Owen Hugh Graham Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records

Owen Hugh Graham Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records Introduction

The Owen Hugh Graham Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records span from 1879-1998, with the bulk of the materials from 1962-1988. These materials were generated and collected by Graham during his involvement in the eradication of the screwworm from the United States, Mexico, Central America, and North Africa. They occupy 14 linear feet and are housed in 17 document boxes and 3 oversized boxes. The papers were donated to Special Collections, National Agricultural Library in 2000 and 2001.

The bulk of the materials are in good condition; however, some of the laminated maps are deteriorating.

Description and processing of the collection was initiated by Sarah Durling, a graduate student in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, January 2003. Processing and production of the finding aid were completed by Kate Richards, Project Manager, February 2006.


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.


Biographical Sketch

1917

Born Owen Hugh (O.H.) Graham on April 18, 1917, in Thorndale, Texas.

1938

Graduated from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in College Station, Texas, with a B.S. in entomology.

1940

Graduated from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in College Station, Texas, with a M.S. in entomology.

1939-1942

Worked as a junior entomologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine at Brownwood, Menard, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona.

1942-1946

Served as commanding officer and entomologist, Fifth Malaria Survey Unit, U.S. Army, in New Guinea and the Philippines.

1946-1947

Worked as a research entomologist for the USDA Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine at Menard, Texas.

1947-1950

Worked as a research entomologist in the fly control unit for the USDA Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine at Kerrville, Texas.

1950-1956

Worked as a civilian entomologist/agro-economist for the United States Army Corps of Engineers in Panama City, Panama.

1956-1963

Worked as a research entomologist and assistant station leader at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) United States Livestock Insects Laboratory in Kerrville, Texas.

1963-1970

Served as an investigations leader at the USDA-ARS United States Livestock Insects Laboratory in Kerrville, Texas.

1970-1981

Served as director of field staff at the USDA-ARS United States Livestock Insects Laboratory in Kerrville, Texas.

1981-1984

Served as the laboratory director for the USDA-ARS United States Screwworm Research Laboratory at Tuxtula Gutierrez, Mexico.

1984

Retired from the USDA.

2000

Donated his papers to Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

2001

Participated in oral history interview for the National Agricultural Library documenting his role in the screwworm eradication program.


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

Owen Hugh (O.H.) Graham worked as an entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1939-1942 and from 1946 until his retirement in 1984. During this time he held several positions with the USDA, primarily in Texas, and was involved in the screwworm eradication program. The collection includes reports, publications, research data, correspondence, memoranda, meeting materials, photographs, and ephemera. While the majority of the materials are in English, there are some items in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

The bulk of the materials relate to the screwworm eradication program in the Southwestern United States. Materials pertaining to several screwworm research projects can be found in Correspondence (Series I), Memoranda (Series II), Research Data (Series IV) and Reports (Series V). The reports pertain to screwworm research and the eradication program, in the United States and in other parts of the world such as Mexico and North Africa. Graham acquired the reports over the years while working with screwworms at Kerrville, Texas, and Mission, Texas. Of note in this series are the weekly and monthly status reports on the success of the southwestern United States eradication effort.

Writings are found in Series VI. This series consists of manuscripts, proposals, publications, newsletters, and clippings. A significant number of clippings are from The San Antonio Express-News and the Cattleman magazine.

Public Information materials (Series VII) include items produced by the USDA, the Comision Mexico-Americana, and the Texas Agricultural Extension Service for public education on screwworm eradication efforts. In this series, one can find publications, bulletins, press releases, and brochures regarding the eradication efforts. Meeting materials can be found in Series III.

The majority of the photographs (Series VIII) are circa 1960 and were taken by Orville Gorman Babcock at the Sebring, Florida, facility. They illustrate equipment and methods used in the rearing of screwworm flies.

The appendix contains a listing of related collections in the Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Many of the original items from this collection have been digitized and are available on the web at http://specialcollections.nal.usda.gov/screwworm/index.


Series Description

Series I. Correspondence. 1961-1994. 0.25 box.

This series consists of correspondence Graham received relating to screwworm eradication efforts. Subjects cover screwworm eradication costs, resource materials for the Southwest Animal Health Research Foundation (SWAHRF) Program, and letters to and from Moises Vargas-Teran, an Animal Health Officer, Animal Health Division, Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations. The materials are arranged chronologically.

Series II. Memoranda. 1959-1996. 0.25 box.

This series consists of memoranda relating to screwworm eradication efforts in the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Subjects cover the screwworm eradication program, distribution of screwworms in Mexico, critique of the screwworm program, procedures, the 1992 World Food Prize laureates (Knipling and Bushland), and memoranda and reports from the Southwest Animal Health Research Foundation (SWAHRF). The materials are arranged chronologically.

Series III. Meeting Materials. 1969-1996. 0.25 box.

This series consists of three subseries: Programs and Agendas, Meeting Minutes, and Presentations. The materials are arranged chronologically within each subseries.

  • Subseries III.A. Agendas and Programs. 1976-1996.
  • This subseries consists of agendas from the Joint Technical Conference Screwworm Eradication Program meetings for June 30, 1976, and May 11, 1977. In addition, there is a program for the 42nd Annual Meeting, South Carolina Entomological Society, Inc., Clemson, South Carolina, November 12-13, 1996.

  • Subseries III.B. Meeting Minutes. 1976-1977.
  • This subseries consists of meeting minutes for the Joint Technical Conference Screwworm Eradication Program meetings for June 30, 1976, and May 11, 1977.

  • Subseries III.C. Presentations. 1969-1986.
  • This subseries consists of presentations given by various scientists or guests at meetings, programs, and dedications that Graham attended.

Series IV. Research Data. 1945-1985. 1.75 boxes.

This series consists of research data and maps, conducted in the United States and Mexico. Materials include state and county maps documenting infestations and fly release data. The materials are arranged chronologically.

Series V. Reports. 1934-1994. 6.5 boxes.

This series consists of two subseries: Progress Reports and Authored Reports. The materials are arranged chronologically within each subseries.

  • Subseries V.A. Progress Reports. 1962-1990.
  • This subseries consists of progress reports and weekly status reports for the Southwest Screwworm Eradication Program from 1962-1988. Also included are Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) weekly reports for 1989-1990.

  • Subseries V.B. Authored Reports. 1934-1994.
  • This subseries consists of authored reports relating to screwworm research and the eradication program. Topics include research activities, program evaluations, screwworm strains, and screwworm research status reports. Also included is a copy of Charles Lincoln and William Gibbs Eden's 1974 report, "The Southwestern Screwworm Eradication Program: A Review," and the 1985 three-volume set, "Evaluation of the Mexican-American Screwworm Eradication Program in Mexico," from the Texas Agricultural Extension Service.

Series VI. Writings. 1879-1998. 6.25 boxes.

This series consists of five subseries: Manuscripts, Proposals, Publications, Clippings, and Newsletters. Most of the materials are arranged chronologically within each subseries, with the exception of Publications and Clippings. The Publications subseries is arranged alphabetically by author and then chronologically while Clippings is arranged alphabetically by publication title.

  • Subseries VI.A. Manuscripts. 1935-1994.
  • This subseries consists of manuscripts, some unpublished, written by different leaders in the field of screwworm eradication. Many of the manuscripts are annotated with commentary from the editing process.

  • Subseries VI.B. Proposals.
  • This subseries includes proposals for research and grant funding for the screwworm eradication program.

  • Subseries VI.C. Publications. 1879-1992.
  • This subseries consists of published manuscripts relating to screwworm research and eradication efforts. The majority of the materials are reprints of journal articles and photocopies of articles. Topics include myasis, the sterile male technique, screwworm control, the screwworm fly, comparison of techniques, research and data, insecticides, screwworm behavior, research theories, and genetics.

  • Subseries VI.D. Clippings. 1899-1993.
  • This subseries consists of magazine and newspaper clippings about screwworms, the screwworm eradication program, and some of the people involved with the eradication program. There are a significant number of articles clipped from The San Antonio Express-News and the Cattleman magazine. The majority of the clippings are photocopies.

  • Subseries VI.E. Newsletters. 1969-1992.
  • This subseries consists of newsletters regarding screwworm eradication in the United States, Puerto Rico, Argentina and North Africa.

Series VII. Public Information. 1935-1988. 0.75 box.

This series consists of five subseries: USDA Publications, Comision Mexico-Americana Publications, Bulletins, Brochures, and Press Releases. The materials are arranged chronologically within each subseries.

  • Subseries VII.A. USDA Publications. 1935-1987.
  • This subseries includes publications produced by the USDA to educate the public about screwworms and the eradication program. Topics include screwworm control, rearing methods, methods for screwworm eradication, and the status of the eradication program.

  • Subseries VII.B. Comision Mexico-Americana Publications.
  • This subseries includes publications produced by the Comision Mexico-Americana to educate the public about screwworms and the eradication program. Topics include screwworm control, production plants, the Mexico-United States Commission, and the screwworm situation.

  • Subseries VII.C. Bulletins. 1927-1966.
  • This subseries consists of non-USDA publications. Topics include screwworm control and questions and answers about the screwworm.

  • Subseries VII.D. Brochures. 1950-1972.
  • This subseries contains brochures to inform the public about screwworms and the eradication program. These items were produced by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and the USDA.

  • Subseries VII.E. Press Releases. 1955-1980.
  • This subseries includes press releases informing the public about the activities of the screwworm eradication program. Topics include screwworm outbreaks, new screwworm research, screwworm eradication in the West Indies, evaluation of the screwworm program, and activities of the Southwestern Screwworm Eradication Program.

Series VIII. Photographs. 1958, 1960. 0.5 box.

This series consists of photographs taken by Orville Gorman Babcock at the Sebring, Florida, facility. They illustrate equipment and methods used in the rearing of sterile screwworm flies. These photographs were part of a report by Lawrence D. Corlette titled, "Maintenance and Facilities Unit, Screwworm Eradication Program." The materials are arranged chronologically.


Bibliography

The following sources were used to write the biographical sketch, historical note, and the scope and content sections:

Baumhover, Alfred H., Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 266. Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

Graham, Owen Hugh, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 213. Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

Oral Histories: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 305. Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

Screwworm Research Unit. "History of USDA-ARS Screwworm Research and the USDA-ARS Screwworm Research Unit." Accessed October 3, 2005 from http://www.screwworm.ars.usda.gov/HISTORY1.htm.


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.