Grant Thorburn saw a need for seed but had no clue where to get it! As luck would have it, the plant grower who supplied the plants for Thorburn's shop planned to grow seed on his farm for the next year. Plus, if Thorburn promised to buy his seed next year, he would sell Thorburn his stock of seed he had on hand which he had earlier planned to sell in the market. A deal was struck on the 17th of September, 1805. The first seed store in New York City was born.
He was right! The seed sales were brisk and he sold out quickly...which left him in the position of being seedless and clueless as to where one bought more. He was as naive as they come it seems about the trade in seeds and anything else in the horticultural world.
If you read any of Grant Thorburn's books you get the impression he was an upbeat and nice man who people liked. Over and over again, when he was in trouble or in need, people came to his aid.
Read below, in his own words, what happened after he sold out! The dude was lucky.
Odds & Ends
Malcolm & Co. was a good company to have found. They were well respected and were often mentioned as the the source of this or that cool new plant. These references are from a later date than the catalog mentioned by Thorburn.