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Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, but it wasn’t mass produced until the late Forties. The major breakthrough happened by accident in 1943 when Mary Hunt, a lab worker in Peoria, Illinois, brought in some mouldy cantaloupes from the local market. They were infected with a pretty, golden mould, Penicillium Chrysogenum, which yielded about twice as much penicillin as Fleming’s original.