Dr. James E. Kraus is seen here using a potato seed piece cutting machine. According to the caption on the back of the image, this machine was developed by the departments of plant pathology and agricultural engineering, and was widely used by Southern Idaho potato growers when this photo was taken circa 1947. Large operators would have four or five of the cutters hooked up in tandem. The machine uses a circular blade that rotates through a disinfecting bath, helping to prevent ring rot in the potatoes.
Dr. Kraus was the first full time potato researcher to be employed in the state of Idaho when he received his position of Associate Horticulturist at the University of Idaho’s Aberdeen Branch Experiment Station in 1941. He retired in 1972 as Dean of the College of Agriculture.