September 17, 1960

Millersville, Md.
September 17, 1960

Mr. Carl Watts
Fairfield Chemical

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

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.

One thought on “September 17, 1960

  1. Alan Dove

    Follow-up: here is a copy of a patent issued in 1963 to the R.M. Hollingshead corporation of New Jersey, for rodent repellents based on this chemical group. The letter Walter was writing here was probably part of a dispute by USI claiming prior art. The 1963 patent to Hollingshead suggests USI either lost or dropped that case.

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