The Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
March 13, 2019

Apples

The Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada

The Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada

The Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada
by Daniel J. Bussey, edited by Kent Whealy, published by JAK KAW Press LLC

Apple illustrations courtesy of the USDA National Agricultural Library, Pomological Watercolor Collection, Special Collections.

After 30 years of research and seven years of editing, The Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada is finally available. The hardcover set of seven volumes (each 500-600 pages, 8½ x 11”, 3,742 total pages) documents all apple varieties that appear in publications in the United States and Canada through the year 2000:

  • 16,350 varietal listings (descriptions, origins and histories)
  • 9,700 synonyms (other names the apples were known by in different locations)
  • 1,650 cited references (two centuries of pomological literature on apples)
  • 1,400 life-size watercolors (painted a century ago for color documentation)

This fascinatingly rich slice of agricultural history documents the robust interactions and invaluable contributions of expert pomologists, local apple growers and nurseries, apple breeders, horticultural and pomological societies, and government research stations. In times past, apples were so highly valued and such an integral part of peoples’ lives, displayed and judged at local, state and national Pomological Society meetings, and at annual County Fairs and State Fairs and periodic World Fairs.

When viewed in its entirety, these detailed varietal descriptions, meticulously recorded by expert pomologists, plus the histories of the apples’ origins and movements around the country is truly staggering in its scope.

The Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada is recipient of The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) 2018 Annual Literature Award for a work that makes a significant contribution to the literature of botany or horticulture, and is now available in our Research Collection [call number MH 126.2 B96].

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