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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

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Old June 23, 2010   #1
nctomatoman
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Default A clearer view of the Brandywine histories?

I was fortunate to swoop in and get a great seed catalog a few days ago - an 1894 Johnson and Stokes (well, not financially fortunate...it wasn't cheap! but it is a beauty). And what is contained in the tomato pages perhaps paints a bit of a clearer picture on the Brandywine (pink fruit potato leaf) Red Brandywine (red fruit regular leaf) and possibly Yellow Brandywine (pale orange fruit, potato leaf) situation - though I am still making some leaps.

First of all, Johnson and Stokes are very clear on their use of color descriptions and leaf shape. Most of the tomatoes they list as red - and the clearly use the words pink or purplish to denote what we know to be pink tomatoes. They are also clear on not mentioning leaf shape when speaking about regular leaf tomatoes, but ensuring they describe those that are potato leaf. I also got a sense for how they consider size (it is all relative - they describe their best early variety, Atlantic prize, as fruiting at 4 inches tall with enormous fruit.....I think they mean enormous for the early season - my guess would be a 3 oz tomato at best.

So, anyway, they describe "The Brandywine" as a second early, size large, and beautiful bright red - from the woodcut it is clearly regular leaf and about 2-3 times the size of Atlantic Prize, putting it in the 6-8 ounce range. All of this could indicate that the Johnson and Stokes Brandywine is what we know of as the Landis Valley and Heirloom Seeds version of Red Brandywine.

They do list a tomato that is a large pink potato leaf - Mikado, AKA Turner's Hybrid AKA $1000 tomato, 12-18 ounces and "very solid" (small seed cavities). To me, this matches the description of what we know as Brandywine (Sudduth or Quisenberry), so it is possible that at some point in history, Mikado was given the name "Brandywine" by some family or person.

Finally, they give a brief description for Shah - AKA "Golden Mikado", as a golden fruited version of Mikado - large fruit and potato leaf. I picture what we know of as Yellow Brandywine fitting this description well - so, again, Shah could have picked up a new name somewhere along the line.

This also reinforces that those carrying or describing "Shah" as a medium sized white tomato do not have the correct story.

I will continue to seek Catalogs from Johnson and Stokes - along with Maule, Livingston, Salzer, Burpee and Henderson, these paint the best pictures of tomato developments in the 1870-1920 time period.
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Old June 23, 2010   #2
carolyn137
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Interesting report Craig.

When you're through with that catalog can I borrow it? Unless of course the insurance to cover your initial cost would cover loss in transit or whatever.
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Old June 23, 2010   #3
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I am going to take some digital pics and post images when I get a chance! Right now gotta go out and water - 99 degrees today. Tomatoes and peppers and pots are not liking that much!
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Old June 23, 2010   #4
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Thanks for the info........does the Brandywine come from the Amish as originally thought? >>>>>>>>>>>>> Talon
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Old June 23, 2010   #5
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Of that we will probably never truly find out and it will be nothing but speculation. From what I've read, Mikado/aka Turner's Hybrid found itself to Henderson and Burpee via New Jersey truck farmers, but there is little info beyond that. As for how Brandywine got to Johnson and Stokes, it would be interesting to look at the particular catalog for the year J&S introduced it...I don't know exactly when that was, but it is probably between 1888 and 1894. They are tough catalogs to come by.
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Old June 27, 2010   #6
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Well, I just got an 1892 Johnson and Stokes on ebay, so will see what else that can add (I missed an 1888 one the other day because I was in a meeting at work!). I am delighted to see these finally showing up. Once it comes in, if there is anything interesting to add to this thread, I will.
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Old June 28, 2010   #7
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Reference here Craig to recent introduction of Brandywine ......

Title: Annual report., p
Author: Cornell University. Agricultural Experiment Station.
Date: 1889
relevance score: 0.06434363
rights: 1Full view

And a reference to seed source "Ford" from 1891

Title: Annual report - Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, v.1-11 1888-1898
Author: Maryland Agricultural Station, College Park
Date:
relevance score: 0.04891958
rights: 1Full view

Title: Bulletin - Agricultural Experiment Station, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, no.57-87 1888-1892
Author: North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station
Date: 1888
relevance score: 0.04455974
rights: 1Full view
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Brandywinehistory.jpg (146.1 KB, 328 views)
File Type: jpg 1891Brandywine.jpg (134.6 KB, 299 views)
File Type: jpg 1888Brandywine.jpg (173.4 KB, 297 views)
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Old June 30, 2010   #8
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I am so confused with which Brandywine plant that I have. My plant leaves look exactly like this picture. Do I have a pink or red Brandywine plant?
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Old June 30, 2010   #9
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That is potato leaf foliage and large pink fruit - that is Brandywine, as given to Ben Quisenberry from the Sudduth family. And the one that I suspect is related to the variety Mikado.
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Old June 30, 2010   #10
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Craig,

Am I missing something here

In the three documents I've posted - (I wish I could quote but can't get text version).......

The following is noted .......

In 1889 Brandywine is noted as a recent introduction, with Mikado refrenced on the same page; in 1891 the Ford Seed Company of Raveena O. is noted source for seed (I also noticed there is a Brandywine Falls nearby); and the last documet notes Brandywine is "A perfected Trophy"

Talk about confusing
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Old June 30, 2010   #11
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What makes it confusing is that when Brandywine was introduced by Johnson and Stokes, it was not called "Red Brandywine" - but was red fruited and regular leaf whereas Mikado is pink and potato leaf and not at all related.

So, I guess through the years, someone tagged the "Red" color onto it to distinguish it from Brandywine. Brandywine is a river in Pennsylvania, near where Johnson and Stokes is as well....
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Old June 30, 2010   #12
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I got a chuckle out of the NC bulletin 1888 (3rd picture) of D.'s posting which described the tomato Station Tree as " about as worthless as anything in the shape of a tomato can be. Our plants grew from 6 inches to a foot high, growing more like mammoth lichens than anything else."

Sounds like reject from the Dwarf project!

Would be interesting to find out when and where the parent lines of the tree type or dwarfs first are mentioned in the literature and if they were associated with a particular breeder or experiment station.
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Old June 30, 2010   #13
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The very first Dwarf I believe came from France - called de Laye. I have to find my Michigan State Bulletin to see what they say about it, as well as Dwarf Champion and others....I don't think that the documentation back then was all that great...
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Old July 1, 2010   #14
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Is it worthwile to speculate as to the origin of PL pink Brandywine? weren't there PL pinks in private hands at the time? Missouri Pink Love Apple comes to mind if you believe the story. The word Brandywine was undoubtedly in common usage if a river was named that, and it would have been in the history books as a Rev. War battle.
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Old July 1, 2010   #15
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Ah, the key "if you believe the story"! You hit the nail on the head - there is so much to say about all of this, but speculation and possibilities is all we have. I do think it is interesting to note what was available commercially back in the day and assume there were some similarities between, say, the large pink PL Mikado (esp. if you read the descriptions, which sound very much like the PL pink heirlooms that supposedly come from back then)....but I wouldn't want to bet on any of it!
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