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Old January 2, 2019   #1
JosephineRose
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Default D.M. Ferry Triumph Tomato 1879

A few years ago I was sent a free packet of seeds with an order called "Triumph" Tomato. When I asked about plant specifics - Indeterminate? Fruit size? Approximate days to harvest? - the seed company couldn't give any answers. It was as though no one there had actually ever grown it.


After some persistent emailing, I learned the seed was a revival of a variety that originally appeared in the D.M. Ferry catalog in 1879. I could learn nothing about when or how it was revived or the seed source, so I am scratching my head on this one.


The seeds have been sitting since 2013, so I figure it is now or never to try and germinate them.


Do any of you historians have any history or information about this variety?


Thanks very much.
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Old January 3, 2019   #2
carolyn137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephineRose View Post
A few years ago I was sent a free packet of seeds with an order called "Triumph" Tomato. When I asked about plant specifics - Indeterminate? Fruit size? Approximate days to harvest? - the seed company couldn't give any answers. It was as though no one there had actually ever grown it.


After some persistent emailing, I learned the seed was a revival of a variety that originally appeared in the D.M. Ferry catalog in 1879. I could learn nothing about when or how it was revived or the seed source, so I am scratching my head on this one.


The seeds have been sitting since 2013, so I figure it is now or never to try and germinate them.


Do any of you historians have any history or information about this variety?


Thanks very much.
I wouldn't call myself an historian, but there is an answer to your question.

Back in the late 1800's there was a fierce war going on between different seed sites as to which ones had NEW unique varieties, so some just changed the name slightly

I have some references about this whole situation, but the one I want is so far down on my left as I sit here at my computer is so far down that I could not reach it.

Summary?

I just thought of where I'm going next to grab some info, but not now.

Carolyn
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Old January 3, 2019   #3
JosephineRose
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So, do you have evidence that Triumph was another variety in disguise? How intriguing.
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Old April 12, 2019   #4
JosephineRose
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Well, my research has moved a little further, and I have started seeds.



According to the blurb on the original (vintage) seed packet the variety is "Extra early, larger than most early varieties, unsurpassed for canning, very smooth, beautiful color, produces large crops and does not rot on the vine in wet weather. Born in clusters of 6 the fruit weighs about 4 oz each."


I started 9 seeds and got germination from four, with three surviving beyond the cotyledon stage and producing seedlings with true leaves. However, I got two potato leaf seedlings and one regular leaf. They were sown alone via paper towel method so I didn't contaminate with another variety.


So now the mystery deepens. Which is the correct form? Was there a stray seed? Was this variety known to produce both forms of leaves?


I emailed the seed supplier with the lot number and told them my dilemma. I asked if they could help me research it further.


Have to admit, I kind of love it when I get two leaf varieties from the same seed packet.
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Old April 13, 2019   #5
Scooty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephineRose View Post
After some persistent emailing, I learned the seed was a revival of a variety that originally appeared in the D.M. Ferry catalog in 1879.
One important preliminary question unanswered.

How was this "revived"? Was this like the Rutger's 250 revival, where they reworked the breeding a bit? Or we talking about someone found some old seed and just did a grow out?
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Old April 13, 2019   #6
JosephineRose
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I would like to know too. I have asked them again.

Question for folks in the know, generally speaking, does the potato leaf reinforce the idea that this descends from some older variety? During my scouring of the internet, I came across a site that suggested most potato leaved plants are older varieties.

I know that is not entirely true from breeding projects here, but it made me wonder if back in the late 19th century/early 20th century it was true?

Last edited by JosephineRose; April 13, 2019 at 11:25 AM.
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Old April 13, 2019   #7
Koala Doug
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My attempts to locate the 1879 D.M. Ferry catalog proved fruitless (pun intended) as I could only find the flower catalog for that year. I was able to view the 1881 catalog (as well as 1882 and a few more throughout the 1880s) and there is no tomato name 'Triumph'.

There was a tomato called 'Trophy' that I was able to see being sold by D.M. Ferry as early as 1875 (the oldest catalog of theirs that I could find), but its description does not match what is on your seed packet.

Honestly, the description you were given seems to most closely match 'Bulgarian Triumph', which is stated to be in the 2-4 oz range and grows in clusters of 4-6.
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Old April 13, 2019   #8
JosephineRose
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Was Bulgarian Triumph around back then? Is it potato leaf?
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Old April 13, 2019   #9
JosephineRose
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Here is the photo of the original envelope from the seed
company website.

What about Stupice? Was it around back then?
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Old April 13, 2019   #10
retiree
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Found a listing for Triumph in the book "Livingston and the Tomato". It says,Hybrid of a

wild variety found on the Brazos, in Texas, and the Tilden. Popular 1879-80.

Neil G.
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Old April 13, 2019   #11
Koala Doug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephineRose View Post
Was Bulgarian Triumph around back then? Is it potato leaf?



Carolyn lists it (in her book) as a family heirloom, so maybe (or maybe not).

And it is regular leaf.
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Old April 13, 2019   #12
Koala Doug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiree View Post
Found a listing for Triumph in the book "Livingston and the Tomato". It says,Hybrid of a

wild variety found on the Brazos, in Texas, and the Tilden. Popular 1879-80.

Neil G.



And to piggyback on that, I found this: https://books.google.com/books?id=cI...page&q&f=false


It shows a 'Triumph' tomato being sold for two years in 1879 and 1880.
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Old April 15, 2019   #13
JosephineRose
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Thank you all for all the information!



Sustainable seeds has proved useless. Their system auto replies to email, and when pushed for a human response, claim they keep no records of past varieties they offer or histories. They use "a new system" was the answer they gave when I asked about records of past offerings. I'm guessing they sell seeds they don't grow themselves. Shame.


I truly appreciate all the help.
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Old April 16, 2019   #14
Koala Doug
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Please keep us informed about these plants, JosephineRose!


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