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J. Horace McFarland Company collection

Creator:
McFarland, J. Horace (John Horace), 1859-1948  Search this
American Rose Society  Search this
Names:
J. Horace McFarland Company  Search this
Mount Pleasant Press  Search this
Extent:
30 Cubic feet (2718 photographs: black and white; 450 glass lantern slides; 41 glass negatives; color records; plant patents; publications. )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Lantern slides
Place:
Breeze Hill (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)
Pennsylvania -- Harrisburg
Date:
1899-1974
Summary:
The J. Horace McFarland Collection includes over 3,100 photographic images of private and public gardens throughout the United States, as well as some from foreign countries, dating from 1899 to 1963. Many of these images, generated for Mount Pleasant Press (later the J. Horace McFarland Company), were used to illustrate trade catalogs published by the firm as well as journal and newspaper articles. The collection also contains color records that were used as reference aids during the printing process, plant patents, and various publications of the McFarland Company.
Scope and Contents note:
The J. Horace McFarland Collection includes over 2,700 black and white mounted photographs, 448 glass lantern slides, and 41 glass plate negatives of gardens throughout the United States dating from 1899 to 1963. A small number of images show gardens in Austria, Canada, England, Mexico, Scotland and Wales. Many of the images, which were generated and used by the J. Horace McFarland Company to illustrate trade catalogs and journal and newspaper articles, indicate the publication(s) in which they appeared. A series of portraits of rosarians, many of them featured in Modern Roses 6, rounds out the image collection. The McFarland Collection also includes color records, plants patents, and miscellaneous publications. Color records are plant 'portraits' that were painted by McFarland Company staff artists in watercolor. They were referenced by the printing department in order to render illustrations of plants in colors as close to the originals as possible. The plant patents are patents for plants issued by the United States Patent Office. They include the plant name, source, filing and patent dates, patent number, and growth characteristics. Most are accompanied by a colored image of the plant identified in the patent. The miscellaneous publications are various pamphlets and booklets published by the J. Horace McFarland Company.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series:

1) Garden images (including mounted photographs, glass plate negatives, and glass lantern slides)

2) Portraits of Rosarians

3) Color Records

4) Plant Patents

5) Miscellaneous Publications
Biographical/Historical note:
Dr. J. Horace McFarland (1859-1948) was an influential civic leader, author, publisher, horticulturist, and authority on roses. His printing company, Mount Pleasant Press (later the J. Horace McFarland Company), was based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It published many of the seed and nursery trade catalogs in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century and was one of the first to apply color processes to commercial print applications. J. Horace McFarland Company staffers photographed thousands of different gardens and plant specimens throughout the United States. These images were used to illustrate numerous nursery and seed catalogs, journals and books. Among its many services, the firm sold various themed lectures illustrated by sets of hand-colored glass lantern slides.

McFarland wrote over 200 articles in popular journals as well as a dozen books on roses and gardening. He served as the first president of the American Civic Association from 1904-1924 and led several local and national campaigns to protect communities and scenic areas from urban blight and overdevelopment including the city of Harrisburg and Niagara Falls. McFarland, who served as the president of the American Rose Society (1930-1932) and helped establish a standardized rose identification and registration method, used the gardens on his own 2.5 acre property in Harrisburg, "Breeze Hill," to test hundreds of varieties of roses and plant cultivars. "Breeze Hill" was used as the backdrop for many photographs taken by McFarland's firm.
Related Materials:
The Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania includes the J. Horace McFarland Company Records (Manuscript Group 453) and the J. Horace McFarland Papers (Manuscript Group 85).

The Historical Society of Dauphin County in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania includes the J. Horace McFarland Collection (MG 229).
Separated Materials note:
The Smithsonian Institution's Botany and Horticulture Library includes seed and nursery trade catalogs, books, and published materials from the J. Horace McFarland Company.

The United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland has various photographic images, nursery catalogs, publications and miscellaneous records from the J. Horace McFarland Company in its J. Horace McFarland Collection.
Provenance:
Donated in 1992 by James W. Walsh, who purchased the J. Horace McFarland Company from its founder's heirs. (The business was later renamed the Roebuck Printing Company.)
Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Rights:
For information or study purposes only. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Printers -- United States  Search this
Horticulturists  Search this
Printers -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Gardening -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Seeds -- Catalogs  Search this
Seed industry and trade -- United States  Search this
Gardens -- United States  Search this
Seed industry and trade -- Catalogs  Search this
Rose breeders -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Lantern slides
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, J. Horace McFarland Company Collection.
Identifier:
AAG.MCF
See more items in:
J. Horace McFarland Company collection
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aag-mcf
Online Media:

Victorian Horticultural Subjects vertical file

Extent:
4 File drawers
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
File drawers
Date:
undated
Summary:
The Victorian horticultural subjects vertical file is a study file that was compiled for the Smithsonian exhibition "A Victorian Horticultural Extravaganza." Includes copies of materials from various published sources related to Victorian-era (1837-1901) garden tools and accessories, costume accessories, the decorative arts, ladies' fancy work, garden furniture and ornaments, the commerical horticulture industry, landscape design, plants, exhibitions, and garden-related publications.
Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Gardening -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Gardens -- History  Search this
Gardens, Victorian  Search this
Horticultural exhibitions  Search this
Decorative arts, Victorian  Search this
Fancy work  Search this
Flowers  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Victoriana  Search this
Landscape architecture  Search this
Nurseries (Horticulture)  Search this
Ornamental plant industry  Search this
Plants  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Victorian Horticultural Subjects vertical file.
Identifier:
AAG.VIC
See more items in:
Victorian Horticultural Subjects vertical file
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aag-vic
Online Media:

W. Atlee Burpee & Company Records - Accretion 2

Creator:
W. Atlee Burpee Company  Search this
W. Atlee Burpee Co.  Search this
Burpee, W. Atlee (Washington Atlee), 1858-1915  Search this
Burpee, David, 1893-1980  Search this
Wm. Henry Maule (Firm)  Search this
James Vick's Sons (Rochester, N.Y.).  Search this
Extent:
200 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Trade catalogs
Business records
Commercial correspondence
Instructional materials
Ledgers (account books)
Date:
circa 1873-1980
Summary:
The W. Atlee Burpee & Company records, dated circa 1873-1986, document the firm's business activities developing plant varieties, working with contract seedsmen, and marketing and selling seeds. They include seed trial records, seed contracts, sales and acccounting records, inventories, office correspondence, seed catalogs, promotional and instructional materials, advertisements and advertising reports, contest letters, daybooks, photographs, reference materials, and other items relating to the company and some of its competitors. The collection also includes Burpee family papers.
Content Description:
This collection documents W. Atlee Burpee & Co., a mail-order seed company based in Philadelphia, from its early beginnings in 1876 when its founder, W. Atlee Burpee, started in the agricultural business, to the 1970s when his son, David Burpee, sold the firm. The collection also includes personal papers of the Burpee family dating back to the mid-nineteenth century.

Business-related content in the collection consists of crop propagation and management records; company correspondence; administrative and personnel records; advertising files; legal papers; property records and plans; reports, studies, and technical data; notes and drafts; files on professional outreach activities and events; trade literature (published by both the Burpee company and a number of its competitors); and awards and certificates received by the company. Significant topics documented in these files include the development of notable flower and vegetable varieties introduced by the company; the impact of World Wars I and II on gardening and the global seed trade; advertising strategies, technology, and innovation; and David Burpee's advocacy of the marigold as the national floral emblem of the United States.

The Burpee family papers consist of personal files unrelated to the company's business operations. These include records generated by W. Atlee's father (David Burpee, 1827-1882) and grandfather (Washington L. Atlee, 1808-1878), as well as W. Atlee's wife, Blanche (1863-1948); David Burpee (1893-1980) and his wife, Lois (1912-1984); and W. Atlee Burpee II (1894-1966). There are genealogical surveys conducted on both the Atlee and Burpee families as well as clippings about family members. W. Atlee and David Burpee's series are the most extensive, and cover their involvement with numerous social and philanthropic clubs and organizations. The series include personal correspondence; financial, accounting, and tax records; travel-related files; reference material; and will and estate papers.

The Burpee collection also has a large number of images related to the Burpee business and family in a variety of formats including photographs, film and glass plate negatives, and advertisement mock-ups. Other formats include architectural and site plans, original artwork for advertisements, films, cassettes, audio tapes, and ephemera.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into six series:

Series 1: Plant/Farm Related Material Series 2: Business Records Series 3: Material Published About the Burpee Company Series 4: Awards and Certificates Series 5: Photographic and A/V Materials Series 6: Burpee Family Papers

The collection's original order was maintained wherever possible, though many records were found scattered throughout the collection and artificial files were necessarily created for them.

Most files are arranged chronologically or alphabetically by person or topic.

Various photographs interspersed in correspondence files were kept where they were originally found. All other photographic and audio/visual materials found on their own were grouped in Series 5 Photographic and A/V Material which documents aspects of both the Burpee company and Burpee family.
Biographical / Historical:
Washington Atlee Burpee (1858-1915) began a mail-order poultry and livestock business in 1876 in Philadelphia, which he soon expanded to include corn seed for chicken feed. In 1878, he founded W. Atlee Burpee & Co. to sell livestock and vegetable, fruit, and flower seeds through the mail. His company went on to become one of the most notable seed distributors in the world.

In 1888, W. Atlee bought a tract of land named Fordhook Farms in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It was initially established as an experimental farm to test and evaluate new varieties of vegetables and flowers and to produce seeds for the mail-order market. Burpee spent many summers traveling throughout the United States and Europe visiting farms and searching for the best flowers and vegetables. Certain plants he found were shipped back to the firm for testing and propagation; other seeds were obtained through contracts with growers throughout the U.S., a practice common in the seed industry at that time. Promising varieties were bred with healthier specimens to produce hardier hybrids that were more resistant to disease. Other Burpee trial grounds were later established at Sunnybrook Farm near Swedesboro, New Jersey, and at Floradale Farms in Lompoc, California (1909/1910). The company went on to purchase more land for farming in California, and established sales branch headquarters in Sanford, Florida (circa 1930s), Clinton, Iowa (1942), and Riverside, California (1949).

W. Atlee Burpee married Blanche Simons (1863-1948) in 1892. They had three sons: David (1893-1980); W. Atlee Jr. ("Junior") (1894-1966); and Stuart Alexander (1901-1934). Both David and Junior attended the Blight School in Philadelphia for elementary school and Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana for preparatory school. While they both attended Cornell University as undergraduates, they left before graduating due to W. Atlee's poor health. Junior married Jeanetta Lee (1893-1981) in November, 1916, and they had two children: W. Atlee III (1917-1971) and Jeanette (1919-2002). David married Lois Torrance (1912-1984) in 1938, and they had two children: Johnathan (b. 1941) and Blanche (b. 1943). Stuart Alexander was apparently born with a disability; according to census records he worked on farms during his lifetime.

David Burpee took over the family business upon his father's death in 1915; W. Atlee Burpee, Jr. served as treasurer of the firm once he returned from serving in the military. At that time, the Burpee company had 300 employees and was the largest mail-order seed company in the world. It distributed over one million catalogs a year and received on average 10,000 orders a day. Under David's tutelage, the company adapted to contemporaneous shifts in business and advertising methods, advancements in plant science, ever-changing consumer demands, and two World Wars. In response to food shortages experienced during World War I, the Burpee company helped promote a "war gardens" campaign that evolved into a "victory gardens" campaign during World War II.

Both W. Atlee and David used their position as head of a major seed house to lobby congressional debates in regard to two topics: postage rates (W. Atlee) and the designation of a national floral emblem for the United States (David). Both men belonged to The Union League of Philadelphia and The Canadian Society of Philadelphia (which W. Atlee helped found), and served on the boards of directors for hospitals and other charitable organizations. Both father and son were politically aligned with the Republican Party.

The firm reorganized its governing structure in 1917 at which time it changed its name from W. Atlee Burpee & Co. to W. Atlee Burpee Co. Burpee's acquired three seed companies between 1878 and 1970: Luther Burbank Seed Company, James Vick's Seeds, Inc., and the William Henry Maule Company. David Burpee sold the company to the General Foods Corporation in 1970 and served as a consultant for the business until 1973. The Burpee brand was bought by its current owner, George J. Ball, Inc., in 1991.
Related Materials:
Burpee seed catalogs donated to the Smithsonian in 1982 by the W. Atlee Burpee Co. can be found in the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives' Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History.

The Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division includes a series of images of Burpee company operations taken in 1943.

The Black Gold Cooperative Library System's Asian/Pacific - Americans on the Central Coast Collection includes images dated 1933-1939 of Japanese employees of the Burpee Co. working at Floradale Farms in Lompoc, California.
Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by the Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Mail-order business -- Catalogs  Search this
Gardens -- United States  Search this
Horticulture  Search this
Vegetables  Search this
Trial gardens  Search this
Victory gardens  Search this
Prize contests in advertising  Search this
Advertising, Newspaper -- 20th century  Search this
Advertising, magazine -- 20th century  Search this
Flower shows  Search this
Genre/Form:
Trade catalogs
Business records
Commercial correspondence
Instructional materials
Ledgers (account books)
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, W. Atlee Burpee & Company Records
Identifier:
AAG.BUR2
See more items in:
W. Atlee Burpee & Company Records - Accretion 2
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aag-bur2
Online Media:

W. Atlee Burpee & Company records - Accretion 1

Creator:
W. Atlee Burpee Company  Search this
Burpee, W. Atlee (Washington Atlee), 1858-1915  Search this
Burpee, David, 1893-1980  Search this
Wm. Henry Maule (Firm)  Search this
Extent:
2.25 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Correspondence
Pamphlets
Trade catalogs
Date:
1882-1980
bulk 1890-1930
Summary:
The W. Atlee Burpee & Company records - Accretion 1, dated circa 1882-1980, document the firm's business activities developing plant varieties and marketing and selling seeds. They include seed trial records, administrative files, seed catalogs, promotional and instructional materials, awards, reference materials, and other items relating to the company and some of its competitors.
Scope and Contents:
This accretion to the W. Atlee Burpee & Co. records documents aspects of the W. Atlee Burpee & Co., a mail-order seed company based in Philadelphia that was founded in 1876 by W. Atlee Burpee. It includes seed trial records; administrative and personnel records; trade literature (published by both the Burpee company and a few of its competitors); awards and certificates received by the company; and a few personal papers of David Burpee, W. Atlee's son and business successor.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into four series:

Series 1: Plant/Farm Related Material

Series 2: Business Records

Series 3: Awards and Certificates

Series 4: Burpee Family Papers
Biographical / Historical:
Washington Atlee Burpee (1858-1915) began a mail-order poultry and livestock business in 1876 in Philadelphia, which he soon expanded to include corn seed for chicken feed. In 1878, he founded W. Atlee Burpee & Co. to sell livestock and vegetable, fruit, and flower seeds through the mail. His company went on to become one of the most notable seed distributors in the world.

In 1888, W. Atlee bought a tract of land named Fordhook Farms in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It was initially established as an experimental farm to test and evaluate new varieties of vegetables and flowers and to produce seeds for the mail-order market. Burpee spent many summers traveling throughout the United States and Europe visiting farms and searching for the best flowers and vegetables. Certain plants he found were shipped back to the firm for testing and propagation; other seeds were obtained through contracts with growers throughout the U.S., a practice common in the seed industry at that time. Promising varieties were bred with healthier specimens to produce hardier hybrids that were more resistant to disease. Other Burpee trial grounds were later established at Sunnybrook Farm near Swedesboro, New Jersey, and at Floradale Farm in Lompoc, California (1909/1910). The company went on to purchase more land for farming in California, and established sales branch headquarters in Sanford, Florida (c. 1930s), Clinton, Iowa (1942), and Riverside, California (1949).

W. Atlee Burpee married Blanche Simons (1863-1948) in 1892. They had three sons: David (1893-1980); W. Atlee Jr. ("Junior") (1894-1966); and Stuart Alexander (1901-1934). Both David and Junior attended the Blight School in Philadelphia for elementary school and Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana for preparatory school. While they both attended Cornell University as undergraduates, they left before graduating due to W. Atlee's poor health. Junior married Jeanetta Lee (1893-1981) in November 1916, and they had two children: W. Atlee III (1917-1971) and Jeanette (1919-2002). David married Lois Torrance (1912-1984) in 1938, and they had two children: Johnathan (b. 1941) and Blanche (b. 1943). Stuart Alexander was apparently born with a disability; according to census records he worked on farms during his lifetime.

David Burpee took over the family business upon his father's death in 1915; Junior served as treasurer of the firm once he returned from military service. At that time, the Burpee company had 300 employees and was the largest mail-order seed company in the world. It distributed over one million catalogs a year and received on average 10,000 orders a day. Under David's tutelage, the company adapted to contemporaneous shifts in business and advertising methods, advancements in plant science, ever-changing consumer demands, and two World Wars. In response to food shortages experienced during World War I, the Burpee company helped promote a "war gardens" campaign that evolved into a "victory gardens" campaign during World War II.

Both W. Atlee and David used their position as head of a major seed house to lobby congressional debates in regard to two topics: postage rates (W. Atlee) and the designation of a national floral emblem for the United States (David). Additionally, both men belonged to the Union Club of Philadelphia and The Canadian Society of Philadelphia (which W. Atlee helped found), and served on the boards of directors for hospitals and other charitable organizations. Both father and son were politically aligned with the Republican Party.

The firm reorganized its governing structure in 1917 at which time it changed its name from W. Atlee Burpee & Co. to W. Atlee Burpee Co. Burpee's acquired three seed companies between 1878 and 1970: Luther Burbank Seed Company, James Vick's Seeds, Inc., and the William Henry Maule Company. David Burpee sold the company to the General Foods Corporation in 1970 and served as a consultant for the business until 1973. The Burpee brand was bought by its current owner, George J. Ball, Inc., in 1991.
Related Materials:
Burpee seed catalogs donated to the Smithsonian in 1982 by the W. Atlee Burpee Co. can be found in the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives' Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History.

The Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division includes a series of images of Burpee company operations taken in 1943.

The Black Gold Cooperative Library System's Asian/Pacific - Americans on the Central Coast Collection includes images dated 1933-1939 of Japanese employees of the Burpee Co. working at Floradale Farms in Lompoc, California.
Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Mail-order business  Search this
Gardens -- United States  Search this
Business  Search this
Agriculture  Search this
Horticulture  Search this
advertising  Search this
Vegetables  Search this
Flowers  Search this
Trial gardens  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records
Correspondence
Pamphlets
Trade catalogs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, W. Atlee Burpee & Company Records.
Identifier:
AAG.BUR1
See more items in:
W. Atlee Burpee & Company records - Accretion 1
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aag-bur1

W. Atlee Burpee & Company records

Creator:
W. Atlee Burpee Company  Search this
Burpee, W. Atlee (Washington Atlee), 1858-1915  Search this
Burpee, David, 1893-1980  Search this
James Vick's Sons (Rochester, N.Y.).  Search this
Wm. Henry Maule (Firm)  Search this
Extent:
201 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertising
Business records
Correspondence
Account books
Pamphlets
Trade catalogs
Date:
circa 1873-1986
bulk 1890-1930
Summary:
The W. Atlee Burpee & Company records, dated circa 1873-1986, document the firm's business activities developing plant varieties and marketing and selling seeds. They include accounting records, seed trial records, seed contracts, sales records, inventories, office correspondence, seed catalogs, promotional and instructional materials, advertisements and advertising reports, contest letters, daybooks, photographs, reference materials, and other items relating to the company and some of its competitors.
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents W. Atlee Burpee & Co., a mail-order seed company based in Philadelphia, from its early beginnings in 1876 when its founder, W. Atlee Burpee, started in the agricultural business, to the 1970s when his son, David Burpee, sold the family's then-global company. The collection also includes personal papers of the Burpee family dating back to the mid-nineteenth century.

Business-related content in the collection consists of crop propagation and management records; company correspondence; administrative and personnel records; advertising files; legal papers; property records and plans; reports, studies, and technical data; notes and drafts; files on professional outreach activities and events; trade literature (published by both the Burpee company and a number of its competitors); and awards and certificates received by the company. Significant topics documented in these files include the development of notable flower and vegetable novelties introduced by the company; the impact of World Wars I and II on gardening and the global seed trade; advertising strategies, technology, and innovation; and David Burpee's involvement in the national floral emblem congressional debate.

The Burpee family papers consist of personal files unrelated to the company's business operations. This includes records generated by W. Atlee's father (David Burpee, 1827-1882) and grandfather (Washington L. Atlee, 1808-1878), as well as W. Atlee's wife, Blanche (1863-1948); David Burpee (1893-1980) and his wife, Lois (1912-1984); and W. Atlee Burpee II (1894-1966). There are genealogical surveys conducted on both the Atlee and Burpee families as well as clippings about family members. W. Atlee and David Burpee's series are the most extensive and cover their involvement with numerous clubs and societies such as the Canadian Society of Philadelphia, the Union League of Philadelphia, and, for David Burpee, his involvement with Pearl S. Buck's Welcome House charity. The series include personal correspondence; financial, accounting, and tax records; files generated during vacations; reference material; and will and estate papers.

The Burpee collection also has a large number of images related to the Burpee business and family in a variety of formats including photographs, film and glass plate negatives, and advertisement mock-ups. Other formats include architectural and site plans, original artwork for advertisements, films, cassettes, audio tapes, and ephemera.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into six series:

Series 1: Plant/Farm Related Material

Series 2: Business Records

Series 3: Material Published About the Burpee Company

Series 4: Awards and Certificates

Series 5: Photographic and A/V Materials

Series 6: Burpee Family Papers
Biographical / Historical:
Washington Atlee Burpee (1858-1915) began a mail-order poultry and livestock business in 1876 in Philadelpia, which he soon expanded to include corn seed for chicken feed. In 1878, he founded W. Atlee Burpee & Co., the primary focus of which was to sell vegetable, fruit, and flower seeds through the mail. This company would go on to become one of the most notable seed distributors in the United States.

By 1888, Burpee's family home, Fordhook Farms, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, was established as an experimental farm to test and evaluate new varieties of vegetables and flowers, and to produce seeds. Burpee spent many summers traveling throughout the United States and Europe, visiting farms and searching for the best flowers and vegetables; certain plants he found were shipped to Fordhook Farms for testing. Plants that survived were bred with healthier specimens to produce heartier hybrids that were more resistant to disease. Other Burpee trial gardens were established in Lompoc, California and near Swedesboro, New Jersey.

Burpee's son David took over the family business upon his father's death in 1915. At that time, the Burpee Company had 300 employees and was the largest mail order seed company in the world. It distributed over one million catalogs a year and received as many as 10,000 orders a day. In response to food shortages caused by World War I, the Burpee Company helped promote a "war gardens" campaign that evolved into a "victory gardens" campaign during World War II. Both were aimed at city dwellers and instructed them on how to grow vegetables for their own consumption to aid in the war effort.

Sometime in the 1930s, the Burpee Company entered into a business relationship with the James Vick's Company of Rochester, New York. In 1947, Burpee purchased the assets of and rights to the use of the name of the Wm. Henry Maule Co. In 1970, Burpee was sold to General Foods; the corporate headquarters moved from Philadelphia to Warminster, Pennsylvania in 1974. David Burpee remained a consultant for the company until his death in 1981. In 1991, the Burpee Company was acquired by George J. Ball, Inc.
Related Materials:
Burpee seed catalogs donated to the Smithsonian in 1982 by the W. Atlee Burpee Co. can be found in the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives' Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History.

The Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division includes a series of images of Burpee company operations taken in 1943.

The Black Gold Cooperative Library System's Asian/Pacific - Americans on the Central Coast Collection includes images dated 1933-1939 of Japanese employees of the Burpee Co. working at Floradale Farms in Lompoc, California.
Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Mail-order business  Search this
Gardens -- United States  Search this
Business  Search this
Agriculture  Search this
Horticulture  Search this
Vegetables  Search this
Flowers  Search this
Trial gardens  Search this
Victory gardens  Search this
Contests  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertising
Business records
Correspondence
Account books -- 19th century
Account books -- 20th century
Pamphlets
Trade catalogs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, W. Atlee Burpee & Company Records.
Identifier:
AAG.BUR
See more items in:
W. Atlee Burpee & Company records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aag-bur
Online Media:

Horticultural Subjects vertical file

Extent:
42 Cubic feet (12 file drawers.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
unknown
Summary:
The Horticultural subjects vertical file contains materials related to garden history, landscape architecture, garden furniture and ornaments, gardening practices and design, horticulture, conservation, plant folklore and other topics compiled from various published sources.
Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Plants  Search this
Landscape architecture  Search this
Horticulture  Search this
Gardens -- History  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
Garden styles  Search this
Gardens  Search this
Folklore  Search this
Flowers  Search this
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Horticultural Subjects vertical file.
Identifier:
AAG.SUB
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aag-sub

Seed Industry and Trade

Collection Creator:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Archives Center  Search this
Ravnitzky, Michael  Search this
Container:
Box 29, Folder 10-12
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Possible copyright and/or trademark restrictions on material in collection. Consult repository.
Collection Citation:
Archives Center Business Americana Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Archives Center Business Americana Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0404-ref455

Bedman Brothers Company records

Owner:
Bedman, John  Search this
Bedman, James  Search this
Bedman, Joseph  Search this
Bedman, Frank  Search this
Bedman, Charles  Search this
Founder:
Bedman, William  Search this
Creator:
Bedman Brothers Rahway, New Jersey.  Search this
Bedman Brothers  Search this
William Bedman Seed Company (Rahway, New Jersey)  Search this
Investor:
Thorburn, James  Search this
Names:
Bedman Brothers  Search this
Extent:
8.5 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Negatives
Brochures
Price lists
Account books
Administrative records
Correspondence
Photographs
Artifacts
Leaflets
Clippings
Ledgers (account books)
Scrapbooks
Purchase orders
Pamphlets
Date:
1859 - 1984
Summary:
The Bedman Brothers Company Records collection focuses primarily on the business and financial transactions of Bedman Brothers seed company of Rahway, New Jersey, and includes accounting ledgers, purchase orders, price lists, miscellaneous business and family correspondence, and various brochures, pamphlets and leaflets related to horticultural topics. Other holdings in the collection include World War II ration stamps and two scrapbooks, one of which contains many late nineteenth and early twentieth century chromo-lithographed trade cards (primarily from the sewing, clothing, and floral industries). The other scrapbook holds news clippings from the Civil War period. Seperated materials include seed gathering equipment used by field workers.
Historical note:
The William Bedman Seed Company of Rahway, New Jersey was established in 1843 by William Bedman with the support of James Thorburn, a Manhattan seed purveyor. The firm, later called Bedman Brothers, was principally a wholesale mail order seed company that sold to consumer-end seed houses such as Vicks, W. Atlee Burpee, and George J. Ball. Bedman Brothers became known for its production of salvias (sage), including the development of 'Bonfire' or Clara Bedman sage variety. The company continued after William Bedman's tenure under the leadership of his sons Charles, James and John. The business ended after the death of Joseph Bedman, William's grandson, in 1962.
Separated Materials:
Assorted nursery and trade catalogs and price lists from the Bedman Brothers records were transferred to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History Library, Horticulture Trade Catalogs Collection.
Provenance:
Donated to the Smithsonian Office of Horticulture (later Horticulture Services Division) in 1984 by Gladys and Florence Whitehead, great-granddaughters of William Bedman.
Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Mail-order business  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Seeds -- Processing -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Salvia  Search this
Flowers  Search this
Horticulture  Search this
Genre/Form:
Negatives
Brochures
Price lists
Account books -- 19th century
Administrative records
Correspondence
Photographs
Artifacts
Leaflets
Clippings
Ledgers (account books)
Scrapbooks
Account books -- 20th century
Purchase orders
Pamphlets
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Bedman Brothers Company Records.
Identifier:
AAG.BED
See more items in:
Bedman Brothers Company records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aag-bed
Online Media:

Vegetables will pay for them [black & white advertisement; tear sheet]

Advertiser:
D.M. Ferry & Co.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Ayer (N W) Incorporated.  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 12.8" x 5.5".)
Container:
Box 177 (Series 2), Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Date:
1926
Scope and Contents:
Advertisement for vegetable seeds illustrated with a jumble of sports equipment and a young boy selling produce next to a garden. Text says to plant early to sell vegetables to neighbors for money to buy items you want.
Local Numbers:
AC0059-0000218 (AC Scan)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must use microfilm copy. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.

Technical Access: Viewing the film portion of the collection without reference copies requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to audio discs requires special arrangement. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. Publication and production quality duplication is restricted due to complex copyright, publicity rights, and right to privacy issues. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies.
Topic:
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Vegetable gardening  Search this
advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Tear sheets
Advertisements -- 1920-1930
Collection Citation:
NW Ayer & Sons, incorporated Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records
N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records / Series 2: Proof Sheets / D.M. Ferry and Company seed companies, nurseries
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0059-ref8622

Booklet, floral frames

Medium:
Lithograph(?)
Dimensions:
6 1/2 × 9 1/2 × 1 in. (16.5 × 24.1 × 2.5 cm)
Type:
Albums (photographs)
Trade catalogs
Date:
ca. 1880-1920
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Topic:
advertisements  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
lithographs  Search this
trade catalogs  Search this
advertising  Search this
bulbs  Search this
Floral decorations  Search this
floriculture  Search this
Flower arrangement  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
Funeral decorations  Search this
gardening  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
nurseries (horticulture)  Search this
print advertising  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection. Donated in memory of Stewart N. & Edna R. Dutterer.
Accession number:
1999.002.002
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq46b4cb6dd-3628-448f-a35f-8f144c49ef68
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1999.002.002

Trade catalog, Reed & Keller: Florist's Wire Designs

Company:
Reed & Keller  Search this
Medium:
Paper
Dimensions:
11 × 7 3/4 in. (27.9 × 19.7 cm)
Type:
Trade catalogs
Date:
ca. 1893
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Topic:
advertisements  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
trade catalogs  Search this
advertising  Search this
bulbs  Search this
Floral decorations  Search this
floriculture  Search this
Flower arrangement  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
Funeral decorations  Search this
gardening  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
nurseries (horticulture)  Search this
print advertising  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection. Donated in memory of Stewart N. & Edna R. Dutterer.
Accession number:
1999.002.003
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq488c3f7a9-865e-416d-a926-5b5de08d85f2
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1999.002.003

Trade catalog, Cokely's Wirework Catalog

Company:
B. E. and J. T. Cokely  Search this
Medium:
Paper
Dimensions:
9 × 12 in. (22.9 × 30.5 cm)
Type:
Trade catalogs
Date:
ca. 1880-1920
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Topic:
advertisements  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
trade catalogs  Search this
advertising  Search this
bulbs  Search this
Floral decorations  Search this
floriculture  Search this
Flower arrangement  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
Funeral decorations  Search this
gardening  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
nurseries (horticulture)  Search this
print advertising  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1999.005
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4c84ba95f-394a-4c71-bae5-b163f2a4871a
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1999.005

Trade catalog, Fred J. Meyers Manufacturing Co. Inc.

Company:
Fred J. Meyers Manufacturing Company, Inc.  Search this
Medium:
Paper, silk cord
Dimensions:
9 1/16 × 12 in. (23 × 30.5 cm)
Type:
Trade catalogs
Date:
ca. 1880-1910
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Topic:
advertisements  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
trade catalogs  Search this
advertising  Search this
bulbs  Search this
floriculture  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
gardening  Search this
gardens  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
nurseries (horticulture)  Search this
outdoor furniture  Search this
print advertising  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Victoriana  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1999.009
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq42c7a906a-50b5-4f42-a17d-ca174b257566
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1999.009

Seed Box, "Rice's Popular Flower Seeds"

Company:
Jerome B. Rice & Co  Search this
Medium:
Oak wood, paper, metal hardware
Dimensions:
4 1/16 × 5 7/8 × 4 7/8 in. (10.3 × 14.9 × 12.4 cm)
Type:
Seed boxes
Seed industry
Date:
ca.1830-1920
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Topic:
boxes (containers)  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
Seed boxes  Search this
agriculture  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
packets (containers)  Search this
point-of-purchase displays  Search this
seed  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
showcases  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1983.011
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq437761cb2-9b95-4902-86c9-722daa6d0f4f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1983.011
Online Media:

Seed Box, Rice's Popular Flower Seeds

Company:
Jerome B. Rice & Co  Search this
Medium:
Wood, paper, metal hardware
Dimensions:
4 1/8 × 5 15/16 × 4 7/8 in. (10.6 × 15.1 × 12.4 cm)
Style:
Victorian
Type:
Seed boxes
Seed industry
Date:
ca.1830-1920
Period:
Victorian (1837-1901)
Topic:
boxes (containers)  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
Seed boxes  Search this
agriculture  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
packets (containers)  Search this
point-of-purchase displays  Search this
seed  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
showcases  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1983.012
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4fcd81a82-1130-4f11-adb3-d37b26a2795d
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1983.012
Online Media:

Seed Box, Couroc Chest, "First the Seed"

Maker:
Couroc of Monterey, Inc.  Search this
Company:
American Seed Trade Association, Inc  Search this
Medium:
Phenolic resin, wood, brass
Dimensions:
11 5/8 × 7 5/8 × 2 1/2 in. (29.5 × 19.4 × 6.4 cm)
Style:
Contemporary
Type:
Seed boxes
Seed industry
Origin:
Monterey, California, United States
Date:
ca. 1983
Topic:
boxes (containers)  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
Seed boxes  Search this
agriculture  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
packets (containers)  Search this
point-of-purchase displays  Search this
seed  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
showcases  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1983.015
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq428b3581e-406b-4da1-b5d1-9918399841ee
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1983.015

Seed catalog covers, Dreer's Garden Calendar, 1898

Company:
Henry A. Dreer (Firm)  Search this
Printer:
Humacher & Ettlinger, Lithographers  Search this
Medium:
Paper
Dimensions:
8 11/16 × 11 3/4 in. (22.1 × 29.8 cm)
Type:
Trade catalogs
Date:
1898
Topic:
advertisements  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
trade catalogs  Search this
advertising  Search this
bulbs  Search this
floriculture  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
gardening  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
nurseries (horticulture)  Search this
print advertising  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1984.250.001
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4e26744b2-071b-43ff-a644-8f0b4f71bd11
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1984.250.001

Seed catalog covers, Dreer's Garden Calendar, 1897

Company:
Henry A. Dreer (Firm)  Search this
Printer:
Humacher & Ettlinger, Lithographers  Search this
Medium:
Paper
Dimensions:
8 11/16 × 11 3/4 in. (22.1 × 29.8 cm)
Type:
Trade catalogs
Date:
1897
Topic:
advertisements  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
trade catalogs  Search this
advertising  Search this
bulbs  Search this
floriculture  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
gardening  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
nurseries (horticulture)  Search this
print advertising  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1984.250.002
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4a1b82c4a-1d2e-442c-8ea2-e797894500fd
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1984.250.002

Seed catalog covers, The Storrs & Harrison Co., Spring 1897

Company:
Storrs & Harrison Company  Search this
Medium:
Paper
Dimensions:
8 11/16 × 11 3/4 in. (22.1 × 29.8 cm)
Type:
Trade catalogs
Date:
1897
Topic:
advertisements  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
trade catalogs  Search this
advertising  Search this
bulbs  Search this
floriculture  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
gardening  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
nurseries (horticulture)  Search this
print advertising  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1984.250.003
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq41dd7747c-8ba5-4621-9617-430705c8f295
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1984.250.003

Seed catalog page, New Orchid. Flowered Canna, "Austria"

Medium:
Paper
Dimensions:
8 11/16 × 11 3/4 in. (22.1 × 29.8 cm)
Type:
Advertising ephemera
Trade catalogs
Date:
ca. 1891-1904
Topic:
advertisements  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
trade catalogs  Search this
advertising  Search this
bulbs  Search this
floriculture  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
gardening  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
nurseries (horticulture)  Search this
print advertising  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
1984.250.004
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq46f810ea0-71be-40e0-b51c-fba2a978d78b
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_1984.250.004

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