Artifacts: Screwworm Eradication Program Records

Artifacts: Screwworm Eradication Program Records Introduction

The materials included in the Artifacts: Screwworm Eradication Program Records were donated to Special Collections by Paul (Tommy) Stanford and John Bertram Welch from 2000-2003. All items are undated and in good condition. The collection was arranged and described in 2006 by Kate Richards, Project Manager.


Disclaimer

Special Collections of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) acquires, arranges, describes, preserves and makes available rare materials significant to the history of agriculture. Materials are obtained through donation or active collection in accordance with the established Special Collections collection development policy. Special Collections staff organize and describe materials according to archival principles and create descriptions and indexes to enhance access. Staff do not edit or otherwise modify the original materials. The views expressed in the collections do not necessarily reflect the policies of the National Agricultural Library or the United States Department of Agriculture.


Historical Sketch

Below is a timeline of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) screwworm research highlights.

1858: First reported screwworm cases on Devil's Island, French Guiana

1933: Emory Clayton Cushing and Walter S. Patton recognized screwworm fly as its own species, Cochliomyia hominivorax (different from the blowfly species)

1934: USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) established research station at Valdosta, Georgia (closed 1936) to conduct research on screwworms by scientists Ernest William Laake and Edward Fred Knipling

1935: ARS secured funding for research on screwworms. Raymond C. Bushland began research on artificial diets for rearing screwworms.

1937: Bushland and Knipling are transferred to ARS laboratory in Menard, Texas. Bushland began research on controlling screwworms through chemical means. Knipling began research on sterile male technique, an autocidal theory of total insect population management.

1938: USDA developed Smear 62, an insecticidal wound treatment

1939: Bushland is transferred to Orlando, Florida, to conduct research on mosquito control

1940: Knipling is transferred to Orlando, Florida, to conduct research on insects affecting man

1946: Bushland transferred to ARS laboratory in Kerrville, Texas. Knipling transferred to USDA-ARS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

1950: Arthur W. Lindquist introduced Knipling to Hermann Joseph Muller's research on genetic mutations in fruit flies by radiation. Bushland and Donald E. Hopkins began tests on sterilization of screwworms using radiation.

1951: Alfred H. Baumhover arrived at Kerrville, Texas, to work on screwworm eradication using sterile male technique. Sanibel Island, Florida, was the first field test to use the sterile male technique.

1954: Baumhover traveled to Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, and began successful screwworm eradication campaign using sterile male technique

1955: Baumhover returned to Orlando, Florida, to work on eradication of screwworms from the Southeast United States. Mass rearing techniques were developed.

1955-1957: A mass fly production facility for rearing screwworms is built in Bithlo, Florida. Screwworms successfully eradicated in a 2000 square mile field test area near Orlando, Florida.

1958: ARS built mass fly production facility near Sebring, Florida

1959: Screwworms successfully eradicated from the Southeast United States

1962: ARS Southwest United States screwworm eradication program began with flies produced at the Kerrville, Texas, ARS laboratory. Mass production facility built at Mission, Texas.

1963: ARS developed program specializations. Billy Gene Hightower studied screwworm ecology in Texas. Alfred H. Baumhover studied sterile fly distribution. Leo E. LaChance studied screwworm genetics. Maxwell M. Crystal studied chemosterilants.

1964: Baumhover transferred to Oxford, North Carolina, to work with the Tobacco Insects Investigations

1966: USDA declared screwworms eradicated from Southwest United States, except Texas continued to be infested until 1982. United States and Mexico conducted a feasibility survey for a screwworm eradication program in Mexico, which resulted in the establishment of a screwworm eradication program in Mexico.

1974: The Lincoln-Eden Report, "The Southwestern Screwworm Eradication Program: A Review," is published. Charles G. Lincoln and William Gibbs Eden were tasked with evaluating the Southwestern United States Screwworm Eradication program after poor results spanning 1972-1974. They concluded that the program was a success despite some minor faults and the research should continue.

1977: The ARS Screwworm Research Unit relocated from the Mission, Texas, laboratory to a sterile fly production facility near Tuxtla Gutierrez in Chiapas, Mexico

1984: A new gelled diet is developed by ARS for use in mass rearing screwworms

1990: "Severn Run's Cazador," a German wirehaired pointer, is trained by John Bertram Welch to detect screwworm larvae and screwworm infested animals

1991: Mexico was declared screwworm free

1994: Screwworms eradicated from Belize and Guatemala. Panama City, Republic of Panama, became the headquarters for the USDA-ARS Screwworm Research Unit.

1995: Screwworms eradicated from El Salvador

1996: Screwworms eradicated from Nicaragua

1999: Screwworms eradicated from Honduras

2000: Costa Rica declared screwworm free


Scope and Content Note

The Artifacts: Screwworm Eradication Program Records is one part of the Screwworm Eradication Program Records, a compilation of personal papers and USDA materials relating to the eradication of screwworms, both domestically and internationally. The collection is composed of 3 oversized boxes, is 4 linear feet, and contains 8 separate artifacts (not including duplicates).

The artifacts pertain to the collection, dispersal, and research of screwworm flies during eradication efforts. Screwworm flies were collected for study in traps that researchers secured in the screwworm's natural habitat. Researchers collected and transported the trapped flies using specially made cardboard tubes and cups. Sterilized and factory-reared screwworms were typically deposited into the natural habitat in cardboard boxes that were dropped from an airplane; this collection contains examples of these boxes which were used in Mexico and Libya. The Artifacts collection contains two variations of signs that screwworm researchers used during their field research. An example of the type of wound dressing developed for screwworm wounds and distributed to farmers is included.


Appendix A: Related Collections

Listed below are screwworm related manuscript collections housed in Special Collections, National Agricultural Library as of June 2007:

Artifacts: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 348.

Audiovisual Materials: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 215.

Baumhover, Alfred H., Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 266.

Graham, Owen Hugh, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 213.

Husman, Chester N., Awards: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 349.

International Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 355.

Knipling, Edward Fred, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 210.

Oral Histories: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 305.

Promotional Materials: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 214.

Severn Run's Cazador (Caz), Screwworm Detection Dog, Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 310.

Southeastern United States Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 212.

Southwestern United States and Mexico Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 211.

USDA Entomology Research Division Records. Manuscript Collection 237.

Wyss, John, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 338.


Appendix B: Related Collections with Screwworm Artifacts

Listed below are screwworm related collections housed in Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

Baumhover, Alfred H., Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 266. Box 24. Series XI. Artifacts. 1956.

  • Includes screwworm fly cartons and release cartons.

Knipling, Edward Fred, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 210. Box 77. Series IX. Artifacts. 1965-1996.

  • Includes Knipling's nameplate, paperweights of insects, and professional association pins.

Promotional Materials: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 214.

  • Includes shirts, caps, aprons, flags, tote bags, key chains, mugs, pens, pencils, pins, calendars, posters, stationary, and other memorabilia.

Severn Run's Cazador (Caz), Screwworm Detection Dog, Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 310. Boxes 2-3. Series IV. Memorabilia. 1994, 1999.

  • Includes Cazador's ashes, three leashes, three employee identification badges, and one leather harness.