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Old January 11, 2007   #1
NCTIM
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Default Mortgage Lifter Estler's vs ML's

I really like Mortgage Lifter. My seed source the first time was from Totally Tomatoes "Radiator Charlie." Last year I grew ML from saved seed and from a Burpee seed pack. To me, they were the same ML's because I could tell no difference.

I'm just wandering if ML Estler's is different enough to demand that I give it valuble space in my garden.


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Old January 11, 2007   #2
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Tim, I'm one who thinks that the Estler strain is better than the regular Radiator Charlie strain.

For me it's smoother, produces more and I think the taste is much better.

There's so much hoopla about ML b'c of the story that's involved, but it seems to be true that the Estler family developed it first and registered the name Mortgage Lifter in I think it was 1922.

An Estler family member posted some background in a recent thread at GW and I meant to save it, but didn't and I should. It tallys well with what is said at Chuck Wyatt's old site.

And b'c I like the Estler strain better that's what I offered in my now closed seed offer here at Tville.

But as pink tomatoes go, I've never thought that ML of any strain, for there are others as well, is as good as many other large pinks.
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Old January 12, 2007   #3
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Thanks Carolyn. I will try to find that thread at GW and read it.


Quote:
For me it's smoother, produces more and I think the taste is much better.
Well there goes another piece of the yard. :wink:

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Old January 12, 2007   #4
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I had a ML strain this year that was "fluted" and
pink -
2007 however , I'm pretty sure I have the real deal ~ no names meantioned Carolyn ~ :wink:

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Old January 12, 2007   #5
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Posted by ediej1209 on GardenWeb on Fri, Dec 22, 06.

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William Estler, who hybridized the original Estler's Mortgage Lifter, was my paternal Grandfather. Yep, the story's most definitely true! My uncle, Robert Estler, still continues the legacy, thank goodness, or I wouldn't have any plants; we don't have much luck starting them ourselves. But it just wouldn't be summer without them. I love the flavor. We do grow other types just for variety (another reason we can't save seeds as they will readily cross), as I enjoy a multicolored salad, but the varieties vary from year to year except for the ML's. Hope everyone had a great growing season; start planning next summer's garden soon -- and don't forget the Estler's Mortgage Lifter!

Happy Holidays!!
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Old January 12, 2007   #6
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Feldon, he posted later and said he'd talked with his Uncle and gave even more info where I seem to remember he said they registered the Mortgage Lifter name in 1922, well before the Charlie Byles ML story and event.

Ah yes, and he gave a published reference.
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Old January 12, 2007   #7
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Posted by ediej1209 on GardenWeb on Wed, Jan 3, 07.
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Carolyn, I asked my uncle about the Mortgage Lifter, and here is the reply:

The article is in the GOLDENSEAL magazine summer 1994,volume 20,no.2. West Virginia Traditional Life titled "A Man and His Tomato". It has some excellent pictures.

The date is 1922. It was a cross between the Ponderosa Pink and the Pritchard. In 1932 the term "Mortgage Lifter" was registered. The story was written by the Cabell County [WV] extension agent, John Marra.
http://forums.gardenweb.com/....html?14
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Old January 12, 2007   #8
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So then, Estler's ML is totally unrelated to Radiator Charlie's ML ... not even same parent lines?

PV
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Old January 12, 2007   #9
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So then, Estler's ML is totally unrelated to Radiator Charlie's ML ... not even same parent lines?

****

It would seem so PV, wouldn't it, since we know the four varieties that were supposedly used for Charlie
s creation and we know the parents of the Estler one.

I will say that I knew about the Estler one when I was writing my book and I asked Jeff McCormack what he knew about it. I can't remember the exact words, but in essence he said he doubted it.

I didn't refer to it or include it in my book and at that time I hadn't yet grown it.

And knowing Jeff, I don't think the fact that he was th e one who I think interviewed Charlie to get the story he put in the SESE catalog , that has been so widely disseminated, would alter his view b'c of that. But he never told me WHY he doubted it and at this point I think we have two stories re ML and it indicates two different ML's, at least on the face of it it does to me.
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Old January 12, 2007   #10
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Quote:
BTW, there are plenty of other varieties that are med pinks that I like much better than ML, but the blurb that goes with it are so attractive that I'm convinced many folks grow it just for the story, which may or may not be true.
Quote:
But as pink tomatoes go, I've never thought that ML of any strain, for there are others as well, is as good as many other large pinks.

Quote:
What a pity that so many of you are going for the names of varieties you recognize b'c there's some good ones that no one has requested. No, I'm not going to list those separately, most can be found by Googling, I would imagine.

I'm sorta getting off topic here but...

Name a few. Come on just spit it out



Carolyn and others, please tell a life long Better Boy grower, who has really just discovered heirlooms only a few years ago, what medium to large pink do you like that's much better than ML. Variety to me was growing a Celebrity (darn good tomato).

I hope it's on this list. (incuded pink blacks) and I know most everyone loves BW.

Arkansas Travler
Aunt Ginny’s Purple
Brandywine
Brandywine Suddith
Kalaman’s Hungarian Pink
Omars Lebonese
Soldacki
Grandfather Ashlock
Earl’s Faux
Gary O’Sena
Carbon
Cherokee Purple
Anna Russian
Giant Belgium
Gregori's Altia
Eva Purple Ball
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Old January 12, 2007   #11
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Back on topic.

It seems production is a problem for some who grow ML.
I read a post over at GW from another person in NC who was struggling with hi temp and humidity.

The ML "Radiator Charlie" has set fruit well for me. I find that it's been dependable enough that it's one of several that I give out as plants to friends at work.

Tim
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Old October 20, 2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
So then, Estler's ML is totally unrelated to Radiator Charlie's ML ... not even same parent lines?

****

It would seem so PV, wouldn't it, since we know the four varieties that were supposedly used for Charlie
s creation and we know the parents of the Estler one.

I will say that I knew about the Estler one when I was writing my book and I asked Jeff McCormack what he knew about it. I can't remember the exact words, but in essence he said he doubted it.

I didn't refer to it or include it in my book and at that time I hadn't yet grown it.

And knowing Jeff, I don't think the fact that he was th e one who I think interviewed Charlie to get the story he put in the SESE catalog , that has been so widely disseminated, would alter his view b'c of that. But he never told me WHY he doubted it and at this point I think we have two stories re ML and it indicates two different ML's, at least on the face of it it does to me.

Old thread -- and there have been others such as

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?p=307016

but this older one deals more directly with something that has puzzled me -- why are two apparently unrelated tomatoes going by the same name?

My understanding of the origins is something like this:

Radiator Charlie's beginning parent was a German Johnson, surrounded by the best other large-tomato-producing plants he could find in the area at the time -- 3 each of Beefsteak (possibly Ponderosa), Italian, and English tomatoes, planted in a circle around the German Johnson. They cross pollinated with the German Johnson naturally, assisted by Charlie taking pollen from the outer circle tomatoes with a baby ear syringe and dusting the German Johnson blossoms.

Perhaps the specific varieties that formed the outer ring are known, but my impression is that the outer ring tomatoes were not necessarily 3 each of particular varieties of tomatoes, but were rather three each of the largest representatives he could find of three types of tomatoes grown locally, and that there is not specific data about their varieties or whether or not the three of each type were from same or different sources. The objective seemed to be to add the best attributes of these three types to the German Johnson.

Then, as I understand it, he saved seeds from the center German Johnson tomato, and used those seedlings to repeat the procedure, with the strongest seedling in the center, surrounded by nine of the best of his other seedlings, repeating it for five or six or seven years, until he was happy with his results.

Development was in the 1930's and serious sales in the 1940's?

Name was initially "Radiator Charlie's Tomato" with "Mortgage Lifter" added later -- perhaps after he had used tomato proceeds to pay off his house?


One account of the Radiator Charlie story:

http://www.tomatogeek.com/2010/08/04...-tomato-story/

This interview references the 1980's taped discussion between "Radiator" Charlie Byles and his grandson:

http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.ht...38&segmentID=8

Included in this page is description of Jeff McCormack's first information about Mortgage Lifter:

http://www.southernexposure.com/sout...s-ezp-145.html

And info later published in the catalog presumably from communication with Byles, placing development in the early 1930's

http://www.southernexposure.com/mort...-g-p-1224.html



Concerning Estler's Mortgage Lifter and allegations that it was earlier than Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter -- info quoted in this thread was:

"The article is in the GOLDENSEAL magazine summer 1994,volume 20,no.2. West Virginia Traditional Life titled "A Man and His Tomato". It has some excellent pictures.

The date is 1922. It was a cross between the Ponderosa Pink and the Pritchard. In 1932 the term "Mortgage Lifter" was registered. The story was written by the Cabell County [WV] extension agent, John Marra. "

In various threads here, several have indicated preference for the taste of Estler's -- and of course being a Marglobe "grandchild" would give it an edge.

But without making any suggestion at all about the relative quality of Radiator Charlie's vs. Estler's . . . surely it isn't too hard to imagine why Jeff McCormack might have expressed some doubts about a history that places a descendant of Pritchard in 1922? Or even 1932?

I don't believe there was any Pritchard until 1932, when Scarlet Topper was renamed Pritchard after its recently deceased developer . . . but even Scarlet Topper (child of Cooper's Special and Marglobe) was apparently only released for test growing in during the 1931 growing season.

Is it not difficult to imagine how a cross between Ponderosa Pink and Pritchard could have been stabilized and released as early as reported? Which does not mean the dates given weren't sincerely believed by those citing them -- but certainly suggests that a stable Ponderosa Pink x Pritchard cross could only have come into existence at a later date -- equal to or later than the dates cited for Radiator Charlie's Tomato.

The only connection in the ancestry of these two tomatoes seems to be the possibility that both include Ponderosa among their ancestors -- but that's much less connection than there is between Marglobe and Rutgers or any of the other Marglobe children, for example. So -- shouldn't these two essentially unrelated tomatoes be carrying different variety names, rather than names that suggest that they are different strains of the same tomato?
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