Saturday, June 30, 2012
THE AMERICAN FRUIT CULTURIST, by John J. Thomas
Today a local collector loaned me a book which was published in 1860. The title is: THE AMERICAN FRUIT CULTURIST: CONTAINING DIRECTIONS FOR THE PROPAGATION AND CULTURE OF FRUIT TREES IN THE NURSERY, ORCHARD, AND GARDEN; WITH DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PRINCIPAL AMERICAN AND FOREIGN VARIETIES CULTIVATED IN THE UNITED STATES.
The book was written by John J. Thomas, and was published in New York by C.M. Saxton, Barker & Company.
Inside the book are instructions on propagation by budding and grafting, transplanting, information about tools used in raising fruit trees, and details on a wide variety of fruits. Below is a comparison of several different types of apples from pages 188-189 of the book.
A copy of the 1850 edition of this book is available full text at Google Books. The reason this particular title was of such interest to me, is that in the front it is signed by George Barney, an early Sandusky businessman whose nephew Charles Barney was one of the original co-founders of Smith, Barney & Co. It appears that George Barney signed this book in Sandusky, Ohio on December 21, 1860. In different ink, the word Mrs. was written beside the name of George Barney. Opposite the name Mrs. George Barney, are the words "To Carrie Ella Barney." It seems that Mrs. Barney gave the book to her daughter some time after 1860, by noting the difference in the inks that were used.
Carrie Ella Barney was a popular local poet in Sandusky, and sadly she died in 1873 at the age of 18. The Barney family was a leading pioneer family in Sandusky, and it blessed my heart to see a book that once was held by Mr. and Mrs. George Barney and their daughter Carrie Ella. You can see many of the tombstones of members of the Barney family at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.