This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The sale of the Bartlett Estate, on Boston Highlands, recalls the history of this pear. Mr. Enoch Bartlett, the former owner, was Vice-President of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for many years, and was quite a noted horticulturist. Forty years ago he brought from his estate a choice pear, never before seen by the members. Mr. Bartlett and the members of the society supposed it to be a seedling pear, and out of regard to Mr. B., was named the "Bartlett Pear." But, in point of fact, this was an old English pear, well known there as " William's Good Christian," and had been imported by Mr. Brewer, who built the Bartlett house and laid out the grounds, some time about the year 1815. But the estate being, after a few years, sold, and passing into other hands, the history of this tree was not known until Mr. B.'s introduction of it to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society made it famous.
ARE the best known variety among growers and consumers; yet some growers of pears seem to be ignorant how to market them to get the largest prices. I will give them a few hints. Remember that size, beatify and perfection in shape are strictly necessary to make a prime article. If large and imperfect, they can be counted at the best as a second class article, and a clearness of skin is also necessary to add to their beauty; don't pick too green; if you do, the fruit will not ripen with a delicate flavor or bright skin; they will wilt and taste insipid. A medium size pear with the above attributes will sell better than large ones without them. Every grower should thoroughly understand the ripening process, for they can retard or assist this process by ventilating the packages more or less, according to ripeness of the fruit and heat of the weather.
In sorting qualities I would recommend, that where the primes predominate, pack them separate, rejecting all knotty or inferior fruit, making two qualities, prime and good. When the fair predominates take out all culls, then make but one quality of the remainder, for if the few primes in the lot are taken out, it injures the general lot more than you gain on the sale of the extras. If culls are very poor send them to the hog-pen, where they will meet with a demand and no expenses added to them. Be very careful not to break the stems, either in picking or handling, for the loss of the stem is detrimental to their sale. Pack evenly through the entire package, then mark the variety and quality plainly, and don't forget to mark the initials of your name on them. Qualities may be marked with crosses XX for extra, and X for culls or fair and culls not marked. A great many growers forget to mark their names on the packages, consequently the dealer is unable to distinguish one from another's. Half barrels are preferred to barrels, although the latter will answer if the fruit is hard.