Newspapers and Magazines Enabled the Success of this Nineteenth Century Strawberry

For the first time mass media became an important form of advertising products in the late nineteenth century, especially through magazines and newspapers.

The fruit grower J. T. Lovett from Little Silver, New Jersey introduced the ‘Manchester’ strawberry  in 1881.  It proved to be a popular variety in the media.

Garden magazines and articles in newspapers spread the word around the country and abroad.

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This Lovett catalog cover of 1887 mentions the ‘Manchester’ though by then its reputation had begun to fade.

In its 1882 catalog  the Lovett Company wrote: “In this age of progress it is questionable if advances are being made more rapidly in anything more than Fruit Culture, both in new and improved methods of cultivation and varieties; and this is perhaps owing more than anything else to the Horticultural Journals of the day; which in their methods of collecting and diffusing knowledge are to me as truly objects of wonder as admiration.  Think of it! Formerly it took a quarter of a century to introduce a fruit, while now, the Manchester Strawberry, which I first offered to the public but a year ago, is now growing in almost every country on the face of the earth, even on the opposite side of the globe in New Zealand, where it is fruiting successfully”.

For several years the ‘Manchester’ remained a staple of the seed and nursery catalogs.

As is the case with many plants, by the end of the 1880s  better varieties appeared on the market.

The Frank Ford and Son’s  seed catalog in 1886  lamented, “Manchester oh Manchester! A year ago we said thou wert one of our very best, but thy behavior the past season has wrought a great change. Good bye, oh Manchester good bye.”

 

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