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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

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Old January 16, 2008   #1
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Default Many Tomato Page scans from old seed catalogs

Many of you have probably seen these, but this makes it easier to find than hunting on my web page.

Once I have a bit more time, I will resume scanning more of the over 200 old catalogs that I now have.
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Old January 16, 2008   #2
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Very cool Craig, thank you for making these available to us. We have been adding a few links from Tania's Tomatobase to these scans, and hope to add more such links in the future.

I'd personally like to see scans for some other crops of particular interest to me, such as lettuces, peppers, melons and beans, should you ever have the time to add them.
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Old January 16, 2008   #3
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Thank you so much we use these for information and it's great to get Ideas to bring back and learn a little more about our past!!!
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Old January 16, 2008   #4
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I was particularly happy to learn the origins of Thessaloniki tomato in Gleckler's 1958 page.
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Old January 16, 2008   #5
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Very interesting and fun to look at. For the second year, I have a calendar from the Smithsonian Collection of old seed catalogs where they use the front and back covers for each month. Most range from 1888 to 1910 or so. There are a lot which feature veggies of course, but even more with flowers. My only complaint about the calendar is there really isn't any room to write anything on it. I use an SSE calendar for appointments.
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Old January 16, 2008   #6
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I thought this link would be a good one to go along with Craig's catalogs. It is the Smithsonian's collection of seed catalog covers.
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Yes, we have a great party for WNY/Ontario tomato growers every year on Grand Island!
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Old March 28, 2008   #7
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Neat Remy - thanks for the link!
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Old March 29, 2008   #8
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I had a question that might already have been answered or can't be answered. But after looking at all the catalogs I found only two mentions of Brandywine, one a blurb how they were giving out free seeds for trials, another one comparing their tomato (Matchless) as better than Brandywine. One company seemed to say seed was sent in to them from a customer in Ohio and that their person growing it in PA named it after the river nearby. They all seemed to write it up as so wonderful. But then it's just dead in terms of nobody offering seeds for sale or no mention of the variety. I started thinking that maybe it was given out for free at one point but it was not received well by growers. Maybe in those days yield was much more important than taste. Brandywine is not super prolific but very good taste. Anyway I just find it odd that there is so little written about the tomato. None for sale anywhere. Did the Amish just happen to get these seeds and keep growing the variety and the seed was never really sold to farmers or home gardeners. Has anyone seen anything more than the slight mentions in a couple of these catalogs. You would think there is more information out there than this. Even in old books I've found scanned by Google never mentions the name. Talk about forgotten history it just doesn't make sense. I'd start a new thread on this but I have a feeling there are no answers to this question.
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Old March 30, 2008   #9
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Ron and Dave, please go to Victory Seeds and you'll find an article written by Craig about the Brandywines. He did the family heirloom ones and I contributed most of the info for the non-family ones that have Brandywine as part of the name.

The only one with a documented Amish history is Red Brandywine.

Brandywine was given to the legendary Ben Quisenberry by Doris Sudduth Hill, hence the Sudduth strain which most folks seem to like the best, including me.

There are several strains of Brandywine listed in the SSE Yearbook but most are about the same and when direct growouts have been done that's been shown.

And there's lots and lots written about Brandywine itself at many places and that includes here at Tville. Just do a search if you wish.

Hope that helps.

And do go to Victory Seeds to find the article I referred to. And while you're there you might want to also access the info about Livingston and his varieties.
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Old March 30, 2008   #10
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Thanks for the link. It's got a lot of interesting information. One part of the article talks about maybe Brandywine was really the Mikado or Turner's Hybrid. I would find that difficult to believe because Turner's Hybrid is shown as PL that is very productive. I also saw many references to it being early which Brandywine is not. Another strange thing is Burpee says they introduced it in 1886 and yet it's not listed 2 years later in the catalog of 1888. You have Johnson and Stokes writing about Brandywine in which they say they were the ones to receive seeds and name the variety. It just doesn't seem that they would change the name after just naming it. And of course we have old seeds that are said to be the name Brandywine. So I guess just something is strange about this that makes me wonder if it just did not catch on for farmers knowing how important yield and earliness was for survival of making a living at the time. That is why Livingston tomatoes are in all the catalogs every year because he developed tomatoes that grew well, produced well and were popular with farmers. That seems to make the most sense to me but maybe others have some other theory. Maybe some day someone will find something written that will solve the puzzle. Anyone have the 1886 and 1887 catalog of Burpee and Johnson and Stokes?
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