|Auckland Star, 4 March 1908, Courtesy of Papers Past|
Tauranga has wakened to find itself famous. It has produced a preparation which, according to Dr Purdy [Auckland District Medical Officer], is a sure killer of cockroaches. In future, Tauranga will be known to the whole world as the place where the cockroach-killers come from.
The Observer, 7 December 1907, page 16.
What its formula was we don’t know. The Waihi Daily Telegraph believed it was a substance found in a natural state at Tauranga – in which case the vigour of the present-day cockroach population in this town is hard to explain – but most other papers describe it as a “concoction”. One suggestion is that it was a mixture of sugar and arsenic, which would have killed just about anything, let alone cockroaches. Spread in the holds of ships and in the premises of a particularly badly-infested Auckland bakery, it was, apparently, very effective. Mr Pruden advertised it in the newspapers for a couple of years, but in about 1909 it vanishes from the headlines and the advertisement columns and does not reappear.
|George Sound, by George E. Pruden|