From the Archives: Wobbles

Cover of the February 1921 edition of the Industrial Pioneer.

The name ‘Wobbly’ lends to quite a few pun opportunities. One of the more ingenious of these can be found within the pages of the Industrial Pioneer, a monthly IWW publication that ran from 1921-1926. The Industrial Pioneer introduced a humor section, and labeled it ‘Wobbles’ – I’m sure the masterminds behind that were very pleased with themselves. In any case, the ‘Wobbles’ appeared in almost every edition of the Industrial Pioneer, displaying a wry sense of humor unique to the IWW. The following are some pieces taken from some of the earlier sets of ‘Wobbles’:


Old Ezry Eggins, who is trucking down at the warehouse, still complains about the high cost of living, but he has some hopes for the near future; he says labor has gone down to where it’s purty reasonable.

Landlady: Is it not a fright – the price of laundry these days?
Roomer: I’ll say so.
Landlady: I used to give new roomers clean sheets – but now I just take clean roomers!

The reason budding artists paint in the nude is because they haven’t money enough to buy clothes with.

It is said that exponents of Einstein’s theory are able to explain what happens what would happen if an irresistible force were to meet an immovable body. Will they please tell us what effect the approaching revolution will have on the man who still thinks this country is governed according to the wishes of the people?

In 1904, the average power used by each industrial worker was two and one half horsepower. In 1920 he used three and one half horsepower. By the end of 1922, it is predicted that he will be using some headpower.

Perhaps after all the fifteen [American Legion] members that kidnapped Kate Richards O’Hare from Twin Falls, Idaho, were only playing a little game of Hare and Hounds.

We must heed the [American Legion’s] claim of having accomplished a 500,000 organization drive. Numbers lend needed courage when it comes to kidnapping a woman.

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