It is an honor and a pleasure to contribute to the memorial issue of the Archives dedicated to the memory of Wassermann and his work. His contribution to syphilology had a far-reaching influence. While the technical methods which he sponsored are no longer in use, his name has assumed a generic proportion. It is now employed to designate a test procedure in which the complement fixation phenomenon is used as an indicator. The span of time, from the original publication of Wassermann to the present, has witnessed many changes in the clinical and laboratory aspects of syphilis, but only a very few are equal in importance to his contribution.
Probably not in any other period in the history of medicine has it been possible for so many men to witness the development of a new modality and to observe its impact upon disease rates in the general population. Profound