Biographies of American Seedsmen and Nurserymen Perkins, Charles-Newark, New York; Phoenix, Arizona; Medford, Oregon-The business was founded in 1872 when Charles Perkins, with the financial support of his father-in-law, A.E. Jackson, started wholesaling strawberries and grape plants from a farm in Newark, New York.  At some point they began selling roses.  In 1896 the comany hired E. Alvin Miller who began hybridizing roses.  In 1901 the company marketed one of Miller's varieties and called the climber Dorothy Perkins.  This rose was so successful that Jackson & Perkins began to focus on roses as their main product.  They participated in the 1939 New York World's Fair with a display called "A Parade of Modern Roses," which created a huge interest in roses.  Many participants wanted to purchase roses but they didn't want to have to carry them home.  They asked if the roses could be mailed to them.  This started the mail order business that eventually resulted in over 35 million pieces of garden literature mailed every year and over 3 million roses and other plants shipped to customers.  After starting the mail order business, they outgrew their space and headed west, first to Phoenix, Arizona and later in 1966 to the San Joaquin Valley, California when the company was acquired by Harry and David.  The company is now part of the Bear Creek Corporation and their headquarters are in Medford, Oregon with their research center in Somis, California.
Sources:  Oehlbeck; AABGA