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.
J. W., writes: - "I see you endorse Prof. Burrill's so-called discoveries as to the cause of fire blight in the pear. Now I have a firm belief that nobody knows anything about this disease more than another, and it is a waste of time to listen to anybody's say about it. Still if you know that Prof. Burrill has found out more than anybody else knows, I am sure it would render service to fruit growers to let us know what it is?"
[It would seem that if our correspondent has "firm faith" that nobody knows anything, there is little use in going further, - but it may help other readers to say that we "endorse" Prof. Burrill's discoveries, and more than endorse them, because they accord with the observations of those who have gone before him. Indeed the chief discovery of Prof. Burrill is that he has caused the disease in healthy branches, by inoculation with the matter from diseased ones. For this practical proof of the soundness of the fungoid views he is alone deserving of credit. That the disease is caused by "pseudo fungi" - a low class without any mycelium or fibrous system "was shown clearly by Prof. Russell in our magazine for Feb., 1870, - and again in August, 1876, by Dr. J. Gibbons Hunt, who shows the change in the cells, and the fungoid ferment, resulting in "drops of viscid offensive liquid," just as Prof. Burrill has done. We should have regarded Prof. Burrill's conclusions, carefully conducted as they were, as quite worthy of "endorsement" if they stood entirely by themselves; but supported as they are by the previous experience of two eminent investigators in the lower cryptogams, we do not see how anybody can continue to say "nobody knows." - Ed. G. M.]