Bacteria paintings, 1959.
© NMeM / Daily Herald Archive / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of three pictures grown with bacteria, taken by an unknown photographer for the Daily Herald newspaper in 1959. The pictures in these petrie dishes were painted with living bacteria which change colour as they grow. They were produced by Professor Alexander Fleming [1881-1955], the discoverer of penicillin. Fleming first sketched the designs on blotting paper, then laid the blotting paper on agar in petrie dishes. The designs were 'coloured' with the appropriate bacteria cultures and then placed in an incubator. This photograph has been selected from the Daily Herald Archive, a collection of over three million photographs. The archive holds work of international, national and local importance by both staff and agency photographers.