Insulin samples, 1920s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
These samples of insulin are from the early days of the development of insulin therapy. They consist of an ampoule of 50 units of 'lletin' (Insulin Lilly) manufactured by Eli Lilly & Company, Indianapolis, USA in 1923 (right); and an ampoule of early standardised insulin, c 1927, prepared at the National Institute for Medical Research, London. The discovery that animal insulin could replace mising human insulin, and restore diabetics to health, was made in 1921-1922 by Frederick Banting (1891-1941) and Charles Best (1899-1978).