This section is from the book "The Potato: A Compilation of Information from Every Available Source", by Eugene H. Grubb, W. S. Guilford. Also available from Amazon: The Potato: A Compilation Of Information From Every Available Source.
Many new varieties are constantly being offered by originators, introducers, or dealers in different parts of the country. A few of these prove of value; an occasional one is excellent; many are quite inferior to our already well known and standard kinds. The question of varieties is one that cannot be treated in a general way with equal benefit to all potato growers. Each grower must determine for himself those varieties which do best under his particular conditions of soil and climate, and use his own judgment in retaining the choicest of these for home use, or market, or both.
It has been remarked by certain growers, too, that it is well nigh useless to buy new varieties; for, an many cases, they declare, the alleged new variety proves to be only an old sort renamed and sold at a fancy price. This position tends to confusion and misunderstanding and often unjust criticism of originators, introducers, and dealers in pure seed stock. True, there are cases in which old varieties may have been reintroduced under new names - we are aware of a limited number of such cases - but such deception is more rare than general. Usually the confusion of growers is occasioned by the fact that there are several distinct types, families, or groups of potatoes and that the hundreds of varieties of different origin may be classified in these several groups. Indeed, there are many varieties of separate and distinct origin which follow a single type so closely as not to be readily distinguished from each other, either by habit or growth of plant or character of tubers, even by an expert potato specialist.
To present in completeness and with absolute accuracy the lists of varieties belonging to the various groups would tax the most careful student of botany. Such exact classification is neither necessary nor advisable in a purely practical treatise of this kind. In the following classification the writer has not only reduced the groups to the least possible number, but mentions only a few of the many varieties which might easily be included in each one. The classification is based principally upon similarity of the character of the tubers of the different varieties, without special consideration of the similarity of the plants of each. In many cases, however, there is a similarity of plants as well as of tubers.
The Triumph Group: Round, white, red or mottled; first early. Bliss Red Triumph (known also as Stray Beauty, Strawberry and Bermuda red), Bliss White Triumph, Norton Beauty, Nott's Early Peachblow, Woods' Earliest.
The Early Market Group: Round or oval, flattened; white or slightly tinted; very early; good quality, much superior to the Triumph group. Early Market, Early Standard, Early Petoskey, Irish Cobbler.
Early Ohio Group: Very similar to Early Ohio in various ways. Early Ohio, Early White Ohio, Early Six Weeks, Baker's Extra Early, "Peck's Early, Acme, Ohio Junior.
Early Rose Group: Long or oblong, cylindrical or flattened; pink or white or mottled. Early Rose, Early Roser, Mountrose, Northern Star, Early Fortune, Early Bovee, Early Sensation, Early Northern, Algoma, Miller-Brooke, Early Breakfast (white), Early Michigan (white).
Green Mountain Group: Oblong to long; somewhat irregular in form; usually white or straw color. Green Mountain, Whiton's White Mammoth, Gold Coin, Ionia, Uncle Sam, Washington, Happy Medium, American Giant, State of Maine.
Seneca Beauty Group: Long or oblong, smooth; small, very shallow eyes; red, pink or white with pink eyes; quality excellent. Seneca Beauty, Livingston (White Seneca Beauty), Piqua Chief, Pat's Choice.
Rural New Yorker Group: Round or oval, much flattened; few shallow eyes; color usually white; quality variable. Rural New Yorker, Rural Russet, Banner, Carman No. 3, President Roosevelt, Prosperity, Sir Walter Raleigh, Ohio Wonder, Green's No. 21, White Giant, World Wonder."