In recent years, a malaria infection of humans in South East Asia, originally diagnosed as a known human-infecting species, Plasmodium malariae, has been identified as a simian parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi. This species had been subject to considerable investigation in monkeys since the 1930s. With the development of continuous culture of the erythrocytic stages of the human malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum in 1976, the emphasis in research shifted away from knowlesi. However, its importance as a human pathogen has provoked a renewed interest in P. knowlesi, not least because it too can be maintained in continuous culture and thus provides an experimental model. In fact, this parasite species has a long history in malaria research, and the purpose of this chapter is to outline approximately the first 50 years of this history.