Peter Henderson Built a New York Seed Store with Five Floors

The size of the company’s main office building, greenhouses, and trial gardens frequently became a theme in the nineteenth century seed and nursery catalogs.

The owners wanted to let the customer know they were modern and had the latest facilities to provide a quality product.

Peter Henderson (1822-1890)  built his seed empire on Cortlandt Street in New York with a five story building.  The first floor was the seed store.

Henderson catalog of 1899

The customer trusted such a company.

That’s the power of advertising.  You give the customer a reason to trust you, and you have their business.

A nineteenth century customer saw that image in the catalog and thought “If a company shows off such a grand building, it must be worth my business.”

Such boasting worked in late nineteenth century at the birth of modern advertising, and it works today as well.

Today how often do we see dozens of cars in a car lot as part of the marketing pitch from a local dealer?

What about the dozens of varieties of annuals a local nursery offers in the spring?

What images would we use today to market plants and seeds?

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