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H O productive as possible, and to take their
makes products to the hundreds of millions who the price need them, at living, reasonable prices. of wheat? Publicists, economists, statesmen, philan
Thirty thropists everywhere have long since years ago hailed Lubin's plan as the beginning of
David Lu- intelligent effort to free man from the bin, by nativ- rule of avarice and greed. ity a Pole, by re- All, that is, save Americans. Truly,
ligion a Jew, by the prophet is not without honor, save in adoption an American, began asking him- his own country. America, the greatest self that question. Graduated from the food producing and exporting country, ghetto of New York, he had drifted to has been last to realize and recognize the California, developed into a wealthy mer- importance and potentiality of the Instichant, and became inspired with the pur- tute which has been established at Roine, pose to serve his fellow men.
and in which every first- and second-class California was the finest wheat country nation and most of the third-class ones in the world, yet it could not raise wheat have united together. Never in the at a profit because “the market" was world's history has a like purpose against it. Lubin wondered what “the brought so many of them together in a market" might be, and why it prevented great common purpose. California from raising wheat that mil- Properly to describe the great project lions of people needed.
of co-operative supervision, extension He set out to answer the riddle. Other and improvement of agriculture, is immen had been asking the same sort of possible without telling of its conception. questions from the dawn of economic The man and his work must be presented science. Lubin went about it in a new together. way, and found the answer. That made Therefore our story opens upon the him different.
boy in the Ghetto. His father had died But he did more. Having his answer, in Poland when David was a child, and he determined that the thing he had dis- his mother had brought her children to covered should be of service to the whole America. The boy learned the tailoring world. So he carried his riddle and its trade in a New York sweatshop, and answer to the kings and parliaments of when his sister married Harris Weinthe world, convinced them that he was stock, and went to San Francisco to live, right, and founded the Parliament of young David presently followed. Man, the first Federation of the At seventeen we find him alone in the World.
desert, a gold seeker. There, under the The International Institute of Agricul- brazen sky by day and the stars by night, ture is the formal title of this ambitious everything introspective and contemchild of David Lubin's practical imagina- plative in this child of Israel was brought tion. It is with this Institute and the out. Always mystical and self-analytical, remarkable man who founded it that I he now became fascinated with the have to deal.
thought of being alone with God. The The International Institute has under- idea that God and One make a majority taken, with the backing and co-operation became strong in him. He even dared of fifty nations, to solve the cost-of-living hope that he might be the One. No conproblem in thoroughly practical fashion; ception of a mission had yet reached him. to free agriculture and its products from But those months of solitude burned out thralldom to the powers of speculation; of his nature everything trivial or selfish. to make the soils of the world just as He became imbued with thought of a
OF BREAD BERSER
his dark At Sacramento he started a poor little corner; but store. In the basement under it was a the big Chinese laundry; over it, a bad boarding foreman's house where he ate when he had the eyes were too money. A sidewalk on stilts ran by the sharp. place, at the level of his store. Here he "There he is, byes, in th' corner; worked and starved, waiting for business there's the Jew; drag.him out, an' make that never came. He was almost in him sell ye thim ov'ralls. They're the despair when he got the Sacramento best that iver came to Californy, an' he's agency for a new make of overalls. the only honest Jew that iver came out o' Sacramento was headquarters for rail- Palestine. Here, come out an' show th' road construction, mining and ranch sup- byes yer goods.” plies, and the new overalls, the best that Getting a grip on Lubin's coat collar, had ever been brought into the country, the Irishman yanked him out of hiding began to sell. Their fame reached all the and pitched him behind the counter. With camps, and men came miles for them. trembling hands, Lubin got down the Prosperity seemed determined to pick sublimated overalls, while the red-faced David Lubin for her own.
terror turned salesman! In ten minutes One day a huge, red-faced, ham-fisted the Irishman had sold two pairs to each Irish railroad foreman clumped down the of the twenty men, Lubin had his money, stilted sidewalk with a business proposi- and the inundation had rolled on! tion.
And as the cowhides clattered away "You've got th' best ov'ralls that was down the board-walk, Lubin heard the iver brot into Californy," he began. big voice again proclaiming : "Ivrybody's got to have 'em. Give me “There's an honest Jew, byes, an' he tin cints on ivry pair ye sell, an' I'll get sells honest goods fer honest prices !” yez all th' business in th’ valley."
From that day the business grew by Lubin knew the man could do it, but leaps and bounds. They used to say in he promptly replied:
Sacramento that Davy Lubin couldn't "I'm selling these overalls as cheap as keep the money away. His brother-inI can, and I'll give no rakeoffs to get law, Weinstock, later came in, and it business. Now get out, and don't come became Weinstock & Lubin, of Sacrar here for any more goods, for I'll not sell mento and San Francisco. The Irishyou any."
man's report that Davy Lubin was an Whereupon the Irishman, swearing honest man traveled wide. vengeance, left the place. “But I'll come But prosperity was not the purpose back, Jew," he said as he slammed the that had been burned into David Lubin's door.
soul under the blazing sun and shimAnd sure enough, three days. later mering stars of the desert. It was his Lubin heard the Celtic clump of those duty not to prosper, but to serve. same cowhides. The Irishman was com- One day Lubin went to his partner and ing, but not alone. Lubin hid in the said, “Harry, I am going into the fruit darkest corner and waited for the trouble. business."
He had not mistaken. Headed by the “What for? You'll lose all you've hulking foreman, the gang burst in and made. Fruit's no good here; it rots on demanded:
the trees; the pigs eat what they want,
and nobody cares
very lowest rates for the rest.”
could always be Lubin knew
assured; uniting there was no
together in sellmoney in fruit.
ing through Railroad rates
common agents, were too high and
to whom all the facilities inade
shipments should quate. But back
be made. In short, East, millions of peo
Lubin laid before ple wanted it. He
Huntington the rough would find out why it
outline of what has since couldn't be got to them.
grown into the California So he bought fruit
Fruit Growers' Associalands, planted the best
tion, the biggest, richest varieties, and convinced
and most powerful coeverybody that he had
operative society in the gone stark mad. While
world, controlling the others were getting out of fruit, Lubin vast fruit product of California, shipping was getting into it on an unheard-of it to the ends of the world, dominating scale.
markets, maintaining its own financial arIn due time the ranch produced such rangements, and dealing to the extent of a crop as the valley had never known, many millions every year. It brought and Lubin went to the Southern Pacific prosperity and stability to the fruit indusand learned its rates on shipments to the try, and vast wealth to the state. east.
Huntington saw that it was good. He “Too high,” said he. “I can't pay such joined Lubin, encouraged him with rates and sell my fruit, except at a loss." promise of favorable rates if the business
“Well, they are the rates; you can pay could be consolidated into big instead of them, or keep your fruit.”
small shipments; and in the end the Then Lubin went up to headquarters; project was carried to a splendid success. to the mighty Huntington, California's Lubin had done his part. He had master of highways and gateways. found a way to get California's excess of "You're killing the goose without even fruit to the markets that wanted it. He giving it a chance to lay its golden egg,” lost some money in his fruit venture, but he said. “Reduce your rates, give the he solved the problem for the rest of the fruit raisers a chance to consolidate their state. That done, he disposed of his fruit shipments, help them to organize a big lands, and went back to the big merchanco-operative scheme to market their dising business in Sacramento and San products, and this fruit business will Francisco, that persisted in growing become the greatest revenue producer the greater and more profitable year by year. road will have."
But not for long. The flood of prosHuntington listened. Lubin outlined perity gave him pause. He was not doing the plan on which he had long been his share for other men. Casting about studying, of bringing the fruit-growers him, he saw that the California wheat of California together in a great co- growers were not prospering. The world operative association; getting them to needed the wheat but something was syndicate their shipments so as to make wrong. Between the grower and the up carload and trainload lots, so that the user, there was somehow or other so
THE BROTHERHOOD OF BREAD
much difference that the grower gener "Sixty-seven cents a bushel." ally lost money, and the user had to pay "Is that all? Why don't I get more?" very high prices. So Lubin decided to "Because that's the market,” lucidly find out; and again he began at the bot- explained the dealer. Lubin wanted to tom; he bought wheat land and raised a know what the market was, where it was, crop.
and who made it. At that time California wheat was That was too much for either the good almost unknown in the States. It was nature or the risibles of the dealers. They grown on great ranches, and shipped assured Lubin that he was displaying all through Port Costa, on San Francisco the evidences of insanity. Bay, to European markets. The excessive “No, I'm not crazy ; but I want to rates of the Southern Pacific, the com- know who makes the price on my wheat," petition of wheat-growing countries he persisted. nearer the great markets, the high cost "Well, we don't know; but that's the of shipping by either rail or water, and price, and you can take it or leave it. especially the uncertainties of speculative Can't tell you who makes the price; prob- : markets, were ruining the Pacific coast ably the Chicago Board of Trade; we growers.
get our quotations from them. So when his first crop of wheat was An hour later, our boy of the Ghetto ready—and it was a magnificent one- and the desert was en route to Chicago, Lubin set out to locate and analyze the to see the Board of Trade and find out World's Wheat Market. He took samples who made the price of wheat. He found of his wheat to the Port Costa dealers, the president and secretary of the Board and demanded to know what they would of Trade, and demanded: pay for it.
"Why don't I get more for my wheat?”
VICTOR H. OLMSTED. CHIEF OF THE U. S. CROP REPORTING SERVICE. He is a delegate to the International Institute of Agriculture. Rome, where nearly fifty nations are represented.