Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,405 pages of information and 233,863 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Pest Infestation Laboratory

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1927 Scientific work on insect infestation of stored products was begun by Professor J. W. Munro of Imperial College of Science and Technology.

The Empire Marketing Board recognised the importance of this work and, with support from industry, recruited a research team which quickly demonstrated the value of a scientific approach to the control of industrial pests.

1938 Mr W. A. McAuley Gracie of the London and North Eastern Railway set up an informal committee from industry to consider problems arising from the infestation of grain by insects and mites. At a meeting between this committee and Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, DSIR agreed to sponsor, with financial support from industry, a fact finding survey of infestation in the UK.

Professor Munro organised the survey - the result proved the need for control measures.

1940 The Pest Infestation Laboratory was set up by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research to investigate attack by insect, mite and fungal pests on harvested crops and some animal products during all stages of storage, transport and processing. It was housed in the Imperial College's Biological Field Station at Slough with Professor Munro as scientific consultant.

Its role was to study the physiology, habits and life history of these pests and a few domestic insects and find chemical and other methods of eradication or at least which could control the growth of their populations.

1959 the laboratory was transferred to the Agricultural Research Council

1970 control passed to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food where it was merged with the Infestation Control Laboratory, the previous main users of its research work, and re-styled Pest Infestation Control Laboratory.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • National Archives [1]