Daniel De Leon editorial : Potato-Bug Exterminator

Potato-Bug Exterminator
by Daniel De Leon
from The Daily People, Feb. 7, 1914
Note: Due to illness, this was the
last editorial De Leon wrote
He died on May 11, 1914. -- M.L.

A Mr. Frank Koester has made his bow to the public with an "original system by which the small manufacturer may reenter the field."

There is no subject more catchy than that just now. The proper answer would settle the social question from bottom up.

What is the trick? Simplicity itself. It is to weld the small manufacturers of the land into one gigantic nationwide corporation. In other words, the small manufacturers, who, as Secretary of Commerce Redfield said to the employing lithographers in convention assembled at Washington, were working with inefficient machinery and could not expect to hold out - these employers of inefficient machinery will be out of their troubles by pooling their back number implements.

One summer, another ingenious gentleman announced that, for 25 cents, he would furnish any applicant with an unfailing potato-bug exterminator. Those who sent their quarter promptly received a neatly printed little sheet, which set forth:

"Get two thin mapleboards, 4 by 5. Plant them perfectly smooth. Pick up your potato-bug. Place it in the exact center of one of the boards. Then put the other board on top of the first so as to cover it exactly. Then press the two boards."

Wonder whether the potato-buggist was Frank Koester?