It now seems clear that the Washington bureaucratical fallout cum panic from Robert E Hoyt's early 1943 decision to stop making DIY penicillin for Frank Queen's patients at Bingham military hospital led directly to the decision to bring in the WPB (War Production Board) into the penicillin story.
The WPB made the vital - and highly moral - decision to stop treating penicillin as a secret and limited use weapon of war and to make it available to all in the world in need, as part of an Allied charm offensive.
But Hoyt's role was totally written out of the official histories commissioned by these same panicked bureaucrats --- and by all accounts of wartime penicillin written by historians guilty of exchanging too many bodily fluids with those same official histories.
There is no point at all at making all those expensive trips to the big official archives if all your research is still guided by the 'invisible hand' of the assumptions lying behind those official histories.
What is the point of historians if they display the groupthink of boys-on-the-bus journalists ?
Thanks be to God, that the hegemony is never perfect.
David Rothman, author of the acclaimed "Strangers by the Bedside", an account of how bioethics has changed bedside medicine, never seems to have read wartime penicillin's official histories nor any of the dozens of historians who have followed their lead too closely.
Thank God for that, amen !
Because he went to Washington's archives and read the same letters from Dr Frank B Queen (a close friend of the all-powerful OSRD medical boss Dr Newt Richards) that all other historians had read ------ and reported what was there (what was all there) --- not just the portion that supported the official histories' version of the truth.
Penicillin was hardly the focus of Rothman's book, but based on his few hints that suggested a totally different explanation for how the WPB came to be involved, I gathered what few dollars I had and hurried down to those same Washington archives to dig up all that I could.
I am now suspecting that the path lab employed Hoyt read Henry Dawson's mid 1942 talk about his own DIY efforts making homebrew natural penicillin before the American Physicians Association annual general meeting in St Louis and that this inspired him and informed his early DIY penicillin efforts in Bingham Utah.
I am now researching ways to confirm that or at least to be able to suggest its very high probability...