Landreth, David, Jr.–(1802-1880)–Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania; Bristol, Pennsylvania–made the Landreth seed business the
leading seed house in America. His first business experience
was in Charleston, South Carolina where there was a branch house that flourished
until it closed in 1862 because of the Civil War. In 1828, he succeeded
his father as proprietor of the seed establishments under the name D. Landreth
& Co. The nurseries were under Thomas Landreth.
David, Jr. was a founder of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and
in 1832 published Floral Magazine, America’s first horticultural
journal. It featured color lithographs. In 1835, Commodore
Perry took a box of American seeds to give to the Japanese as a gift from
the Landreth company. The Japanese sent back some seeds in return.
In 1847, the Landreth nursery was moved to Bloomsdale in Bristol, Pennsylvania.
Bloomsdale became the most complete seed farm in America and an arboretum
was also established. Burnet Landreth, David, Jr.’s son, was
involved with international expositions and societies and wrote for horticultural
journals. The Landreths used patriotism to sell seeds. In one
catalog they offered a “jewel case” of inlaid wood containing twenty packets
of flower seeds. Vegetables were a specialty, with cooking notes
included. Lithographs of vegetables were a major feature of the early
catalogs. By the 1880s the Landreths were commenting on changing
American values–one issue discussed was that practical horticulture was
no longer required in public schools.
Sources: Woodburn2; Bailey;