Some 3,000 feet higher above sea level than the National Institutes of Health (NIH) familiar brick campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and a five-hour, 2,300-mile plane ride northwest of that point, lies Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), NIH's state-of-the-art biomedical research facility in Hamilton, Montana, a small but thriving community nestled between the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains. A key component of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Division of Intramural Research, RML is perhaps best known for its research into vector-borne diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q fever, and Lyme disease—three illnesses caused by microbes whose names pay tribute to the former RML scientists who discovered them.
This is a small selection of photographs from the historical archives at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health) in Hamilton, Montana. Included are photographs of: reserachers (portraits and group photos); buildings used as laboratories in the Bitterroot Valley in the early 1900s; the construction of laboratory buildings in Hamilton; laboratory equipment, fieldwork; and tick illustrations by artist Tom Moore. The collection dates from 1900-1960.
During World War II employees from Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton developed a folksy, unofficial newsletter to mail to RML employees who were serving in the military. The newsletters were designed to brighten the spirits of those who were away from home, while also keeping them apprised of local events. Sixty pages of the newsletters are available below, from May 1944 through December 1945. Some of the writing may be considered off-color in contemporary times, but for this era were considered appropriate.