The Ravetllat-Pla Institute in Postwar Spain

Marc Estapé Egea


The aim of this paper is to analyse the scientific and commercial survival strategy of the Ravetllat-Pla Institute after the Spanish Civil War. Founded in 1923 by Ramon Pla (18801956) and Joaquim Ravetllat (18721923), it produced two sera: Hemo antitoxin and the Ravetllat-Pla serum. When the Civil War ended and Ramon Pla was forced into exile, management of this laboratory was taken over by his daughter, Núria Pla Monseny (1918 2011) who had to deal with an extremely difficult economic, political and commercial situation. In this paper, I analyse the means by which the Institute survived. These involved the Institutes ability to construct different political symbols from Hemo-antitoxin. I study how Francos repression influenced this survival strategy and Ramon Plas role in exile. I also analyse the part played in this scientific and commercial process by the Institutes scientific and commercial network in Chile. 

Key words: Ideology - Tuberculosis - post Civil War Spain - Sera-therapy 

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