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Livingston Tomatoes ]
Alexander Wilmer Livingston
(b. October 14, 1821 - d. November 11, 1898) of Reynoldsburg, Ohio was a pioneering seedsman who
was best known as a developer of tomato varieties in the United States
in the nineteenth century.
Although tomatoes had been
cultivated to various degrees throughout the world, it was Mr.
Livingston and his seed company who contributed more to the development
of the tomato as a commercial crop than any other.
When Mr. Livingston began his attempts to develop the tomato as a
commercial crop, his goal was to produce tomatoes that were smooth
skinned, uniform in size and having better flavor. Most tomatoes
at that time did not possess any of these attributes.
After many attempts at hybridization, he began
process of selecting seed from tomato plants exhibiting specific
characteristics. It was using this selection process that he discovered
a plant that bore perfect tomatoes like its parent vine. After five years of
selection, the fruit became fleshier and larger. In 1870, Alexander
introduced the 'Paragon'
Prior to his work,
tomatoes were commonly ribbed, hard cored, and generally hollow
fruit. In all, A. W. Livingston and his company introduced
thirty-five varieties of tomatoes.
From the diligent preservation work of Mike Dunton and the Victory Seed
Company, many are again available to the home gardening public by
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