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In the late 1890s Advertising Created Demand for the World’s Most Famous Rose
Before 1850 magazines survived only on sales and subscriptions.
Norma R. Fryatt wrote the book Sarah Josepha Hale: The Life and Times of a Nineteenth Century Career Woman. In the 1830s Hale had become the editor of the magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, a publication filled with stories, poems, and essays, directed to women. Fryatt wrote “Publisher Louis E. Godey was walking a financial tightrope, for there were few advertisements in magazines of that day; all profits had to come from sales or subscriptions.”
By the 1890s ads appeared in national magazines like Ladies Home Journal, providing most of the money to support the publication.
It was at that time that ads in national magazines as well as ads in seed and nursery catalogs that were mailed across the country told the gardener about the new climbing rose, ‘Crimson Rambler’, imported from England in 1893.
Philadelphia nurseryman Thomas Meehan wrote in 1898 about this popular rose. He said, “This wonderful climbing rose is now so well known that we feel it unnecessary to comment particularly upon it. Everyone who saw a plant of it in bloom this year will not feel satisfied until he possesses one or more plants of it.”
At that time the ‘Crimson Rambler’ rose appeared in almost every garden catalog as well as in various forms of advertising like this trade card from the Charlton Nursery in Rochester,NY. [below]
Advertising seeds and plants became big business by 1900, and in the process gardeners across America bought the new rose called ‘Crimson Rambler.’
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I believe this rose was planted along a split rail fence at a house where I once lived…
Donna, I know that people grew this rose regularly in the 1940s and 50s. It was quite popular for many decades, until better roses came along to take its place as a climber.