1822, in the small town of Dole, France, a legend was born. Louis Pasteur, whose name is forever cemented in the history of medicine, was born under Jean-Joseph Pasteur--a famous tanner and sergeant major during the Napoleonic wars. Pasteur's relationship with the field of Chemistry began when he was admitted to the École Normale Supérieure, where he later became a teaching assistant under another famous French chemist, Baptiste-André Dumas. After graduating École Normale Supérieure, Pasteur was appointed as a professor of chemistry at the University of Lille. During his time at Lille, Pasteur went through a series of studies on alcoholic fermentation. His diligent investigations helped unravel the practical and economic problems of fermentation. In 1857, Pasteur presents experimental evidence for one of his most controversial theories: the germ theory of fermentation. (Louis Pasteur History). In 1863, under the request of Napoleon III, Pasteur applied his exceptional knowledge and experience in microbes and fermentation to wine and beer, fashioning a new method of food-preservation that is commonly referred to today as Pasteurization. His contribution to the medical and chemical field did not end there, however. In his later years, Pasteur developed the idea of vaccination, and contributed to the foundation of immunology--the study of immune systems in all organisms. He developed vaccines against cholera, anthrax, and rabies: all deadly diseases at the time . After his 70th birthday, Pasteur's already weak health started deteriorating rapidly. On September 28, 1895, the great chemist and microbiologist died. Louis Pasteur was buried in the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris (Ullman).
"Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world."
Pasteurization, vaccination, and the germ theory are all important ideas of Louis Pasteur. Pasteurization was an important breakthrough in food preservation. Before Pasteurization was developed, wine and beer would often be contaminated during export. To solve this problem, Napoleon III, then emperor of France, appointed Pasteur to investigate this problem (Ullman). Pasteur soon came to the realization that this contamination was caused by microbes, and quickly developed a new method--now called "Pasteurization"--to prevent the spoiling of wine. It involved the heating of wine without changing the taste. Pasteurization revolutionized the food industry, and although nowadays it is seldom used on wine or beer, its fame lives on with milk. Pasteur's development of Vaccination also rapidly changed the world, as humans finally got the upper hand in the war against diseases. In 1880, Louis Pasteur, with the help of Charles Chamberland, discovered the vaccine to chicken cholera. He came to the important realization that weaker strain of germs could actually help the body form defenses against the more powerful germs. In 1881, Pasteur applied this same principle to anthrax--an epidemic that had killed large numbers of sheep. Declaring that his team has found a way to weaken anthrax germs, Louis Pasteur successfully proved to the still-doubtful world the power of vaccination. After anthrax, Pasteur developed a vaccine against the disease of rabies. In 1885, Pasteur used the vaccine on a young boy named Joseph Meister, with successful results (Louis Pasteur History). Pasteur is also well-known for his contributions to the germ theory of disease. In a world that was still dominated by the miasmatic theory of disease, Louis Pasteur's experimental evidence gave rise to the germ theory of disease. Carefully observing compounds such as lactic acid and butyric acid, Pasteur came to the realization that living organisms participates in all fermentative processes (Ullman).