Encased in these pendants are Dermacentor andersoni ticks, the first tick species identified as transmitting RMSF. Making jewelry might strike us as an odd thing to do with ticks, but these trinkets symbolize the victory over RMSF that the researchers at the Canyon Creek Schoolhouse laboratory enabled with their tireless and extremely dangerous work developing a vaccine. The pendants also reference other diseases carried by insects that the scientists would go on to research, including typhus, tularemia, mosquito-borne encephalitis, and plague.
This keychain and pendant belonged to Dr. Ralph R. Parker, who played a major role in Rocky Mountain spotted fever research, and who was director of the Rocky Mountain Laboratories Laboratory (then singular) in Hamilton, Montana, from 1927 to 1949.
Object: Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum, 98.2.1-2