Episode 657: The Tale Of The Onion King : Planet Money How one man took the onion market hostage.
NPR logo Episode 657: The Tale Of The Onion King

Episode 657: The Tale Of The Onion King

Lots of onions. Jess Jiang/NPR hide caption

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Jess Jiang/NPR

Lots of onions.

Jess Jiang/NPR

This show originally ran on October 14, 2015.

Vince Kosuga was an onion farmer back in the 1930s. A pretty successful one. But farming wasn't enough for him. He also liked to make bets on wheat and other crops.

Then he had an idea: Why not try his luck with the crop he knew best?

Today on the show, how Kosuga made millions on the greatest onion trade the world had ever seen. His scheme to corner the market got so out of hand that it eventually caused the Chicago River to flow not just with water but with onions. Onion farming hasn't been the same since.

Music: "Waiting All Day" and "Roadhouse Fight."

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