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2021-12-25

Feeling nostalgic because of a COVID test

We had to take at-home COVID tests yesterday before going to the home of some very dear friends for an Xmas Eve get-together.

This first image shows the test strip itself (see red arrow). You can see that it has one thin blue line and no red line. This indicates that the test is negative.

Why does the Test Strip make me feel nostalgic?

Take a look at the image below showing several small ads published in August 1954. Notice in particular the ad for Research Specialties, Co, paying special attention to the address. That’s the address of our house in Berkeley, CA. Our parents were building and selling scientific equipment from the basement in our home.

Note, too, the third item, Chromatography Equipment, #1354A. The reason for my nostalgia is that the COVID test strip is an example of paper chromatograkphy, the same process use in the lab equipment sold from my house. Also interesting is the C14 Labeled Compounds. This means that we had radioactive compounds in our house! Pretty cool, huh?

As you can see from my mother’s grave marker, she died a couple of years later while driving to San Francisco on company business. By that time Research Specialties had grown significantly.

There’s a lot to see in some COVID test strips.


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