Hours and Location

Potato Duster

Potato Duster

Current location:

Collection Storage Facility


Purchase in 1982 from Mr Tom Brown

Technical History:

Bug Death was an insecticide and plant food. While this product was more expensive than an arsenical insecticide, it was not poisonous like many similar products offered for sale. For this reason, the company marketed its product as safe for use on all plants.


The potato is frequently attacked by insects of one species or another. Spraying is perhaps the most generally accepted method of applying insecticide, although dusting is almost as effective. This duster would have been guided by the handles by an operator as he or she walked up and down rows of potatoes. As the wheel turned, the belt would slowly rotate the cylindrical dust dispensers, which would sprinkle Bug Death insecticide on the potato plants below.

Nile Séguin examines the Bug Death potato duster, artifact no. 1923.0133, at the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation’s storage facility. This potato duster, manufactured in New Brunswick by Bug Death Chemical Co. Ltd in 1910, was used to shield potato crops against pests. A collaboration with the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation and Let's Talk Science.

Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
Artifact No.
Bug Death Chemical Co. Ltd
Manufacturer Location
St Stephen, New Brunswick
Manufacture Date
ca 1910
Acquisition Date