This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
A fine appearing apple, above medium in size, was placed in my hands a few days since by a friend, who said it came to him as the French Pippin. This fruit has been grown in Pennsylvania for at least a quarter of a century, but it is only recently that it has done so well as to attract the attention of propagators and nurserymen. From all that I can learn of it, this apple is worthy of extensive cultivation where it grows well, not for any special qualities as a table fruit, but because the tree bears regular annual crops of good-sized fruit, which keeps well into the warm weather of spring. My specimen was yet crisp, and only fairly ripened the middle of March.
Following is the description of tree and fruit: John C. Lester, in 1871, says the tree is a strong grower, making a large spreading head like R. I. Greening; hardy and very vigorous; and in this, all who have seen and who speak of it agree. Fruit above medium, roundish oblate, a little oblique; stalk rather short; skin clear yellow at full maturity, with a shade of light red in the sun, sprinkled with grey dots; cavity deep, slightly russeted; calyx closed or only partially open; flesh yellowish, inclined to coarse, compact, juicy, with a brisk sub-acid flavor; core small.
In the sections where it is grown, this apple is said to be a most profitable fruit for family use as well as for market.
There is a wide difference in regard to the origin of this apple, Mr. Youngken saying that it was brought from France and first cultivated by H. Luckenback, of Bethlehem, Northampton county, Pa.; while Mr. Lester states that a farmer living in Lehigh county gave grafts to Mr. Luckenback, telling him that they came from Germany. Mr. Grider, who has given a description similar to the above, calls it the Hower or French Pippin.
The origin of the tree is not of very great importance, but cultivators of the fruit will, I think, find that it sustains itself well in any market.