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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

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Old January 2, 2010   #16
Blueaussi
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Thanks! I've added it to my amazon.com wish list. I scored four gardening/plant books that way this Christmas, hope I do as well next year. One of the books was yours, Carolyn, and now that I don't have to fight my house guest for it, I'm looking forward to a warm cat in my lap and some serious reading.
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Old January 3, 2010   #17
kimpossible
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I searched for the book "The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and Cookery". & the cheapest I can find it for is $26.50 Cdn .... is this other people's experience?
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Old January 3, 2010   #18
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Try this link below.

In addition to finding the best price on new books, BookFinder is the very best site for locating books that are used, rare or out of print, too.

[URL="http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl&st=sl&qi=3uAtXlAgEK06htA9CBSsBQV1KM4_196839 2989_1:683:1790&bq=author%3Dandrew%2520f%2E%2520sm ith%26title%3Dtomato%2520in%2520america%2520early% 2520history%252C%2520culture%252C%2520and%2520cook ery"] Click Here[/URL]
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Old January 3, 2010   #19
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Oh, what a great site! Got that bookmarked.

Last edited by Blueaussi; January 3, 2010 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Cold weather makes my fingers fumble!
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Old January 3, 2010   #20
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[URL]http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Andrew+F+Smith&x=15&y=19[/URL]

Well it's not rare or out of print and the above link is from Amazon and it's the paperback edition I was talking about. It was on page 1 of some of his books and I didn't look at the other two pages.

You can see he's been involved in writing a lot of his own books as well as a consultant/editor to many others.

I saw one new book I think I'd like so I will e-mail him to see if I can get a complimentery copy.
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Old January 3, 2010   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
If you read any historyies of tomatoes in general you'll find that until about the late-1850's they had lumpy bumpy surfaces to one degree or another; they weren't smooth. In Andrew F Smith's book he also shows paintings of tomatoes done pre-1800 and you can see how mishapen they were.

It's generally agreed that the first smooth tomato was the variety Trophy which was first made available in 1860 here in the US. Trophy crossed the Atlantic and was renamed I think in France to Grosse Lisse, which is still grown in Australia, but it's Trophy. Many of the first US smooth varieties also crossed the Atlantic to England,Europe, etc.

Carolyn
Hi Carolyn,

I ran across this in my reading which I thought you'd find interesting.

Page 68: "Direction of Variation.* - The Cherry tomato is undoubtedly the original tomato, from which have come all the varieties of our garden, with the exception of the currant, which represents a distinct species. One of the first variations from the primitive type is the augmentation of cells in the fruit, followed by a tendency to irregularity in shape. Later, the flowers become monstrous by the production of an abnormal number of parts. In the synopsis of varieties on a succeeding page, the varieties are arranged in the order of their supposed development, so far as possible in a lineal classification. The true development of the leading sorts is better represented in the following diagram, on page 69. (see attached).

Also, I've attached another image from the book of what the State of Michigan considered the leading tomato varieties in 1887.

Steve
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File Type: jpg tomato lineage.jpg (24.3 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg 1887 MI - known tomato varieties.jpg (129.2 KB, 48 views)
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Old January 3, 2010   #22
stevenkh1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanishGardener View Post
Carolyn- could you explain to me, what you mean by "smooth tomatoes"?
Here's an image drawn in 1581 of the tomato plant and the shapes Carolyn was referring to (reminds me of a grossly ribbed, mis-shapened beefsteak).

Up until around 1820 (give or take a few years), the common belief was tomatoes (which as I've read in old books were potato leaf variety) were poisonous and the fruits weren't eaten. By the Civil War, tomatoes were being eaten everywhere and genetic experiments were also being performed - including attempts to graft with potato and other plants - and it wasn't long before the modern looking globe shape tomato was developed.

Steve
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File Type: jpg 1581 Tomato.jpg (275.1 KB, 60 views)
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Old January 3, 2010   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimpossible View Post
I searched for the book "The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and Cookery". & the cheapest I can find it for is $26.50 Cdn .... is this other people's experience?
Tomato Culture from 1907 is a great read:
[URL]http://books.google.com/books?id=B9dEAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=tomat o+history&lr=&as_drrb_is=q&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is =&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&as_brr=1&cd=1#v=onepage &q=&f=false[/URL]

Like the 1887 State of Michigan reference above, it's interesting this text also states the original, wild tomato in the Americas was thought to have been the Cherry Tomato.

Steve
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Old January 5, 2010   #24
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Originally Posted by Blueaussi View Post
I certainly agree with the comments on the ethics, or lack there of, of folks trying to make a bunch of money off heirloom or open pollinated varieties of any plant. Brushing all that aside for the moment, however, I'm wondering about the actual history of the Goose Creek tomato.

How possible is it that it is an actual family heirloom, that the ancestress did bring seeds of a tomato from the West Indies; but over the years it cross-pollinated and/or was selected to get the tomato we know as Goose Creek? That is is a family heirloom, just not exactly what they think it is?
Of course someone could of made the whole thing up to make money especially because of the patent attempt. but it is quite possible someone could of been told a false history. I love watching the Antiques Road Show and anyone who watches it all the time will tell you people bring in things with false stories attached to them quite often. Items are often old like a 100 years or so, but not centuries old as they are often given to believe. It could be that some old family member just outright lied, or sometimes things get tacked on or lost in the verbal history. It is sort of like that pass the story around the room game where by then end it has no resemblance to the original story. So if the story is based in truth, I bet the great grandmother did come from the West Indies when young as a slave, and probably gardened and saved seeds all her life. Somehow those two facts got blurred together at a later point.
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Old January 5, 2010   #25
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Well, if there is a patent then I'm in trouble. I listed it with SSE this year. I do believe that my description on it said "the history is questionable" and didn't mention anything about slave ships. I would have to go back and look at what I said again. I believe I said it was named after Goose Creek in NC. I'll let you know if I get served papers. LOL
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Old January 5, 2010   #26
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Nope, no patent/PVP...
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Old January 5, 2010   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomatoaddict View Post
Well, if there is a patent then I'm in trouble. I listed it with SSE this year. I do believe that my description on it said "the history is questionable" and didn't mention anything about slave ships. I would have to go back and look at what I said again. I believe I said it was named after Goose Creek in NC. I'll let you know if I get served papers. LOL
I think you wouldn't be afraid of a little PVP from some guy in CA since that would seem tame compared to the Peppadew people.
Remy
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Old January 5, 2010   #28
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I think you wouldn't be afraid of a little PVP from some guy in CA since that would seem tame compared to the Peppadew people.
Remy
Not splitting hairs, but Goose Creek is in North Charleston, SC...hence the reference to the Gullah and Geechee
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Old January 5, 2010   #29
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The guy who applied for the patent on Goose Creek, Jimmy Williams, lives out in Los Angeles, CA.
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