Biology & Natural History

Fell, Honor B. | The Histogenesis of Cartilage and Bone in the Long Bones of the Embryonic Fowl

  • First edition, first printing. The rare offprint of the first major work by prominent cell biologist Honor B. Fell (1900-1986). We can locate only one institutional copy of this offprint, at the University of Southern California.

    Fell’s childhood interest in animals and nature was encouraged by her parents, and she received what was at the time an unusually science-focused education. She earned four degrees at St. Andrews and the University of Edinburgh, and then went to Cambridge “to learn a new technique pioneered by T. S. P. Strangeways in his research hospital. Tissues culture was a relatively new art at this time, and he had developed it to the extent that he could study the behavior of living cells on a warm stage. Fell was impressed, and when Strangeways offered her a job as scientific assistant with a grant from the Medical Research Council, she accepted. Her first major study was on chick embryos, examining their cartilage and bones. This work culminated in her first important paper from the Strangeways in 1925, a study of the histogenesis of bone and cartilage in the long bone of embryonic chicks. From this beginning, she used techniques of organ culture to analyze the actions of various agents upon the cells of bone, cartilage, and associated tissues. The preliminary study was continued, and in 1926 she and Strangeways demonstrated that cartilage would not only grow but would differentiate in culture” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 440).

    When Strangeways died in 1926 Fell was appointed director of the institute, a position she held for the next forty-one years, performing important research on vitamin A and rheumatoid arthritis, and producing research that led to the discovery of interleuken-1, an important agent of the immune system. Fell was made a fellow of the Royal Society and Dame Commander of the British Empire, and received honorary degrees from Harvard, Cambridge, and Smith College.

  • ...[in] The Journal of Morphology and Physiology, Vol. 40, No. 3, Sept. 5, 1925. Philadelphia: The Wistar Institute Press, 1925.

    Octavo. 44-page offprint, wire-stitched, original buff wrappers printed in black. 4 illustrations from photomicrographs within the text. Author’s name in black ink, “1925a” in red crayon, and ownership stamp of L. G. Dunn to the upper cover. Two-inch closed tear to the title not affecting text, staples rusted, a little light rubbing and some short nicks to the edges of the wrappers. Very good condition.