The Military Laboratory of Veterinary Research, from its creation in 1919 until the armistice in 1940

Thierry BORREL*
Emmanuel DUMAS**

*Professeur agrégé de Biochimie Génie-Biologique, docteur en Histoire des Sciences, Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, IUT Campus de la Doua, département Génie Biologique, 72-74 Bd Niels Bohr, et laboratoire S2HEP, La Pagode, 38 Bd Niels Bohr, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex.
thierry.borrel@univ-lyon1.fr

**Vétérinaire en chef, Bureau « Activités vétérinaires », Direction centrale du Service de santé des armées, 60 Bd du général Martial Valin CS 21623 75509 Paris CEDEX 15 .
emmanuel.dumas@sfr.fr

This article presents the foundation, life and work of the Military Laboratory of Veterinary Research (LMRV), from its creation in 1919 until the French Armistice in 1940. Only three to four military veterinarians were employed by this micro-laboratory, mainly dedicated to the study and diagnosis of equine infectious diseases. In danger of being closed, the Laboratory had to uproot several times until the Ministry of War finally decided to sustain its existence. Thus, this article aims at understanding how such a small-sized facility, appointed with limited staff, managed to survive and thrive within the economically and scientifically arduous interwar period. The first part will explore the conditions that enabled the creation, functioning and ensuing institutionalization of the LMRV as an autonomous facility. The second part will take a biographical interest in the military veterinarians who contributed to its reputation. The third and last part will be dedicated to the laboratory’s scientific and technical body of work, carried out on the biomedical field during its 20 years of activity.

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Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2017, 17 : 129-185

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