This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We have the pleasure of giving to our readers the following, the first report on anything exhibited at the great Exhibition, so far as we are aware.
Philadelphia, May 25, 1876.
Hon. A. T. Goshorn, Director General U. S.
Sir: - In consequence of the Pomological Board of International Judges not being at this date completely organized, and the temporary exhibit of Fruits presenting points of great merit, we have been invited by Mr. Burnet Landreth, Chief of the Bureau of Agriculture, to examine it, and do most respectfully submit the following report.
The exhibit embraces Lemons from Messrs. Vicari & Spragusa, of Milazzo, Italy, very fine and of extraordinary size. Onions, Potatoes and Tomatoes from Bermuda, exhibited by J. C. McNaughton, of Philadelphia, the two former remarkably fine productions, the latter small and wrinkled, but valuable for their earliness. Two hundred varieties of Potatoes from Messrs. Bliss & Son., of New York, embracing every known kind of value.
A collection of Roots for feeding cattle from Messrs. D. Landreth and Sons, comprising a great variety of Beets, Mangolds and Carrots, showing how well these can be preserved far into a new season by pitting.
Remarkably well kept Apples, from the fruit-house of N. Hellings & Bro., of Battle Creek, Michigan, and a superior collection from the Michigan State Horticultural Society, embracing forty varieties of kinds that have been kept in the ordinary farm-house cellar of some of the members of the Society. As the season is very late for good keeping Apples, the Committee made notes of those varieties which seemed to them meritorious, taking as a standard of character the actual condition of each variety with the best known specimens of its own kind, as well as of actual good quality. In the Iowa collection they note as among them, Tewksbury Winter Blush, Ortley, Rawles Janet, Newtown Pippins, Jonathan, Winesap, and two not well known out of the West, Hoover and Minkler as having much to recommend them. In the collection of the Michigan Pomological Society, the finest were the Roxbury Russet, Rock, Willow Twig, Smith's Cider, Rhode Island Greening, Jonathan, Fallowater, Esopus Spitzenberg, both kinds of Newtown Pippins, and Red Canada. The last seems remarkably fine for this part of the country. Steele's winter, as exhibited by Mr. John Waterman, of Plymouth, Michigan, was so nearly alike with Canada Red, that if there is any difference, the Committee failed to detect it.
Among the kinds little known East, but presenting points of interest at this season, the Committee noted Detroit Red, Emerson, Well, and Brooks' Keeper. The collection from Messrs. Hellings, embraced forty dishes of ten varieties, all high colored, and large and well-grown fruit. They are all grown in Michigan, 1875, and by the method adopted by them in their fruit-house, had even the stems as green and firm as when plucked from the trees. The Rhode Island Greenings, and Northern Spy's were fully equal to the best average specimens known. Newtown Pippins, Baldwins, Jonathans, Westfield, Seek-no-farther, were very good; Red Canada, Spitzen-berg, and the others not quite equal to those preserved in the common way.
Philadelphia, June 1st, 1876.
To the Commissioners of the U. S. Centennial Exposition.
Gentlemen: - By request of Mr. Burnet Lan-dreth, Chief of Bureau of Agriculture, the regular jury not having fully organized, I have to-day examined the collection of Tropical Fruits, exhibited by Mr. Robert Thompson, of Jamaica, through the British Commission, and respectfully report that it comprises the following fruits and vegetables: "Cho-Cho," (Sechium edule) of the Cucumber family; the fruit is used in soupsand pickles to a great extent.
"Cocoa nuts," mature and immature, on the stalks, as gathered from the tree. The young fruit is boiled and used as a food for infants, also as a mild form of domestic medicine. The young fruit is from the same tree as the mature. The tree when once in bearing producing continuously successive crops.
"Jack Fruit," (Artocarpus integrifolia) a fruit of the size and form of an average watermelon, but with a rough coat similar to an unripe mulberry. The fruit has an uninviting appearance, but is said to be palatable to most tastes in its natural conditions. It transports with difficulty and was beginning to decay.
The "Bread Fruit," (Artocarpus incisa) similar to the last, unfit to eat in its natural condition, but more useful and popular. It is cut in slices and fried or toasted as bread; transports very badly, and only when preserved in water. This specimen was too far gone to exhibit.
"Sapodilla," (Sapota achras) a round rough brown fruit, the size of a medium apple, insipid in its present condition, but said to be palatable when ripened by keeping in some slightly damp material for a few days.
"Mammee Apple," (Mammea Americana), also called South American Apricot, from the orange color of the flesh ; the large seeds occupy most of the interior. The flesh is not of superior quality in natural condition, but is highly esteemed when cut in slices and steeped in wine.
"Mango,"(Mangifera indica). This was the most delicious of all the fruits exhibited; it resembles a large flattened papaw, the flesh yellow and fibrous like a mature persimmon, and exceedingly juicy and refreshing.
Of the better known fruits and vegetables were fine specimens of Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Caladi-um esculentum (allied to the American Indian Turnip, the roots being boiled or roasted). " Bananas, Plantains, (a longer and narrower variety of the common Banana), Pine-apples (three kinds), Oranges, Citrons, Shaddocks, Limes and some stalks of Sugar cane.
Since the last report of the Special Committee, Messrs. Bliss & Sons, of New York, have deposited four varieties of Potato of this season's growth, among their great exhibit, and grown for them in Florida. The varieties are Snow Flake, Hundred Fold, Snow Ball and Lapstone Kidney, a kind celebrated in England for their extra ear-liness. The specimens were larger than the average of the very early varieties of potatoes.
Philadelphia, June 9th, 1876.
Hon. A. T. Goshorn, Director General U. S. Centennial Commission.
Sir: - The undersigned special committee, acting at the request, of Mr. Burnet Landreth, have this day examined the fruit on exhibition, and respectfully report that the collection of Strawberries is very fine, though in many districts they are not yet ripe ; the latter ones are expected next week. Of those examined to-day, a fine collection came from Mr. John Saul, of Washington, but the distance and the lateness of the season for that latitude, had passed them beyond a condition for fair judgment. This was also the case with several dishes from Robert H. Gilman, of Mil ford, Del. The appearance indicated that both of these collections had been in a very creditable condition. Rev. C. F. Weld exhibited some very fine fruit marked "Dr. Warder," which the committee believed misnamed; they could detect no difference between them and the "Jucunda." Edw. N. Wright, of Phila., exhibited four varieties, all, especially "Boydens 30," remarkably well grown.
Jas. S. Jones, Germantown, had "Albany Seedlings" and "Boydens," the last named especially fine.
E. Burroughs of New Jersey, some "Chas. Downing" of very superior size for even this fine variety, but over-ripe.
Wm. Parry, of New Jersey, made the finest display. There were a large number of dishes, embracing 15 varieties, among these "Black Defiance" was conspicuous, resembling "Albany Seedling" in general character, but less acid. "The Monarchs" of this collection were also very attractive by their size and good flavor. "Cumberland Triumph," a new kind with white flesh was the highest flavored of any on exhibition but rather soft for a market fruit. "Star of the West," a fine looking fruit, but not equal to some others in flavor. "Col. Cheney," of very irregular shape and sour, but said to be an abundant bearer. " Matilda," a new kind coming into notice but appeared unripe. "Cowing's Seedling " was small but of fair flavor.
E. T. Steel, of Germantown, showed "Boyden's 30," very large and fine, and regarded by the committee as the best dish of Strawberries in the Exhibition so far.
C. F. Abbott, Falls of Schuylkill, some remarkably fine "Monarchs."
Mrs. Gearey, of Trenton, N. J., several dishes of good fruit.
David Peltz, Falls of Schuylkill, good "Monarchs."
"Fields Excelsior," said to be a new seedling, the berries were very fine, but the committee believe them to be only well grown "Jucundas."
Scattering plates of fair fruit in several popular varieties, sonic from E. C. Bell. Camden, N J., Dr. H. K. Whitney, S. C. Decou, Moorestown N. J., and H. P. Grant, Gloucester, N. J.
A remarkably fine display of "Albany Seed' lings" was made by J. H. Withington, of South Amboy, N. J., which, in the opinion of the com mittee, were equal to the best "Albany Seedling" aver grown.
Of Strawberries in pots, the only exhibition was made by Wm. Parry, tbis was of "Golden Defiance," a seedling of Mr. Parry's and had the appearance of being an abundant bearer.
J. H. Purnell, of West Point, Georgia, exhibited some early " Beatrice " Peaches, grown in Alabama, they were of excellent flavor, and about six inches in circumference. A single specimen being 8 1/2 inches.
Thomas Meehan, Edwin Satterthwaite, A. W. Harrison, Josiah Hoopes,
Philadelphia, June 16, 1876.
Hon. A. T Goshorn, Director General U. S. Centennial Commission.
Sir: - During the week since our last report, the following fruits and vegetables have been submitted for our examination.
Strawberries. David L. Peltz, Phila., a seedling strawberry grown from Wilson's Albany, with points of excellence, but on the whole appears hardly equal to the parent. The same exhibitor had very fair fruit of "Monarch," "Albany," "Chas. Downing," and "Golden Queen," a round berry, rather soft and not of high flavor.
Jas. S. Jones, Germantown, "Jucunda." These have been generally fine this season. Mr. Jones' were very good, but not quite equal to others which have before come under the committee's notice.
G. N. Mumma, near Harrisburg, Pa., "Cumberland Triumph." These were much finer fruit than came previously, before the committee, but not quite so high in flavor ; it is a promising fruit. Also by the same, "Springdale," another seedling raised by Amos Miller, of Carlisle, darker than the other, a good solid berry of fair flavor, also a promising new kind.
E. Satterthwaite, Jenkintown, Pa., 9 kinds, all of fair average growth, and the "Jueundas " and "Boyden's 30," particularly fine.
Chas. Dickens, through his gardener, Wmi Smith of Hunterspoint, N. Y., plates of two seedlings. " President Lincoln" was very varied in shape, long, oval, flat, and irregular, crimson-scarlet and of fair flavor.
"Smith's seedling," resembling the other, but averaging much flatter, a little brighter in color, and of a brisk, good flavor. These both appear to be seedlings of good promise.
H. W. Whitney, 3620 Baring street, West Philadelphia, very good "Jucundas."
Edward S. Handy, Philadelphia, " White Pine Apple,"(Lennig's White) remarkably good fruit of this shy bearing but excellent variety. Also "Jucunda," very high colored, and on the whole the best of this variety that has so far been exhibited.
A. L. Felten, Phila., 3 seedlings, "Alliance," "Continental," and "Beautiful." These seedlings are not as large as some popular kinds exhibited, but are above the average in flavor of most that have come before the committee, and on the whole were promising varieties, the first named perhaps the best.
H. R. Grat, Gloucester, N. J., very good " Mon-archs."
S. C. Decou, Moorestown, N. J., sends several kinds of good fruit.
H. Jerolamon, of the Seth Boyden's farms, Irvington, N. J., makes a very handsome display in 5 kinds. Of " Boyden's 30," he had 3 crates of 45 quarts each, with extra fine fruit of this popular variety. He had also a box with plants proving the healthy, free growth of this kind, and also that it will bear a long succession of fruit, a good character in a strawberry.
E. M. Durand, Irvington, N. Y., nine new seedlings called "No. 14," "Great American," "No. 33," "No. 23," "Essex," "No. 12," "Pioneer," and "Giant." They were mostly of extra large size and very beautiful in color, making the best collection of seedlings so far exhibited, none of them of the highest flavor. " No. 14 " is in the opinion of -the committee the best. The raiser regards the "Great American" as the best, taking growth and all points into consideration.
Rev. E. P. Roe, Cornwall, N. Y., made a very fine display of eleven kinds.
Of these "Kerr's Prolific," "Champion," and "Damask Beauty," are on the exhibition tables for the first time, and are equal to the average of other good kinds; the whole collection is creditable Peter Henderson, New York, exhibits " Boyden's 30," to show what can be had from plants set out last August. They are not as large as some of this kind that have been before us, but still superior to many.
E. Burroughs has a dish of superior " Charles Downing."
Rev. E. P. Roe has a gooseberry, a seedling of the European race, which so far has shown no tendency to mildew, which is so common with foreign varieties.
A. L. Felten, cherries, " Black Tartarian," and " English Morello."
A. Outerbridge, Philadelphia, Burmuda Potatoes and remarkably fine Burmuda Tomatoes, equal to the best American production.
Special Committee of Judges,
W. L. Shaffer, A. W. Harrison, Josiah Hoopes, Thos. Meehan.
The International Jury upon Miscellaneous Fruits, has at length been appointed, consisting of Messrs. W. L. Shaffer, Thos. Meehan, A. W. Harrison, Josiah Hoopes, Wm. Parry, Edwin Satterthwaite, and will meet in Agricultural Hall, every Tuesday at 1 P. M., and every Thursday at 3 P. M., for inspection of all fruits on exhibition. Commendatory reports will be made and published upon all displays of high merit, and the various reports collected at the end of the exhibition for publication in pamphlet form. At the time of the Grand Pomological Displays, July 18th, and September 11th, the work of the Judges will be divided up under the classes of Apples, Pears, Peaches, Grapes, etc.