Re: [tomato] Brandywine Tomato (
Mon, 15 Jan 2001 18:19:20 EST

In a message dated 1/15/01 9:57:32 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< Can anyone direct me to a souce of information that links the development 
 this tomato to the Brandywine valley of PA. ?

     The Brandywine has a unique history.  It is supposed to be an old Amish 
tall growing variety from 1885.  Named for the Brandywine creek of Chester 
County, Pennsylvania.  Ben T. Quisenberry is known to have had it for many 
years.  It was his favorite tomato and he claimed it was in the same family 
for over 100 years.  Ben maintained hundreds of tomato varieties from about 
1910 until his death in 1986.  Mr. Quisenberry was born in 1887.  His place 
in Syracuse, Ohio, was called Big Tomato Gardens.  Here is a link to view 
him: <A HREF="">Mr. Quisenberry</A> 

   Mr. Quisenberry"s pink fruited, potato leaf strain is thought to be the 
original line.  However the Suddeth strain brought to light by Craig 
LeHoullier is perhaps the better line.  You may want to review the S.S.E. 
listings, also.

     There is historical data is that Johnson and Stokes of Philadelphia, 
just minutes from the Brandywine Creek area, released it in 1888 or 1889, 
depending on the documents you read.  It never reached great commercial 
success since the thin skinned nature of Brandywine was not great for 
shipping.  There are documents indicating that German immigrants brought 
tomato seed with them to this country, so it not unreasonable for the Amish 
to have raised it or an earlier version.  However, the Burppe company in 1886 
released a Turner's Hybrid that was described similarly.  It was suggested 
that the company, Johnson and Stokes, renamed it Brandywine so that it would 
sound better.  It was a period of time when there was a lot of competition 
between companies and renaming was commonly done.  Catalogs in the years 
after the release were carrying Brandywine and those were Faust's and Anabil 
& Co.  The early selection was described as bright red and iater as purplish 
red.  If there is a validity to the Turner's Hybrid scenario, then perhaps 
there was some segregation going on for pink and/or red fruits.  Perhaps the 
different strains having potato leaves and also regular leaves gives 
ammunition to various theories of origin.

    I am not doing nothing about the Brandywine issue.  I have most of the 
various strains that are being sold, and I have extensive breeding work to 
further improve on the Brandywine.   One of my more exciting tomatoes is the 
Brandy Stripe.  It is a classic Brandy with pink and yellow stripes, potato 
leaf, with fuzzy silver hairs on the leaves like the Angorra or Elberta Girl, 
and with great flavor.  I have shown this selection only locally,  in 
Pasadena, Ca., and in the Netherlands.  It may be released someday, but I 
have not made a decision.

    I hope some of you find this interesting.

Tom Wagner of Bakersfield