Robert N. Phillip Reminiscence, February 1984


Robert N. Phillip



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In a self-recorded reminiscence, Dr. Robert Philip discusses Rocky Mountain spotted fever and its role in the Bitterroot Valley’s development. He talks about the history of the disease, some of the diagnosed cases, and the association of the disease with ticks. Philip describes the creation and development of Rocky Mountain Laboratory [RML] during the early 1920s. He also describes the different doctors who studied the disease, the different laboratories in the valley, and the development of the vaccine for spotted fever. He also mentions RML’s efforts to study other diseases, including typhus during World War Two and tularemia.


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Document Type

Oral History


Bitterroot Valley, Montana; Rocky Mountain Laboratories [RML]; Missoula, Montana; Vaccination development; Rocky Mountain spotted fever; Tick-borne diseases; Rickettsia; Typhus; World War, 1914-1918; World War, 1939-1945; U.S. Public Health Service; Hygienic Laboratory; Rockefeller Center; Hamilton, Montana; Wood tick; Tick-borne illnesses; Tularemia; Ricketts, Howard T.; Wilson, Lewis B.; Chowning, William M.; Cooley, Robert A.; U.S. Bureau of Entomology; Camp Venustus, Montana; Bureau of Biological Survey; Tick dips; Tick prevention; Rodent population control; Montana State Board of Entomology; O’Brien Creek; McClintic, Thomas B.; Animal testing; Frick, L.D.; King, Willard; Parker, R.R.; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Cox, Harold; Hargett, Mason; Burruss, Harry; Q fever; Civilian Conservation Corps [CCC]; Bell, John; Philip, Cornelius; Kohls, Glen; Jellison, William; Larson, Carl; Smadel, Joseph; Eklund, Carl; Encephalitis; Tick reference collection Entomologists; Molecular biologists

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Bitterroot Historical Society Oral History Project, OH 120, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana-Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 120-008, 009

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassettes (60 min.) analog + 1 transcript (14 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:17:30 minutes

Local Filename

OH_120_008_009.mp3; OH_120_008_009.pdf

Robert N. Phillip Reminiscence, February 1984