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Old March 6, 2015   #4
FLRedHeart's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: FL 8b/9a
Posts: 259

I would like to breath some life into this subject

I would not put any faith into the reference you found about Kentucky in particular. Lots of the bicolors like Pineapple were attributed to areas of KY, WV, NC, OH, and some similarly settled areas, but it would be more concrete if anyone could actually point to a real documented tomato for the bicolor type originated. Heirlooms experts say it is probably from German settlers in those areas that brought seed from Germany since we have a name like "Striped German". But I haven't run across any proof to that assertion though it might be true. Here is my conjecture just to keep the pot stirred:

I am so far more convinced while researching a bicolor of my own -- which is around 100 years old grown in Ohio, is the gold and red in the "Striped German" has nothing to do with Germany in an agricultural sense but rather stems from international politics at the time since during the decade of the 1910's Germany rose as a power with its new flags' colors being red and gold striped with a black crest. Not yellow, but gold, same as the color of the tomatoes. This is not the assertion experts like Carolyn for example, who in her book mentions it might have originated in Germany because German is in the name and perhaps for other reasons she knows.

It is true there are many German ethnic farming communities in these locations, but that is all the more reason German colors could name the tomato especially since a war was going on in that period against Germany, and by coincidence the new German flag was

In 1921, as far as I know the first documented impressive bicolor was offered documented from New York of all places in John Lewis Childs' catalog, Ruby Gold which Childs bred true to the bicolor type. Furthermore, Childs played with breeding Golden Queen-like tomatoes, a Livingston variety from the 1800's that had a fainter red blush. Childs prominently offered Childs' Ruby Queen and Golden Jubilee, two enormous tomatoes. In my mind Ruby Gold could as well been a breeding effort crossing these two tomatoes, and the naming sure fits.

Pineapple, Striped German, Big Rainbow, Charlie Buckets, and others have no real documentation in that period. Pineapple in particular was named by Glecklers in the early 1950s who did not give a history on it, only a simple description when they offered it.

Taking all that into consideration, I think a strong case can be made for Pineapple, like Big Rainbow just being strains of Ruby Gold that drifted into getting their own names.
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