Guide to the Western Cooperative Spray Project Records 1921-1952
Cage 493

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Western Cooperative Spray Project
Western Cooperative Spray Project
Cage 493
Date [inclusive]
950.0 items.
General Physical Description note
1 linear feet of shelf space.
Correspondence, minutes, technical reports and other papers of a cooperative research effort seeking alternatives to hazardous chemicals in insecticides for fruit crops. The principal correspondent is project director E.J. Newcomer.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description]. Cage 493, Western Cooperative Spray Project. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Return to Table of Contents »

Biographical/Historical note

In 1926 scientists working mainly for western agricultural experiment stations organized an association for the purpose of studying oil spray insecticides. The group's objective was to discover new and better ways of protecting fruit crops from disease and insects without exposing humans to hazardous chemicals such as lead-arsenic compounds, DDT and Parathion. Initially, government and business expressed only a cursory interest in the oil spray project. As the quality of the research teams' work became apparent, interest in organizing a public/private cooperative intensified.

In 1935, agricultural experiment station scientists from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, representatives from the agro-chemical industry, and officials from the American and Canadian agriculture departments formed the Western Cooperative Spray Project. The organization's objectives included: the rapid advancement of knowledge concerning the control of fruit insects and fruit diseases; the promotion of consistent test results from region-to-region through the use of a successful standardized system of experimentation; the broadening of knowledge among those engaged in the fruit industry through annual reports of findings, and the establishment of mutual confidence.

As a part of its research work, each cooperating unit included a spray project, provided it with sufficient operational funds, and assigned a chemist, an entomologist, and a plant physiologist or plant pathologist to the project. The cooperative decided on which materials, methods, insects, and plant diseases should be utilized and studied. At the beginning of each year, the project members gathered for a conference at which papers were read, findings were discussed, and proposals for future research made.

The project's members conducted many experiments on a variety of crop-damaging insects and diseases. The project also explored the effects of some insecticides and fungicides on humans.

By 1946, the project's scope was expanded. New member states were added, as were additional representatives from government and business. Research topics became more complex, and the papers presented at the conferences won wide acclaim. The Western Cooperative Spray Conference continued to operate through the early 1950s.

Return to Table of Contents »

Arrangement note

The Western Cooperative Spray Project records are arranged in two series: Administrative Records, 1921-1952; and Western Cooperative Spray Project Conferences, 1926-1952. The first series Administrative Records, 1921-1952, contains correspondence, meeting minutes, technical articles, reports, membership and mailing lists, and a variety of information on topics and problems regarding spraying such as: the dangers connected with lead residue as a preservative, and the hazards of utilizing arsenic by-products as a pesticide. Arranged alphabetically in a single subject series, it includes materials from 1921 through 1952, but bulks largest from the mid-1930s through the early 1950s.

The second series, Western Cooperative Spray Project Conference, 1926-1952, is an alphabetical subject file composed of the papers written for and presented to conferences by the members of the cooperative. It also contains conference membership lists, minutes, and correspondence relating to the anual conference. This series covers the period from 1926 through 1952, but bulks largest from the early 1940s through the early 1950s.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 1982
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The records of the Western Cooperative Spray Project were donated to the Washington State University Libraries in March 1979 (UA 79-11) by the WSU Department of Entomology.

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Western Cooperative Spray Project--Archives

Personal Name(s)

  • Newcomer, E. J. (Erval Jackson), 1890-


  • Agriculture
  • Insecticides--Research
  • Washington (State)

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

Series 1: Administrative Records 1921-1952 

Box Folder

Correspondence 1933-1952   100

1 1

Insecticides and Fungicides 1921-1939   5

1 2

Lead Residue 1926-1941   75

1 3

Meeting Minutes 1929-1951   100

1 4

Membership and mailing lists 1945-1952   50

1 5

Memoranda of Understanding 1936   15

1 6

Newcomer, E. J., correspondence 1945-1952   150

1 7

Oil Spray Project 1926-1941 

1 8

Return to Table of Contents »

Series 2: Western Cooperative Spray Project Conference 1926-1952 

Box Folder

Correspondence 1941-1950   200

2 9

Correspondence 1949-1952   100

2 10

Conference outlines 1933-1951   50

2 11

Conference reports 1926-1952   150

2 12

Conference reports 1948-1951   50

2 13

Return to Table of Contents »