Boston’s 19th Century Rawson Seed Company Supplied the Latest Varieties of Plants

The east coast in the United States was home to  several seed companies and nurseries in the late nineteenth century.

It was a combination of the rail service, ease of mail delivery, and an express package system that crossed the country that together made such businesses flourish.

W. W. Rawson [Images courtesy of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society]

One such east coast company was the W. W. Rawson Company in Boston where the company sold to the farmer and to the gardener.

Owned by Mr. William Rawson, the company was in business for several decades and published its catalog regularly.  Rawson brought twenty-eight years in horticultural experience to his seed business.

The seed store was located at 34 Market Street in the Fanuiel Hall area of downtown Boston [below].

The first floor of the Rawson Company offered customers seeds and tubers that could be purchased for home gardening [below]

One of the plants Rawson offered in his catalog of 1897 was the ‘Madame Crozy’ canna.  In 1892 the Madame Crozy canna was described as the “grandest canna of them all.” In 1893 at the World’s Fair in Chicago it was awarded a Bronze Medal.

The Rawson Seed Comapny was a modern business, selling to American farmers and gardeners the latest in seeds and plants.

Rawson Seed Company in downtown Boston – 1897

The first floor of the Rawson Company featured this store with framed chromos of flowers on the walls.

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