September 17, 1960
Mr. Carl Watts
Dear Mr. Watts,
At your recent meeting with Dr. Gates and others at Middleport, it is my understanding that Dr. Gates requested a letter on the Hollingshead rodent repellent IB-120. This letter is intended for that purpose and for other uses in the company if it is so desired.
September 17, 1960
When I visited the Patuxent Wild Life Station it was my good fortune to connect with Dr. Dewitt who kindly identified the compound IB-120 as Tetrakis (laurylamine) Boronium Chloride, a name that was submitted by Dr. Frank J. Sowa of New York. Dr. Dewitt advised that it was the same comound (X-563) that I had submitted to Fish and Wildlife for U.S. Industrial Chemicals Inc., about ten or 12 years ago. At that time Dr. Sowa had an agreement with USI as a consultant and he supplied it as No. 133 to Ken Earhart for trials with resins and paints. When we obtained part of this sample and screened it as a rodent repellent at Baltimore we obtained some very encouraging results. We got some additional material from Dr. Sowa and I submitted some of it to Dr. Dewitt as a candidate rodent repellent. Dr. Dewitt reported K/values of 86%, 91% and 92% from his tests. He encouraged us to send additional related materials, because he had not previously screened any Boronium compounds, and this one seemed to come from a most promising group.
That’s the end of the letter. This appears to be a draft Walter was working on. I believe effective rodent repellents are still an active problem in pest control research, and I have no idea what became of IB-120. There are a couple of other items in the archive related to Walter’s work at USI and Fairfield Chemical, but I’m not going to post the ones on company letterhead labeled “Inter-Office Correspondence.” It seems unlikely that the company’s successors would really care about keeping this 50-year-old information secret, but I’d rather not test that. Those memos – and the rest of these letters – will go to Johns Hopkins University’s library for storage with Walter’s other work papers once I’ve finished this blog.
Navy V-Mail letter.
Lt. B.V. Travis H-V(S) USNR
NMRU#2 Navy 145
c/o Fleet P.M. San Francisco Calif.
Dear Dr. Dove and staff:
Your letter of May 24 was received June 3 through Comm. Sapeno. Pretty good speed! I was very glad to know of the recommendations as we will have some work under way here in which the altered formulae will fit nicely. I was very glad to see the tests on creams are to be on a large scale. I was however sorry to see the recommended supplement adopted. The material is not too good against the species here and the odor would not be approved in this area at least in forward positions. I’m sorry tests were not available at the time of the conference. A few were made at a location several days’ journey from here shortly after the meetings. A report will be coming through covering these tests and also giving some suggestions for the Orlando group.
June 4, 1944
Conditions are so much different here than we had them pictured that some of the methods of attack could well be altered at Orlando. This is proving to be a very excellent trip as an educational trip and I hope to be in a position to aid the Bureau. Everyone is well and looking forward to the new work which is just getting under way.
This is a piece of “V-Mail,” which the US military used during WWII. Troops would write their letters on the forms, which were then checked by censors before being copied to film to reduce the weight for air transport. The military would print the film once it arrived in the US, producing miniaturized copies of the original letters.
From Lt. R.C. Bushland
3rd Med Lab
APO 503 San Francisco
May 26, 1944
Dear Doctor Dove:
Thanks a lot for your letter and Dr. Roarke’s publication which just arrived. Was happy to hear from you. Although I wear a soldier suit, it’s a Bureau man that’s inside the uniform and news from you folks is always eagerly received.
May 26, 1944
Have finished my lab work and have put on one small demonstration. Am impatiently waiting for the chance to go ahead on a bigger scale. I still have “itchy feet.” The repellents arrived but there are no mosquitoes to test them against. That’s another reason for my desire to travel.
Lt. Col. Philips arrived last month but moved around for three weeks after that, and has just now settled down here. He’s a very pleasant man to work with, it seems from the little I’ve been around him.
Best wishes to all and thanks for the materials.