49 Facts About Louis Pasteur You Should Know

Last updated on March 10th, 2020

36. At the time, Lille was a centre of alcohol manufacture in France. In 1856, a man called Bigo approached Louis with his problem regarding souring of the fermented alcohol. He requested Pasteur to study the problem and find a solution. Pasteur invested his time and energy and could soon figure out the reason behind souring of the alcohol.[4]

37. Louis Pasteur won the Alhumbert Prize in 1862 carrying 2,500 Francs for demonstrating that germs could only come from outside.[5]

Yellowish silkworm or caterpillar. Silkworms eats mulberry leaves. The moth makes the silk fiber. Silkworm can also be eaten as food.
Yellowish silkworm or caterpillar. Silkworms eats mulberry leaves. The moth makes the silk fiber. Silkworm can also be eaten as food.

38. In 1865, the silk industry was in danger because parasites were killing silkworms. Pasteur discovered the microbes that were infecting silkworms and thus helped save the industry.[2]

39. Interestingly, when Pasteur began his investigation of the disease affecting silkworms, he had never seen a silkworm before.[12]

40. In 1885, he administered his vaccine to a 9-year-old boy who had been bitten by a rabid dog. The implementation was successful and the boy survived. Noteworthy here is that Pasteur had no medical license to administer the vaccine and had he failed, it would have landed him in trouble. Surprisingly, after the success of the vaccine, the legalities were forgotten and Louis Pasteur became a national hero.[1,4,5]

41.  In 1885, after the success of rabies vaccine, an era of preventive medicine began.[1]

42. In 1887 he founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris and became its director. The Institute was inaugurated on November 14, 1888. He remained in the chair until his death on September 28, 1895. It is one of the leading medical institutions in the world. Interestingly, eight Pasteur Institute scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine and physiology.[6]

43. In 1868, Pasteur had a brain hemorrhage which affected the left side of his body. His working ability since then was compromised. However, he had made some remarkable discoveries by that time which helped him engage further with help from fellow researchers in the cause he was following for many years.[4,7]

44. Louis Pasteur took to study the diseases of beer because he was a patriotic man at heart and wanted to serve his motherland France by helping the French beer make a reputation which would be equal, if not superior, to that of Germany. French manufacturers of beer were at that time not able to preserve beer for a long time which was hurting the trade of the beverage.[12]

45. On January 28, 1873 Louis Pasteur was granted the patent for BREWING BEER AND ALE, U.S. Patent No. 135,245.[8]

46. In 1879 he began investigating anthrax epidemic that killed a large number of sheep and was also attacking human beings as well. After he conducted his study and experiment relating to anthrax, he immunized 70 farm animals with his researched vaccine and the experiment was a huge success. During his time people believed that bacteria appeared due to spontaneous generation. They thought that bacteria appeared out of nowhere. However, Pasteur believed and also proved with his experiments that bacteria were a living thing that came from other living things.[1]

47. “The Times” in Great Britain called Pasteur “one of the scientific glories of France.”[4]

48. In 1895, he died from a stroke. He was a deeply religious man throughout his life.[2]

Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, France.
Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, France.

49. He was buried in the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. However, his remains were transferred to a Neo-Byzantine crypt at the Pasteur Institute in 1896.[1]

Louis Pasteur – quick facts

Born27 December 1822, Dole, France
Died28 September 1895, Marnes-la-Coquette, France
Age at the time of death72 years
Field of WorkBiology
AwardsRumford Medal 1892, 1856
Copley Medal 1874,
Albert Medal 1882,
Montyon Prizes 1859
Leeuwenhoek Medal 1895
Scientific contributionsPasteurization
EducationÉcole Normale Supérieure (1847), École Normale Supérieure (1843–1845), Lycée Saint-Louis
ParentsJean Joseph Pasteur | Jeanne Etiennette Roqui
SiblingJosephine Pasteur | Emilie Pasteur
SpouseMarie Pasteur
ChildrenJeanne Pasteur | Camile Pasteur | Cécile Pasteur | Jean Baptiste Pasteur | Marie Louise Pasteur