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James J. H. Gregory

James J. H. Gregory’s seed catalog contained a special section entitled “Rare, Novel, or Very Desirable,” which he used to introduce “new” vegetables to his customers. His preferential treatment of some varieties over others probably created artificial demand.

The varieties illustrated here that made his list for 1873 include Moore’s Early Concord Corn, Mexican Sweet Corn, Pratt’s Early Sweet Corn, Trophy Tomato, Essex Early Tomato, Rising Sun Tomato, and Orangefield Tomato.

Chandler-Duran, Cover for James J. H. Gregory, Annual Circular and Retail Catalogue... (10 3/8 x 8 1/8 in) Salem, MA: Pease, Traill & Fielden, 1873.
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Chandler-Duran, wood engravings for James J. H. Gregory,
Annual Circular and Retail Catalogue...
(10 3/8 x 8 1/8 in) Salem, MA: Pease, Traill & Fielden, 1873.
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Chandler-Duran, wood engraving for James J. H. Gregory, Annual Circular and Retail Catalogue... (10 3/8 x 8 1/8 in) Salem, MA: Pease, Traill & Fielden, 1873.
CLICK TO ENLARGE

Another marketing strategy Gregory employed consisted of featuring varieties he deemed exceptional in a long write-up accompanied by a large illustration.

The Canada Victor Tomato, showcased on page 9, was sent to him by a Canadian grower. Although the tomato, according to the text, had been cultivated for years in northern climates, Gregory labeled it new and limited its sale to packages of twenty-five seeds to bolster its “uniqueness.”

 

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