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B.K. Bliss and Sons'

Located in New York, B. K. Bliss and Sons catered especially to market gardeners. These growers ran small farms at the edges of cities and sold their produce at the public markets, which by the 1870s were located in permanent structures on city blocks (replacing earlier markets that took place in the center of wide streets).

The 1879 catalog boasted: “The Acme Tomato is admitted by all market gardeners and others who have tested it to be the earliest, handsomest, most productive, and most salable variety in cultivation … the Potatoes introduced by us have proved to be so popular that scarcely any other varieties are now to be found in our markets.”

A. J. Manning, cover for B. K. Bliss and Sons’ Illustrated Hand Book... (9 1/8 x 5 ¾ in). New York: Francis Hart & Co., 1879.
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A. J. Manning, wood engravings for B. K. Bliss and Sons’ Illustrated Hand Book... (9 1/8 x 5 ¾ in). New York: Francis Hart & Co., 1879.
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Throughout the catalog, the company was careful to point out varieties preferable for market gardening.

For example, they recommended the illustrated Dark Red Egyptian beet, Dewing’s Improved Blood Turnip, and Early Wyman cabbage, the latter being “one of the best and most profitable early market Cabbages grown; it heads early in the season, is of large size and first quality, and brings the highest price of any early Cabbage brought into the Boston market.”

 

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