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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

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Old July 5, 2015   #46
FLRedHeart
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Interesting:

3-4 oz medium ribbed, red fruit.... is this correct (translated?)?

It would be interesting to know is there is any written narrative associated with this line, if it is available.

Cheers
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Old July 5, 2015   #47
mike
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http://genbank.vurv.cz/genetic/resou.../default_a.htm

Sadly, this appears to be the same description of the "Acme" that is in the USDA's gene bank and that we've already grown out. That is, the red one and not pink.

Still, if Vladimír can request and receive a sample from the Czech seed bank and grow it out, it would be interesting. But still does not get us any closer to "Livingston's Acme."

This is where we try and follow the paper trail and see where the Czech seed bank source leads us.
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Old July 5, 2015   #48
mike
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And I should add that the German connection may be a bit difficult since the relationship that the Czech seed bank had in 1957 was likely with the old East Germany. Historically, where the East had an amazing seed program modeled after the famous Russian botanist Vavilov, the West Germany did not. And from what I understand, the merger between the two countries in about 1990 greatly affected their program with Bonn "winning" control.

Not trying to be discouraging, but since (1) the 'Acme' in the Czech seed bank is ribbed, smallish and red, and (2) the likelihood of finding paperwork in Germany directly attributing a variety still held in their care and called "Acme" to A. W. Livingston is relatively small.
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Old July 5, 2015   #49
mike
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Germany has two accessions. One looks like it matches the 'Acme' sent to the Czech seed bank - Accession No. LYC 1333 (http://gbis.ipk-gatersleben.de/GBIS_...toScroll=0,267). It is red.

The other accession is number LYC 291, is listed as being added the same year as LYC 1333, but there is no descriptive information. Both are documentary dead-ends (at least online) . . . the country of origin is listed as unknown.

And after following this path, I am having a déjà vu moment . . . I am pretty sure I have been down this particular rabbit hole many years ago . . .
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Old July 5, 2015   #50
stevenkh1
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Mike, I'm looking at the 1891 Livingston's catalog and it describes "Early Acme":

"...fruit of medium size, form perfect, round, slightly depressed at the ends, very smooth, color a glossy dark red with a sort of purplish tinge..."

Is it possible the seed banks didn't grow it out until it was fully ripe? (of course I am assuming the purplish tinge occurs when it's fully ripe).

I've read other bulletins during that time period when Acme was described as "glossy red".

Or did Livingston have two Acmes: Acme and Early Acme?
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Old July 5, 2015   #51
stevenkh1
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It just blows my mind that Acme was one of the most popular early market varieties until the 1920s and sold up until 1945...and as popular as this tomato was, there is NO seed packets or seeds anywhere in the world. How can this be?

There were millions upon millions of these tomatoes...and not ONE human being saved it? And the irony is, we saved every type of car and motorcycle - including ones of a kind...
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Old July 5, 2015   #52
stevenkh1
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Just reading in Rolf's comments in the 1893 Florida Bulletin, he writes Stone was being passed off as Acme. If that's the case, then that might explain the slightly ribbed and red fruit.
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Old July 5, 2015   #53
mike
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No . . . 'Early Acme' and 'Acme' are the same variety. Livingston used the names interchangeably off and on over the years and even in the same publications. I don't have the 1875, but the announcement page in 1876 calls it 'Acme', then by 1886 they call it 'Early Acme'. In 1890 it is called 'Acme' (and described as being introduced in 1875) in one bit of marketing text and then in the same issue, sold as 'Early Acme' and again, being described as being introduced in 1875.

As far as the "red with a purplish tinge" . . . that is the color definition / usage difference between the 19th and 20th century that I previously addressed, e.g. modern word pink = red with a purplish hue (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimson) and modern word red = red with a orange hue (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_%28color%29). When reading historical documentation, we must always remember to keep in the context of the period and not let our modern times affect the information.

Even Livingston modified their color description with the times simply calling it "purple" by the 1917 seed annual.
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Old July 5, 2015   #54
mike
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I thought this might be of interest . . . Since Livingston catalogs are not only pretty rare, when they do pop up for sale, the cost usually keeps them out of reach. However, here is a pretty amazing collection folks can down for free!!!

https://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Livingston+Seed+Comp any%22

Last edited by mike; July 5, 2015 at 05:54 PM.
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Old July 5, 2015   #55
stevenkh1
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Thank you for the clarification, Mike - and thank you for the link for the seed catalogs. I have lots of digital ones but none of those - particularly Maule's (I still grow his hot pepper).

Lots of opportunities in those old catalogs to find/sell these seeds, expand your business, and employee a few more neighbors! Ah the American Dream!
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Old July 5, 2015   #56
mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenkh1 View Post
It just blows my mind that Acme was one of the most popular early market varieties until the 1920s and sold up until 1945...and as popular as this tomato was, there is NO seed packets or seeds anywhere in the world. How can this be?

There were millions upon millions of these tomatoes...and not ONE human being saved it? And the irony is, we saved every type of car and motorcycle - including ones of a kind...
This is what led me to the work, the mission, that I established for the Victory Seed Company. Although the preservation work is personally satisfying, and I feel critically important, there are so many varieties (thousands) that simply have disappeared over the decades, for whatever reason, and are presumably extinct. I too find this very sad.
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Old July 5, 2015   #57
stevenkh1
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WOW...even Dexter M Ferry catalogs! His company was a big deal here in Detroit and after his catastrophic fire in the 1880s, he regrouped and grew the business even larger the second time.
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Old July 5, 2015   #58
stevenkh1
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Look at the tomato on the right from the 1875 D.M. Ferry seed catalog (Detroit):

So did Alex Livingston beat out Dexter Ferry on the first early smooth tomato? Darn that Michigan vs Ohio State rivalry! *LOL*

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Old July 5, 2015   #59
stevenkh1
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Ah...won't let me up load the image.
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Old July 5, 2015   #60
stevenkh1
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Well Mike, you're doing a yeoman's job - I know it has to be a painstaking process when you find a new seed to double check it against the old catalogs, find photographs, etc.

It's interesting when I look at seed catalogs...it doesn't appear there were that many toms listed in those catalogs (hundreds) compared to today's "heirlooms" (thousands upon thousands). I noticed in the 40s/50s/60s, some seed vendors started calling tomato seeds like Marglobe and Ponderosa as examples, "certified".

I wonder how many of today's "heirlooms" are actually renamed tomatoes from the olden days...?
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