnership, had time to do as he wished, and to ponder the many diverse subjects that interested him.

An Evolving Relationship

A series of letters changed the somewhat distant collaborative relationship from that of draftsman-scientist to, in Pauling’s estimation, that scientist-scientist. After a series of many requests for Hayward’s time, on July 19, 1951 Pauling wrote:

“Could you, during the next few days, make some drawings? We need to get a paper off for publication immediately, because I have learned that someone else (a Swede) is doing some closely similar work, and I think that we might as well publish our results obtained so far….I would like to have drawings made of the structure Na2Cd11 closely similar to what you have already made for me in pastel. There is, however, one difference, which I shall describe below — this involves an interchange of the six larger atoms and six of the smaller atoms…”

On July 27 Hayward replied:

“I believe that a review of the enclosed sketch for the revised figure E discloses that the octahedron cannot be placed where required if the radii and spacings are consistent with my interpretation of your directions. Furthermore if all the triacontahedra are shown completely surrounding the octahedron, the figure will be unintelligible….I will reiterate that I do these figures for the pleasure involved. Such a catalogue of criticisms of drawings which you requested me to do in a hurry is not pleasant.”

Pauling responded on August 2:

“I return the sketches on the Na2Cd11 structure with my apology. I have just discovered, a couple of days ago while going over calculations with Dr. Ewing, that I had placed the large atoms in the wrong positions in the rhomb….I think that this will take care of the steric difficulty that you have pointed out….”

This exchange changed Pauling’s attitude towards Hayward in that he now had complete confidence in Roger’s abilities properly illustrate molecules and, indeed, to act as a check on Pauling’s calculations. Furthermore, Pauling considered Hayward to be a scientific colleague, as evidenced by the publication of “The Structure of Protein Molecules,” a 1954 Scientific American paper in which, for the first time, Hayward is included as a co-author.

The Pauling-Hayward relationship further evolved when a German magazine raised Pauling’s ire by copying the Scientific American article without permission, altered its illustrations and deleting Hayward as a co-author. The above exchange is also suggestive of the difference in the personalities of the two men. Pauling was a highly-driven person working in the competitive field of molecular structure determination. Hayward, on the other hand, was motivated primarily by his passion for artistic merit and out of curiosity.

Roger, of course, required that his art be correct, especially in matters technical. But for Roger a large part of the enjoyment that he derived from his work emanated out of the association and discussions that the work afforded with intellects such as Linus Pauling. Roger, in fact, did not even necessarily expect monetary compensation for his labor. For example, in a letter to Pauling, dated January 9, 1953, Hayward writes:

“Enclosed herewith is the Institute’s check no. 93369 which I prefer not to accept…. [and] I wish my designation as Research Assistant of the Chemistry department to be discontinued at the earliest possible moment. I shall call myself a friend of the Chemistry Department and will enjoy continuing to assist you and the department in an advisory capacity which will include the making of drawings when the occasions arise.”

The Architecture of Molecules

Perhaps the climax of the Pauling-Hayward relationship — and, indeed, a happy one — was the creation of their best-seller, The Architecture of Molecules, published in 1964.

The development of this book, initially titled Molecular Architecture, can be credited to the visions of William Freeman, Stan Schaefer, Harry Marks, Linus Pauling and Roger Hayward. By 1964, Roger had completed a series of illustrations for Pauling’s College Chemistry and the Pauling-Hayward team had also worked well together on a number of professional papers. The time seemed right to collate all of this information into an artistic/scientific book written for the general public.

On March 12, Hayward became the last party to sign the publishing agreement. (It may have been a bit fortuitous that on March 26, Scientific American and W.H. Freeman announced the merger of their operations.) On March 31, Pauling, Hayward and Harry Marks met at Roger’s home to conceptualize the design and workflow for the book. As Roger noted in a letter to Stanley Schaefer, dated March 31, 1964, “Linus Pauling plans to write from the illustrations and so it is my move and I shall have to restrain a little lest I over-do.”


Pastel drawing of Camphor. 1964.



Pastel drawing of Ethylene. 1964.



Pastel drawing of Hexamethylenetertramine. 1964.

The bulk of the communications regarding this project, exchanged mostly between Harry Mark and Roger Hayward, reveal an air of excitement and fun. Roger planned to draw with pastels, and described in great detail the paper, textures, layouts and, most importantly, colors that he hoped to feature. A four-color press was a must for this publication, as the drawings would not include a white margin, thus lending more depth to the molecular structures. Use of pastels also afforded a certain amount of needed haziness to the diagrams, as the precise bonding of atoms was not entirely clear. (In this Roger made great use of the tutorials in atomic physics he had previously received from R.M.Langer).

The myriad details that Roger forwards include specific colors to be used and their Munsell color notations. Lighting effects for each diagram were discussed at length between Roger and Harry Mark. When a diagram was complete, Pauling would review it, approve it, and then write an accompanying text. The communications regarding production end with a September 21, 1964 letter in Pauling confirms the change in title of the book to The Architecture of Molecules and notes his concern with publication delays, hoping for Christmas sales and revenue.


Annotated pencil sketch of the structure of ice. 1964.



Pastel drawing of Methane. 1964.



Pastel drawing of Sodium Chloride. 1964.

A few notes regarding the book: On January 19, 1965, Roger Hayward wrote to Harry Marks requesting return of the color slides of the plates. To date these slides have not been found. The book itself received high praise as a work of art. The emphasis in every review is on the drawings, perhaps because this was among the first publications where art and science are so thoroughly blended. The book has been translated into Spanish, German and Japanese among other languages.

This was also the last major joint publication between Linus Pauling and Roger Hayward. The collaborators did, however, remain professional friends as suggested by the text of Pauling’s lecture at Berkeley in 1976, in which he refers to Roger Hayward as a scientist, and a 1976 letter from Hayward to his cousin Marjorie Widdop, in which Roger states that he and Pauling have been friends and have worked together for over 40 years.


Greeting to Linus Pauling on his 75th Birthday

A Final Word

Roger worked “for the fun of it”. He was a curious individual and was satisfied when he discovered or exhibited something new. In this regard he was a true dilettante, but a brilliant one. To him art and science were both means for reaching reality, a perspective which he conveys in an October 1941 letter to Sam Lunden:

“As with all narratives, it should be possible to smoke out a moral or two. These must have to be in the form of deductions from my own experience. It has been stated that architecture is a gentleman’s profession, and I presume that a gentleman is one who is able to subsist without visible means of support. Certainly during the depression, this statement was true. Since I have no invisible supporting mechanism, I solved the problem of developing a good healthy, time-consuming, interest-absorbing hobby. I now find to my pleasure that my hobby can not only feed itself, but me as well.”

For more on Roger Hayward please see his Key Participants page on the website Linus Pauling and the Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History, or click here.

Roger Hayward (1899-1979): The Western Years, Part 2

[This is the third installment of the PaulingBlog’s four part biographical series on Roger Hayward. The text that follows was compiled by Dr. J.R. Kramer, Miriam Kramer and John Benjamin, who may be reached at jkramer2[at]cogeco.ca]

Roger Hayward, 1960s.

Roger Hayward, 1960s.


Architecture took off after the war, and in 1949 Roger Hayward became a partner in the firm Lunden, Hayward and O’Connor. This partnership undertook many large jobs in the greater Los Angeles area, including the Hyperion treatment plant, many schools, an addition to Good Samaritan Hospital (which ultimately included a patent for a baby-tending stand), the Los Angeles City Health Building and the Temple Israel of Hollywood. Roger gave particular thought and energy to the design of the front door of the temple.

The firm broke up in 1957, perhaps due to Roger’s influence: he did not like the commute to downtown LA, greatly preferring instead to work in the hobbery in Pasadena and to spend more time on artistic projects. In addition his asthma became chronic and required a clean air environment as well as a daily shot of ACTH. As a result of his departure from the architecture firm, Roger drew more; exhibited in various locales, including the Hatfield Galleries; and gave talks on art, with a particular emphasis on color and color perception in illustrations. He also became involved in the Ebell Art Salon in LA and was active in, and for a term was President of, the Pasadena Art Association.

Roger’s painting was now almost entirely in watercolor, though later he began to favor pastels and crayons. He became enchanted with the American West and he, Betty and their little schnauzer “Gnawbert” (perhaps named after Norbert Weiner at MIT?) would partake in art/fun trips to the desert most every year. Roger mainly painted at home in the hobbery, maintaining a mental vision of what he saw on these trips.

A small sampling of his art titles while out West are:

  • The Savage Office, Virginia City, NV
  • Eighteen Squared and Overlapped
  • Fourth Ward School, Virginia City, NV
  • Eleven by Eleven Rectangles
  • Elsinor Hotel
  • Eleven by Eleven Rectangles and Hexagons
  • Rusty Stove
  • Renascence – Random in Four Parameters
  • Red Wheeled Buggy
  • Model Ship- drawing
  • Banda Point
  • Slippers- drawing
  • Morro Rock
  • Cannibal- drawing
  • San Gorgonia Pass
  • Missionary- drawing
  • Trophies
  • Black Pottery and Navajo Squares- drawing
  • Old Houses, Virginia City
  • Black Pottery and Navajo Rugs- drawing
  • Jeweler’s Lathe
  • Glass, Apples and Oranges- drawing
  • Pier and Dinghy
  • Death Valley Dunes
  • Jetsam
  • Split Rock
  • House on Seventeenth Mile Drive
  • Old Ore Cart
  • Soquel Meadow
  • La Purissima Mission
  • Torrey Pines Beach
  • Rooming House, Virginia City
  • Eighteen Squared
  • Forbidden Canyon


In 1956, Roger was hired as a consultant to Disney Productions for purposes of providing “corrections” to their moon model. The Disney model had been constructed from casts of the Griffith and Adler models, and in the process the Disney materials had been altered.

Fig. 16. Watercolor of a deserted ranch (Kramer collection).

Figure 16. Watercolor of a deserted ranch (Kramer collection).

In 1958, Roger signed a ten year contract — with an annual retainer and add-on commissions — to illustrate solely for W.H. Freeman Publishers.This contract afforded Roger a great deal of freedom and financial stability. Numerous jobs arose out of this agreement, ranging from mineralogy to organic chemistry to mechanics and electronics books.Importantly, the Freeman contract led to the well-received Pauling and Hayward publication, The Architecture of Molecules (see Installment Four of this series).

Despite the security that the Freeman deal provided, the arrangement eventually fizzled as Roger tired of the tedium of “drafting,” and often found himself disagreeing with authors who wanted “clean” diagrams.Roger wanted to “illustrate.”In addition, Roger’s asthma and weakening eyesight made “drafting” more difficult.He therefore reverted to a looser retainer agreement with Freeman, which allowed him to pursue opportunities outside of the publishing house.

Roger became involved in some of the Caltech campus construction in the 1950s and 1960s.He served as architect and critic for the Gordon Alles Biology Building, the Sloan Laboratory Mathematics and Physics Building, the Main Library and the Norman Bridge Lecture Hall.He also made drawings of various atoms and of a telescope, though he did not accept payment for the art work, stating that“I would like to regard these sketches as compensation for my membership in The Athenaeum [faculty club] which I realize is quite irregular.”

Roger took on many innovative challenges throughout his multi-faceted career, work whichresulted in his receipt of ten patents for which he “had fun in doing but never earned a nickel.” These patents are as follows:

Patent Number Date Description
2,200,646 May 14, 1940 Transparent Projection Screen (with J.D. Strong)
2,399,924 May 7, 1946 (filed Feb 17, 1945) Devices for grinding and polishing surfaces
2,403,659 July 9, 1946 (filed May 2, 1945) Apparatus for surface generation
2,403,660 July 9, 1946 (filed May 29, 1945) Optical system for cameras
2,430,637 Nov 11, 1947 (filed Dec 8, 1944) Means and a method for testing optical surfaces
2,514,492 July 11, 1950 (filed Jan 3, 1946) Bubble level with conical lens (see Sci. Am., Nov 1956)
2,625,853 Jan 20, 1953 (filed Feb 3, 1947) Panoramic telescope device
2,625,854 Jan 20, 1953 (filed Dec 2, 1947) Panoramic binocular telescope
2,752,614 July 3, 1956 (filed July 10, 1953) Bassinet attachment (with O’Connor and Lunden)
3,116,720 Jan. 7, 1964 (filed Nov 3, 1960) Pens (with William Bradley Lewis, Idaho Falls, ID)

Roger was always interested in the meaning and interpretation of art, vision, and especially color. As his vision started to fail, he resigned from professional work and started to tinker. One interest was the development of drawings and articles for the Worm Runners Digest, for which Roger authored many publications. The first and perhaps best-known is 1968’s “Blivets-Research and Development” (vol X, no 2) in which he constructs a number of pleasing but impossible diagrams. (Fig. 6 of this issue has been reproduced in a number of other publications. ) “Blivets — the Makings” (Vol XII, no 2, 1970-1971) was probably written in response to the large correspondence he received concerning the construction of these “impossible” figures. One fun contribution was “Cupidons — The Survival of the Flittest” (Vol X1, no 2, 1969). A more serious submission was entitled “The Jigsaw Puzzle and the Inventive Mind” (vol X11, no 1 1969), an essay on memory, imagination and inventiveness. Fun again came in the July 1971 issue (vol XIII, no 1), “Flower Bed Bugs,””Livits” in the 1971 (Vol XIII, no 2) issue, and “Digititums” in the vol XIX, no 2 issue of 1977.

Color perception and meaning were an area of intense study by Roger. He had an artist’s basic sense of color, but was also interested in how an individual considers color, especially with respect to black-and-white. One psychological study that he proposed focused on the spinning of a circular wheel with black-and-white markings on a phonograph table and subsequent observations on the development of color. Roger studied the eye’s perception of color and led many discussions with Caltech academics and art groups. These studies were important in determining the color palette in The Architecture of Molecules. Roger also worked on stereo effects (J Opt Soc Amer. vol 56, 255-256) derived from planar figures, enhancing techniques now commonly used to show stereo views of molecules.

The 1970s saw a marked decrease in Roger’s ability to continue to draw. His eyesight worsened, and in 1974 he was compelled to give up his work on the Amateur Scientist column. He obtained a large orator style typewriter to send letters, and often Betty would have to retype them. One small token of good-fortune was his movement from watercolor drawings to pastels and crayons in the 1950s, which allowed him to continue to sketch through the mid-1970s. His common pastel choice was silver and white on a black background, or vice versa.

In 1973, Roger and Betty moved to Merced, California, so as to enlist the support of Betty’s half-sister. Roger was nearly blind and was limited to mostly drawing in black and white, while Betty continued to design original patterns and to weave. Since Roger’s eyesight was very poor, Betty spent a great deal of time reading out loud and typing his letters. In 1975, he was hospitalized for an extensive period of time, and he returned home quite weakened. He died at home in 1979.

For more on Roger Hayward, click here.

Roger Hayward (1899-1979): The Western Years, Part 1

Figure 12. Zodiac watercolor by Roger Hayward.

Figure 12. Zodiac watercolor by Roger Hayward.

[This is the second of four installments of the PaulingBlog’s Roger Hayward biographical series. The text that follows was compiled by Dr. J.R. Kramer, Miriam Kramer and John Benjamin, who may be reached at jkramer2[at]cogeco.ca]

At the prodding of S.E. Lunden, a classmate and colleague at Cram and Ferguson, Roger left Boston for Los Angeles for work as an associate and chief designer for Lunden and Associates. Lunden had landed two major jobs, the USC Doheny Library and the LA stock exchange. Much of the exterior of the Doheny library (see http://www.publicartinla.com/USCArt/Doheny/hayward/ ) and the stock exchange (see http://www.you-are-here.com/downtown/stock_exchange.html) were designed by Roger. In particular, he was honored for the art work over the main entrance to Doheny. The glass mosaic of the Zodiac over the entry to the library is from his watercolor. In 1933 he received an award from the American Institute of Architects for this design. The massive and well-balanced entry doors to the exchange were his ideas as well.

The architecture in these two buildings has a majesty and strength similar to many Gothic creations, but the style and design is definitely modern and “West coast.” One interesting aspect of the Doheny building are the chairs in the reading room. These were designed mostly by Roger and specially constructed out of walnut by a Buffalo, New York shop. As one observer noted, “students need to concentrate on the work in front of them and not on their uncomfortable seats.”

As the 1930s moved forward, the Depression hit the region hard and there was no new architectural work for some time. As a result, Roger became a “jack-of-all-trades” in order to stay afloat. He, Betty and his brother, Julian, started making puppets and putting on puppet shows under the name BEROJU (Betty, Roger, Julian) both at their house and at Caltech’s new Athenaeum club. Puppetry was an extension of Roger’s early days back in New Hampshire when his family would create plays by making masks and acting out different roles.

Pasadena Life

Fig 13. Elizabeth in 1935.

Figure 13. Elizabeth in 1935.

Roger and Betty lived on East Walnut St., about 8 blocks from Caltech, and it was natural to make contact and become friends with faculty. Roger developed numerous associations with the professors in his neighborhood, including John Strong of the Physics department and architect/astronomer Russell Porter. Benefiting from their introductions, Roger negotiated a contract for a moon model at the Griffith Planetarium on a scale of 50 feet to the diameter of the moon. This work attracted international press for Roger as the “man in the moon.” Later he was commissioned to make a smaller (6 feet) but complete model at the Adler planetarium in Chicago.

Fig 14. Roger working on the Griffith model of the moon. (Los Angeles Public Library photograph, Security National Bank Collection).

Figure 14. Roger working on the Griffith model of the moon. (Los Angeles Public Library photograph, Security National Bank Collection).

Through Caltech people, Roger also made contact with scientists at Mount Wilson Observatory. Likewise, blessed with strong three-dimensional and arts & craft skills, Roger was hired as a “technician” who both drew and constructed a variety of molecular structures for Linus Pauling. (The relationship between Hayward and Pauling will be the subject of Part 4 of our blog series) As he increasingly involved himself in scientific work, Roger came to realize that he did not properly understand the basics of atomic theory necessary to “artistically and accurately draw atomic structures”. Roger began to chart a new path for himself

“Was I going to live in this age and be ignorant of all of this [science] and also regard myself as an intelligent man? And therefore I gave myself (with the help of these new friends) a course in atomic theory and molecular structure.”

To assist, he swapped a watercolor painting with physicist R.M. Langer in exchange for tutorials on atomic theory.

In the mid-1930s, Roger also studied, designed and built three weaving looms for Betty who had taken up original weaving for sale, specializing in modifications of Navajo patterns. Roger had also become interested in the variety of California woods, and started designing and carving jewelry. The Haywards would take these to local Pasadena craft shops and exhibitions for sale. As a result, they met and made friends with many more Caltech faculty.

Many other activities occupied Roger during the down times of the Depression. He designed a nut cracker machine for the California Walnut Growers Association; he served as a consultant for the Unbreakable Lens Company of America; and he measuring basic physical properties of plastics. This all helped to keep food on the table during a difficult economic era.

Roger also became a member of the Leslie Briggs Discussion Club, a study group founded in the 1930s to consider social and ethical issues including the impact of the Depression on the structure and well-being of families. This club featured a broad base of members — interestingly enough, many of them were from New England. The club’s membership strongly influenced on Roger’s thinking on a variety of socio-economic and metaphysical issues.

Fig. 15. One of the looms designed and made by Roger for Betty.

Figure 15. One of the looms designed and made by Roger for Betty.

Another group with which Roger was intimately involved was the “100:1 Shot” or “10-2 Club.” This group, consisting again of a broadly-based membership (many from Caltech), delighted in the consideration of ideas that had only a small chance of actually becoming reality. Members of this group included G. Potapenko, G.A. Mitchell, R.M.Langer, H.V.Neher, John McMorris, John Strong, J.A. Anderson, M.L. Humason, J.T. Barkelew and R.W. Porter. The group met at a member’s home, and each member accepted the responsibility of setting the agenda on a suitable topic. A social hour normally ensued during which individual discussions on the topics at hand could be developed.

Roger’s association with Caltech’s John Strong on the 1938 book, Procedures in Experimental Physics was both an education and an opening to an enduring friendship, and to new projects, for Roger. This, in turn, strengthened his relationship with the Mt. Wilson Observatory and probably resulted in Roger becoming a consultant for A. O. Beckman and National Technical Labs (i.e. Beckman Industries) for most of 1941. One result of this relationship was Roger’s development of a monochromator for a spectroscope that would serve as the basis of the Beckman DU spectrophotometer. “The instrument is merely a development of the spectrograph which I built for myself,” Roger would note. “It is a little simpler in that it uses one half prism. In my own device I use a full prism with a half speed mirror to back it up and thus gain a factor of two in resolving power.” (See also Anal. Chem. v. 49, 280A-296A, 1977)

In 1938, Roger became the basic designer for the University of Southern California’s Allen Hancock Biology Laboratories (Johnson, architect). This was a complex structure as it included an “aquarium, a stack for tons of specimens in alcohol, cold rooms, hot rooms, research labs, a music hall, a broadcasting studio, and three rooms from an old house.” During this time, Roger continued to be tutored in atomic theory by R.M. Langer and made a prism from a two-inch chunk of quartz. He mounted this prism in a spectrograph “making all the optics, patterns etc. and doing the machine work.” He also acquired a copy of Conrady’s Applied Optics and Optical Design and “gave myself a short course in geometrical optics, at least, I learned how to trace.”

In 1941, Betty and Roger moved to 920 Linda Vista in Pasadena, which would be their home until 1973. They planted special trees to produce stock for making jewelry and, more importantly, converted a two-car garage into their “hobbery,” containing a shop, looms, lathes and, of course, books and a drafting area. This “joint operations center” allowed Betty and Roger to work together on many different projects. Often one would read to the other from a classic novel while working in this environment. Obviously many ideas were conceived jointly in this setting.

The War Years

With the outbreak of World War II, Roger started work at the Mt. Wilson Observatory as an optical engineer. Here he developed the Schmidt-Cassegrain optical arrangement for telescopes, used for distant sighting of enemy planes. This work resulted in Roger’s attainment of four patents once secrecy restrictions were lifted at the end of the war (See Sky and Telescope, v. 114, no 3, p. 30-37) though, as it turned out, improvements in distant radar resulted in only limited application of the distant optical package.

Roger also used his 3-D and optics knowledge to develop tools for air-to-air defensive gunnery, resulting in a number of practical publications for the Air Force on improvements in gunsight optics and the use of the Magnin mirror for gun sighting. As he said in 1943, “if the enemy had not run out of airplanes, we would have been on to a good thing.” Finally, Roger also was sent to North Africa to work directly with combat groups, where he developed an interest in North African art and archeology.

The year 1946 marked the end of World War II and the start of new ventures. Roger continued as on in his role as an artist-consultant to the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech. He also collaborated with Linus Pauling in illustrating his General Chemistry, a project discussed between the two as early as the late 1930’s. In 1948, he illustrated Frantz’s Laboratory Study of Chemical Principles and Beadle’s Genes of Men and Molds.

Scientific American

Roger also started to do more illustrations for Scientific American and, crucially, developed an association with the journal’s Amateur Scientist section. Scientific American emphasized the publishing of quality articles from well-know scientists, to which Roger contributed his considerable imagination and artistic skill. He also frequently contributed articles himself often on items that he had built himself in the hobbery.

(A long series of humorous communications — spanning the years 1956-1959 — between Amateur Scientist editor C.L. Stong (“Red” ) and Roger Hayward (“Rajah”) are incredible. The “Rajah” probably came naturally from Roger’s New England accent which made the “er” sound like”ah”.)

The quality of the column was so good that many academics and other professionals followed it very closely. Charles Newton, Assistant to the President of Caltech, referring to a winner of the National Science Fair in 1953 wrote to Roger that “…it had been the articles and illustrations on astronomy in the Scientific American” that had awakened the winner’s interest in science. Clearly the smooth and successful working of Scientific American and the Amateur Scientist column arose, at least in part, out of the publisher’s and editor’s understanding and appreciation of the artful illustrations that appeared in the magazine. In a December 18, 1973 letter wherein Roger is informed of the official termination of his employment on the Amateur Scientist column due to his deteriorating eyesight, editor Dennis Flanagan wrote:

“I want you to know that I am profoundly grateful for you having stuck it out for so long, and for the tremendous contribution you have made over the years. You know that you have contributed more than the illustrations themselves. You have set the whole style for this kind of illustration.”

Indeed, Roger made sure that his scientific illustrations were not only beautiful but clear and correct, a point which will be considered further in our discussion (Parts 3 and 4) of the development of The Architecture of Molecules. In all of the above, it is important to realize that Roger did not illustrate anything until he understood the basic workings — so much so, in fact, that he built an opium pipe prior to creating the illustrations for Peter Fay’s The Opium War.

For more on Roger Hayward, click here.

Roger Hayward (1899-1979): Architect, Artist, Illustrator, Inventor, Scientist

[Editors Note: The Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections is very pleased to announce that it will soon serve as home to the Roger Hayward Papers. Hayward was a hugely-talented artist who, among many other projects, collaborated with Linus Pauling as illustrator to a number of Pauling’s books, most notably The Architecture of Molecules (1964). This blog post represents the first installment of a four-part biographical series on Hayward that The PaulingBlog will be running over the next two weeks. The text of these posts has been compiled by Dr. J.R. Kramer, Miriam Kramer (Hayward’s niece) and John Benjamin (Hayward’s cousin). Questions about Hayward may be addressed to the Kramers via email at jkramer2[at]cogeco.ca High-resolution versions of all images presented in the Hayward biographical sketch may be accessed by clicking on the thumbnails presented within the texts.]

Perhaps it is a bit providential that Roger Hayward and Linus Pauling met and then later worked together to advance the understanding of molecular structure. This association between a chemist and an architect-artist (Pauling called him a scientist) perhaps reached an apex in the publication of the acclaimed Architecture of Molecules. Roger Hayward, however, was more than an illustrator, and this, in brief, is his story.

Beginning Years:

Roger Hayward at 8 months.

Roger Hayward was born in Keene, New Hampshire in 1899. Mother’s diary says, – “2.15 (AM) the baby – a son – was born, named Roger. – – – Baby weighed 8 lbs: had lots of hair: cried lustily even raising his head and kicking before cord was cut.”

Roger’s mother, Ina Phelps Hayward, was an artist and the daughter of a well-known New England artist, William Preston Phelps. Roger was given a sketch book at age 7 and began drawing. In a letter in 1950 he wrote, “Mother was an artist’s daughter. I was expected to draw just as I was expected to eat or talk or anything else, and I wasn’t praised for the results.” Roger’s father, Robert, was a well-known Keene businessman who also designed, built and repaired time pieces and other small mechanical devices. Roger entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the idea of studying architecture: “I decided on architecture because I hoped it would provide a balanced diet of aesthetics and mechanico-science.” He was eighteen years old and, certainly, his senses of perspective and composition were well-developed. As a student in architecture at MIT, he had ample opportunity to practice his draftsmanship and the application of color — albeit in a restricted, technical fashion.

This sketch is an example of one of Hayward's student projects, an opera house foyer.

He also had fun at Tech. One noteworthy example is his “Mask of Tragedy” drawing. From the Boston Evening Transcript for Sat. May 28, 1921:

For outlet to the exuberance of talent which refuses to confine itself to perspectives and formal ‘projects,’ the students in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hold an exhibition of their own each year, at which they caricature their instructors, give rein to their fancy and hang on the walls of a room in the Rogers Building whatever of their work best pleases them. This year the imagination and skill of one of the students, Roger Hayward, evolved a Mask of Tragedy, which on close inspection is found to be interpreted in terms of figures of the modern stage.

The Mask of Tragedy.

Upon graduation in 1922, he received a number of honors from MIT: a prize from the Boston Society of Architects, two Chandler Medals (for projects completed while a student) and the Rotch Prize, which carried with it an award of $200.

He then married Elizabeth (Betty) Hatfield, and they spent the prize money at Cape Cod on their honeymoon, reading and sketching. Betty had grown up on a farm in Iowa. She was orphaned at an early age, but went on to high school and to Grinnell College. Afterward she taught English and beginning Latin for one year and then went to Radcliffe College where, as a graduate student in English, she met Roger. Roger and Betty then settled down in Boston, where Roger worked for various architectural firms.

Mostly Art:

Naval barracks oil painting.

The earliest known example of an oil painting from Roger is a sketch of the barracks where he was stationed as a Naval Reservist immediately after his high school graduation. Roger volunteered, as did so many others, for the “Great War”, but was spared the danger of combat by the Armistice of 1918.

Of course, Roger indulged in his share of “high jinks” and other student activities to which his artistic talents could be lent. The “S. S. P. Co.” in Figure 5 refers to S. S. Pierce Company, a high class Boston purveyor of fine foods. “Technique” is the MIT yearbook. One presumes from the golden color of the bottle in Roger’s hand that beer was among the goodies provided.

Hijinks watercolor.

Roger graduated from “Tech” in 1922, a year late due to illness, likely the one which occasioned the “care package” in the hijinks piece. Roger took a position at Bellows and Aldrich, later Wm. T. Aldrich, a Boston architectural firm. In 1925, he moved to Cram and Ferguson, a well-known Boston architectural firm specializing in gothic design. Cram and Ferguson were working on the N.Y. cathedral, St. John the Divine, and Roger did a number of architectural designs and renderings of the north face.

Pencil rendering of proposed North Face of St. John the Divine, NYC. (Pencil Points, May 1926).

Pencil rendering of for proposed Presbyterian cathedral, Washington, DC. (Architectural Design. March, 1929 p. 30).

He also did similar artistic renderings for the two WWI military cemeteries in France at Aisne-Marne and Oise-Marne (see NY Times, July 17, 1927, article by Henry Miller) for which Cram had commissions. Ralph Cram sent Roger and Betty to Europe in 1926 to examine and sketch many classical buildings and to see “real Gothic structure”. During the trip, Roger filled sketchbooks with his carefully-rendered drawings and color studies. This “inspection trip” would be valuable in developing ideas for many of the later California architectural projects. Although his trip was confined to Italy, France and England, one of the sketch books opens with a watercolor drawing of the Hagia Sophia in “Constantinople”.

Hagia Sophia watercolor.

Roger’s water colors were first exposed to the public eye in early 1928 when some two-dozen of his paintings were exhibited at the Grace Horne Gallery in Boston. They were received with restrained polite comment. One critic wrote, “His water colors, indicative of due appreciation of nature, are sincere endeavors to record various aspects, but have the restraint of one who has not yet attained to freedom in the use of the brush.” This was, one supposes, a stilted way of saying he was too meticulous. One also suspects that it was not common for any new artist to gain instant approval, especially one whose training was technical rather than artistic. The writer did note, however, that “One has to begin somewhere, however, and the present exhibition has a promise in its best works that should encourage toward further showings.”

In May of that same year Roger entered more paintings at the Business Men’s Art Club exhibit and was greeted in the Boston Herald with the heading, “Hayward Group Notable.” The writer continued,

Mr. Hayward, long of limb and youthful of feature, doesn’t even bother to avail himself of studio patter in discussing his watercolors. Smilingly he admits that his early efforts got him only a ‘kick in the pants’ from connoisseurs. His most recent paintings, however, are among the most effective in the show. ‘Yes, sir,’ chuckled Mr. Hayward boyishly, ‘I seem to be going like a house afire.’

Another viewer wrote, “There are several nudes, wonderfully painted by this young man whose business acumen must, or should be, very low; for certainly no one who can paint as he does, can have the remotest corner in his brains for business. All this according to the accepted rule y’ know.”

Watercolor perspective of nude (Image courtesy of J. Benjamin).

Lastly Haydon Jones, artist and critic in the Boston Herald, writing about “Business Men and Art” noted “Two or three landscapes, also in water color by the same genius [Hayward] remind one of John Singer Sargent. All they need is his signature, and they would sell for a thousand instead of fifteen dollars.”

Significant progress in a mere three months! Or perhaps the Boston art establishment was through with “hazing” Roger and ready to acknowledge his obvious talent. In June several of Roger’s works in the Boston Art Club exhibition drew more praise saying that he “has come forward fast since his debut at Miss Horne’s gallery earlier this season.”

The following February, 1929, Roger again showed several dozen works at Grace Horne’s gallery, concentrating on paintings made from a trip to Arizona. In a year Roger had become a mainstay of the Boston art scene and was worthy of his first one man show. His works were anticipated and analyzed carefully, “He does not follow the easier path, but attempts effects that are difficult. There are dark recesses in the wood, snow enveloped in cool shadows, mountains enveloped in hazy clouds active waters on rocky paths.” One, of a forest fire and clearly from his imagination, was singled out for praise as was a study, “of the reclining figure of a young woman, seen in foreshortened perspective. A most difficult technical feat, the artist has accomplished the little study with dash and vigor.”

Black and white photocopies of two Western watercolor scenes.

The oils that Roger submitted, however, were not greeted with such enthusiasm. “Unfortunately, what Mr. Hayward undoubtedly possesses in the handling of wash, he lacks in oil, if we may judge by the nine works in that medium now shown.” Apparently one had to pay one’s dues for each medium placed before the Boston critics. Articles continued in the Boston papers through March and April. “…the youthful architect emerges into the arena of painters with few, if any, who have arrived as he has through the roundabout road of pursuing painting as a mere avocation.”

In the meantime he was also making an impression in his new home, Los Angeles, at an exhibit of the California Water Color Society, “Roger Hayward, here from Boston, shows some of his vigorous water colors of the desert and the oil fields, his reactions to new scenes.” Now he was a bi-coastal artist, continuing his exhibits in Boston where his paintings of the West were also popular. “Roger Hayward, now resident in Los Angeles, has continued to advance in technique while he explores regions new to him for effective subjects”.

Roger’s artistic excellence was evident. In 1931 a California observer noted of his works,

The line, ‘A good picture is worth a thousand words,’ is proven in the work of Roger Hayward, ten of whose paintings are on exhibit. Hayward’s water-colors are realistic rather than impressionistic, and the spectator, in viewing the landscapes, is almost sure to be reminded of a place sometimes visited in that scene of the desert, the Grand Canyon, and the mountain streams are all portrayed in attractive style. Genuine perspective is present in the especially colorful California desert paintings.

His somewhat flamboyant appearance was also helping make him memorable. Columnist Arthur Millier, in the L.A. Times noted,

Roger Hayward, water colorist. Gallerygoers would doubtless so describe the author of those brilliant aquarelles of trees, mountains, waves and other subjects seen here during the last three years. They are a small part of his accomplishments. This amazing young man is first an architectural designer whose talent keeps him very busy. In his spare moments he makes the large water colors from memory. He never draws on the spot. But he also makes and operates carefully built puppets, makes original jewelry, designs and carves furniture, and in his spare time raises the most luxuriant mustache in the West. He is 33, looks like Groucho Marx and comes from Boston…

Roger "Groucho Marx" Hayward.

And so on. In Roger’s lifetime, he created over 300 art works, mostly watercolors, and some sculpture and jewelry. He also had time to obtain 10 patents. He sold about 20% of his paintings and gave a few away (one a swap for tutorials in atomic theory from R.M Langer at Caltech). The location of the rest of the paintings are mostly unknown. The above is but an indication of his art accomplishments.

For more on Roger Hayward, click here.

The Paulings and the Kennedys

White House Dinner Menu, April 29, 1962.

White House Dinner Menu. April 29, 1962.

Mrs. Kennedy said, ‘Dr. Pauling do you think that it is right to march back and forth out there in front of the White House carrying a sign and cause Caroline to say, Mummy, what has Daddy done wrong now?’ I thought that was pretty clever.
-Linus Pauling. NOVA Interview. June 1977.

The “thousand days” of the John F. Kennedy administration were surely among the most turbulent of the twentieth century. The Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the escalation of the Vietnam War, among other historically important events, served to heighten the sense of emergency that had been fomenting in mainstream American culture since the conclusion of the second World War.

The sense of turmoil, international tension and cultural conflict that characterized JFK’s presidency is encapsulated by a series of highly-emotional communications between Linus Pauling, Ava Helen Pauling, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, from the President’s inauguration in 1961 to his assassination in 1963.

As was the case with many Americans, Pauling greeted Kennedy’s election with a sense of optimism and hope. Shortly after the President’s inauguration, Pauling sent Kennedy a short note:

“I am happy to join in welcoming you and congratulating you. You are our great hope for peace in the world.”

The Paulings’ positive attitude toward their country’s new chief executive would not last long. In July of 1961, Ava Helen sent a letter to Mrs. Kennedy explaining the dangers of Strontium-90 and its effects on children. This opened a steady (if one-sided) line of communication between the Kennedys and the Paulings which would continue for the better part of the next three years.

Linus Pauling’s early letters were rather technical in tone, outlining the scientific argument against nuclear weapons testing and urging the President (“with all the intensity that I can muster”) to avoid threats of violent conflict at all cost. Later letters, dating from January and March of 1962, through early 1963, convey a similar message, but grow increasingly angry in their wording. To wit, this extract from Linus Pauling to President Kennedy, written on March 1, 1962 and later made public, arguing vehemently against the broadening of the nation’s Cold War-era nuclear weapons testing policies:

“President Kennedy: Are you going to give an order that will cause you to go down in history as one of the most immoral men of all time and one of the greatest enemies of the human race?…Are you going to be guilty of this monstrous immorality, matching that of the Soviet leaders, for the political purpose of increasing the still imposing lead of the United States over the Soviet Union in nuclear weapons technology?”

The Paulings’ public response (issued October 22, 1962) to the developing Cuban Missile Crisis was similarly aggressive in tone:

“Your horrifying threat of military action on shipping on the high seas and possible massive retaliation by nuclear attack to any resistance places all the American people as well as many people in other countries in grave danger of death through nuclear war.”

(click the thumbnail below to view the entirety of this document)

Telegram from Ava Helen and Linus Pauling to President John F. Kennedy, October 22, 1962.

Perhaps the most famous of the Paulings interactions with the Kennedys occurred in April 1962 when Linus and Ava Helen were invited to a White House dinner in honor of all the nation’s Nobel Prize Winners. The couple attended, unabashed that only hours before, Linus had been picketing in front of the White House against the policies of the Kennedy administration.

(click on the video link below for more on this event)

Picketing the White House

In the late summer of 1963, as the United States and the Soviet Union moved closer to toward confirming the Partial Test Ban Treaty, the Paulings’ attitude toward the White House began to soften. This shifting dynamic made Kennedy’s assassination an especially bitter pill for the famous activists to swallow — an event that, indeed, shook the Paulings to their core. Two days after the President’s murder, Linus sent a short note to the widowed Mrs. Kennedy, expressing his and his wife’s sadness:

“My wife and I send you our heartfelt sympathy. As are hundreds of millions of other people, all over the world, we are stricken with grief by the death of our great President, John F. Kennedy.”

In the months and years that would follow, the Paulings grew increasingly interested in the wide swath of suspicion that surrounded the official explanation of Kennedy’s assassination. The Pauling Papers now include a folder of materials (Folder 198.4) collected by the Paulings that are specifically related to the events of November 22, 1963. In addition, the Pauling Personal Library contains ten books (Beginning with call number E842.9 .A5) specifically devoted to varying explanations of the killing of the nation’s thirty-fifth President.

Read more about the relationship between the Paulings and the Kennedys on the website “Linus Pauling and the International Peace Movement: A Documentary History.”

Featured Document: Angry and Frustrated, Pauling Considers a Run for the U.S. Presidency

Linus Pauling. Oslo, Norway. December 21, 1963

Linus Pauling. Oslo, Norway. December 21, 1963

Though often encouraged to, Linus Pauling never ran for elected office. From the vantage point of his peace work, Pauling believed himself to be a far more effective agent for change when working in an environment that was essentially unencumbered by political considerations. Of at least equal importance was the fact that the time commitments demanded by government service would surely diminish Pauling’s capacity to pursue his first love, scientific inquiry.

For a very brief period however, Pauling certainly did consider running for the highest office in the land — the United States Presidency. Deeply angered by his treatment at the hands of Senator Thomas Dodd and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, the frustrated scientist made, as it turned out, a temporary decision to pursue a position in the Oval Office. The three pages of notes that follow were written — as per Pauling’s annotation — on the flight home to southern California following Pauling’s first appearance before the Dodd subcommittee.

Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge each page of this fascinating manuscript.

I have decided to run for the office of Pres. of the U.S. I cannot bring myself to vote for either the Dem. or the Rep. candidate. I shall vote for myself. I invite people everywhere to help me. I do not care who they are or what they have done in the past, I pro only that they believe in what I state as my beliefs. I promise that I will not reward them in any way. If the satisfaction of having done what they think is right is not enough, I do not want them. One advantage that I have is that I know what the world of 1960 is like. No one can fool me the way Dr. Teller fooled Pres. Eisenhower.

Page 2

[Tangential Notes: We need a law that no former FBI agents should be elected to Congress. Perhaps only professors. I am shocked with the revelation that has come to me of the quality, caliber, nature of our Senators. Respect – ] It is not necessary that the Pres. be a vassal of the Rep. party or the Dem. party. I shall be the servant only of the people of the U.S. – and only then if they are unselfish.

Page 3

I have held no office. The presidency differs so much from other offices that this is not important. I can think – I shall get good advice – but I will make the decisions. We need leadership unhampered by politics. Pres. Eisen was unhampered but he did not grasp his opportunity.