Photo Credit A
After Christmas, gardeners began receiving nursery seed catalogs. Most of us can recall our parents or grandparents receiving catalogs from such familiar names as Burpee, Henry Field, Gurney, Shumway, and Stark, to mention only a few. The colorful pictures of mammoth vegetables or beautiful flowers helped us to forget the frigid temperatures outside as we looked forward to spring. Many years later, some of us are still receiving those same seed catalogs and visualizing productive gardens next summer.
David L. Landreth started the first seed company in Philadelphia in 1784, and he printed what is believed to be the first seed company catalog in the U.S. Still in business today, the Landreth Seed Company introduced zinnias to the U.S. in 1798 and the first truly white potato in 1811. Americans began to grow tomatoes after the Landreth Seed Company advertised tomatoes as the “love apple” in its catalog in 1820. Continue reading
Woodcut Depiction of
the New Madrid Earthquake, 1812
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons (Public Domain))
A news item reminds us that we are at the 200th anniversary of the largest of the great 1812 earthquakes along the Mississippi Valley, this one centered near New Madrid, Missouri, for which the fault line is now named. Accounts suggest that tremors reached far enough to sway a church bell in North Carolina and to cause tears and falling rock damage in the growth rings of a tree in the southern Rockies[i]. At New Madrid, the shifts in the terrain were so powerful that they managed to temporarily reverse the flow of the great Mississippi River. Continue reading
Schulstadt Boys Listening to the Radio, Aberdeen, South Dakota, 1940
(Photo Credit A.)
In the 1930’s, radios and radio broadcasts were becoming increasingly available to rural families, bringing a new audio window into the broader nation and world. Radio provided useful weather and market reports and USDA-produced agricultural programs such as the noon-hour National Farm and Home Hour, but national entertainment programs were also very popular among rural listeners.
Here’s a taste of some of the national programs the rural listener might have picked up 75 years ago, in February, 1937.