Historical Content Note: The following material is reprinted from publications from throughout Fermilab's history. It should be read in its original historical context.

Can Girl with Three-Color Hair Make it Big in the Electronic Age?

It is one of those success stories you read about: A small-town girl fresh off the farm finds fame and fortune.

Well, Felicia, who spent her early years on the farm of Stan Fredin near Gaylord, Minn., isn't the average Minnesota farm girl.

In the first place, her hair is three different colors - brown, white and black.

Also, she is small as Minnesota girls go, barely topping 4 inches when on all fours.

Felicia is a ferret and left Fredin's farm early this summer for a job with the National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL.

Fredin, a dairy farmer, has a hobby and Felicia is a part of it.

For the past 15 years, Fredin and his wife have been breeding birds and animals. The result is a small zoo which annually yields a small harvest. Fredin sells young ducks, geese, deer, pheasants and ferrets to zoos and private collectors.

He raises 31 species of rare ducks, about a dozen species of geese and 15 types of pheasants.

Over the years, he says, he has probably raised and sold between 300 and 400 ferrets.

Ferrets are small furry animals who make their livings scurrying down rabbit and rat holes. They either chase the buried prey into the sights of a waiting hunter or kill the habitant in his burrow.

It was their love of tunnels that led the people at the National Accelerator Lab to think of ferrets when they found there was a job to be done.

In constructing a nuclear accelerator it is necessary to clean the insides of hundreds of feet of narrow tubing. It was originally planned that a mechanical device would do the job, but someone suggested a ferret.

Felicia scurries through 300 feet of 12-inch diameter tubing with a specially made collar around her heck. Attached to the collar is a string, which unwinds as she travels through the pipe.

When she reaches the end a swab is attached to the string and it is then pulled through the pipe again, cleaning it.

Before her job is finished, Felicia is expected to make 12 trips through the pipes.

Fredin, notified of Felicia's success, beamed and said: "I am really glad. I hadn't heard from them and I didn't think the ferret had worked."