Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hollyhock Fun Tangent

It was harder to find what I wanted in the seed catalog archives so I am buying some hollyhock time with these bits of hollyhock ephemera!

Stereo views are so much fun.  To think about people sitting around and looking at them for their evening entertainment with friends, talking about them, is an exercise in time travel.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Hollyhock Ambition

Arents Cigarette Card 1895-1900"Floral beauties and language of flowers"NYPL Digital Gallery

I've always wanted huge hollyhocks so I removed the colon from the cigarette card title for this post's title.

However, I live in a shady, humid area where any althea worthy of that family name would immediately succumb to rust.  A long time ago I grew them in a sunny elsewhere. I so enjoyed having them grow taller than myself!  And then having those fat  seed pods unbounded!

I dislike the double hollyhocks.  They look like used tissues to me...balled up wads.  I think I once saw one that had style to the extra petals but most are a puffy mess.

I'll be posting hollyhock catalog images next time.

  Single-flowered Hollyhocks constitute a very beautiful race of hardy garden plants, and are even more decorative than are the doubles. A double Hollyhock is of course the florist's correct form, and the fuller and doubler the petals the more is it liked. I find these singles growing almost everywhere in small gardens, especially in suburban districts. Recently when taken all over the Carshalton and Beddington district I found them cropping up in little gardens everywhere, exhibiting such varied and beautiful colours that I was charmed with them. We see in strains of these three or four times the variation in colours found in the doubles. The direction in which crossing in able hands should be directed is in enlarging the flowers, still further varying the colours, and in obtaining if possible distinctly fringed edges. One variety which I thought very beautiful had flowers of a glossy claret hue edged with white. It served to show what variations and markings in these singles are possible. 
I am glad to see that seed can be purchased cheaply.  That fact probably explains why these flowers are so largely found in small gardens, although it is possible that neighbors seeing them standing up so prominently in a local garden beg seed, and thus the seeds are widely spread.  That form of selection however does not likely lead to high-class selection.
It is a good time to sow seed outdoors now, or, indeed, it may be sown outdoors any time through the end of August, the plants standing in the garden  all the winter transplanting early in the spring to fill borders, where they will flower. No plants should remain to bloom longer than a second season, as it is when standing too long in the same ground that the soil gets dry and impoverished, and the Hollyhock fungus preys upon the stems and leafage. The more branching the plants are the better, as numerous spikes of moderate height are better than are fewer very tall ones. I hope it will not be suggested that spikes of these Hollyhocks would look well at flower shows. I hope someone will take these single Hollyhocks in hand and improve them largely. There is no telling what may be ultimately evolved. Selection may do much, and intercrossing perhaps more.  (1897  The Garden: An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Gardening)

This looks to be an interesting book! 

The Social History of Flatbush

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tall Tale Crops and Photomontage Postcards

The first five photo postcards are from Wm. H. Martin.  Can't find a thing about him.

 These later two are from A. S. Johnson, Jr.

 Some people are better at crafting a montage than others!!

I noticed the sign on the wall up above...the company was in Ottawa, Kansas.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Philadelphia Engravers for Seed Catalogs

Why chickens, you ask?

The Burpee seed catalog offered poultry equipment and birds!

These engravings were done by Erdmann who seems to be a chicken and duck specialist.  They seem a bit "folky", stiff and simplified....but nice!

Thiebault and R.A. Williams did the rest.  I haven't turned up any info on them yet.

I often see the "bespoke" engravings with no engraver's signature, but this one has been signed.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Corn Gems for Breakfast; The Burpee Strategy to Educate

Yes, the recipe is in this post :-)

W. Atlee Burpee was a
very good businessman as well as seedsman. 

If you don't know what to do with a vegetable, you certainly won't buy seeds to raise it!!

Burpee published many books, most of them on horticulture.

Horticultural Books
In the success of the planter is the germ of our success. First, the best Seeds, Bulbs, and Plants; next, the plainly told practice of accepted experts in gardening and farming.
Books Free as Premiums. 
With the standard high and prices low we go further, -by allowing a credit of ten cents, on every dollar sent for seeds, plants, or bulbs toward the purchase of any book we publish that the purchaser may desire. Thus, a $2.00 order, with 10 cents added, can select any book offered for 30 cents, with 30 cents added, any book offered for 50 cents; or a $3.00 order can select entirely free any book offered for 30 cents; or a $5.00 order any book offered for 50 cents; and so on, we more than meeting our customers half way in our desire to give them FREE the best books for the Farm and Garden.      
It will be noticed that these premiums are entirely Free, and do not prevent the selection of $1.25 Worth of seeds in packets for Each $1.00 sent us for seeds in packets. If the purchaser's order is all for seeds by weight or measure, on which we do not allow this discount, he is still entitled to the selection of any of our books.

CORN GEMS from Mrs. Rorer's book
I pint of corn, 
3 eggs,
1 pint of milk, 
1 1/2 pints of flour,
1 tablespoonful of butter,
1/2 teaspoonful of salt,
    2 teaspoonfuls of baking powder.
Scrape the corn and press it out as directed on Page 40 (page 40 - Corn Fritters - Score the corn down the centre of each row of grains, then with a blunt knife press out the pulp, leaving the hull on the cob. Never grate corn, as in that way you get all). 
Add to it the milk, salt, yolks of the eggs and flour. Beat well and stir in carefully the whites of the eggs beaten to a stiff froth and the baking powder. Bake in greased gem pans in a moderate oven thirty minutes; serve hot. These, if carefully made, are delicious breakfast cakes.
from How to Cook VegetablesBy Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer

Note: The term gem likely comes from the cakes being small and decoratively-shaped, like "gems". Another possibility is that the term came from a kitchen housewares company named Gem that sold baking tins which came to be generically referred to as "Gem pans".