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.
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.