The passport of Nobel Prize Laureate Ivan Pavlov

Spread the love

Nobel Prize Ivan Pavlov

Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov developed his concept of the conditioned reflex through a famous study with dogs and won a Nobel Prize Award in 1904. Born on September 14, 1849, in Ryazan, Russia, Ivan Pavlov abandoned his early theological schooling to study science. As the Department of Physiology head at the Institute of Experimental Medicine, his groundbreaking work on the digestive systems of dogs earned him the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904. Pavlov remained an active researcher until his death on February 27, 1936.

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849, in Ryazan, Russia. The son of a priest, he attended a church school and theological seminary. However, he was inspired by the ideas of Charles Darwin and I.M. Sechenov, the father of Russian physiology, and gave up his religious studies in favor of scientific pursuit.

Pavlov studied chemistry and physiology at the University of St. Petersburg and received the degree of Candidate of Natural Sciences in 1875. He then enrolled at the Imperial Medical Academy in St. Petersburg, completing his graduate dissertation on the centrifugal nerves of the heart in 1883.

After graduation, Pavlov studied under cardiovascular physiologist Carl Ludwig in Leipzig, Germany, and gastrointestinal physiologist Rudolf Heidenhain in Breslau, Poland. With Heidenhain, he devised an operation in which he created an exteriorized “pouch” on a dog’s stomach and maintained nerve supply to study gastrointestinal secretions properly. He then spent two years at a laboratory in St. Petersburg, where he researched cardiac physiology and the regulation of blood pressure. Nobel Prize Ivan Pavlov

In 1890, Pavlov took charge of the Department of Physiology at the newly created Institute of Experimental Medicine. He was also named Professor of Pharmacology at the Imperial Medical Academy, and five years later was appointed to its vacant Chair of Physiology. During this period, Pavlov focused on the secretory activity of digestion in dogs, implanting fistulas in their salivary ducts to record the uninterrupted effects of the nervous system on the digestive process.

Pavlov’s observations led him to formulate his concept of the conditioned reflex. In his most famous experiment, he sounded a tone just before presenting dogs with food, conditioning them to begin salivating every time he sounded the tone. Pavlov published his results in 1903, and delivered a presentation on “The Experimental Psychology and Psychopathology of Animals” at the 14th International Medical Congress in Madrid, Spain, later that year.

For his groundbreaking work, Pavlov was named the 1904 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology or Medicine. More honors followed over the years. He was elected Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1907, and in 1912 he was given an honorary doctorate at Cambridge University. Following a recommendation by the Medical Academy of Paris, he was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honour in 1915. Nobel Prize Ivan Pavlov

Later in life, Pavlov applied his laws to the study of psychosis, arguing that some people withdrew from daily interactions with others due to the association of external stimuli with a harmful event. Although he was notably dismissive of psychology as a pseudo-science, his research helped lay the groundwork of several essential concepts in the then-nascent discipline.

Pavlov openly decried the war-torn conditions of his country after the Russian Revolution of 1917. He toed a dangerous line with his criticism of Communism after visits to the United States in the 1920s. However, he escaped prosecution due to his standing as one of Russia’s preeminent scientists. Pavlov softened his tone in the last years of his life, perhaps due to increased government support of scientific research. He remained devoted to his lab work until his death from double pneumonia on February 27, 1936, in Leningrad.

In 1881, Pavlov married pedagogical student Seraphima Vasilievna Karchevskaya. The couple had virtually no money in their early years together and often lived separately until their finances stabilized. Their first son died suddenly as a young child, but they proceeded to have three more sons and a daughter.


Nobel Prize Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Pavlov’s passport issued in Moscow in 1921
Nobel Prize Ivan Pavlov
Serafina Pavlov’s passport issued in Moscow in 1921

The two passports (including his wife’s passport) are offered at an auction for an unrealistic high price of USD 49.000. I am pretty sure they will never sell at this level!

Nobel Prize Ivan Pavlov

FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट

1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...