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Seedsmen Hall of Fame
Honoring Horticulturalists

Frederick John Pritchard

Fred Pritchard began his career with a B.S. degree and as an assistant plant pathologist at the North Dakota Agricultural Experimental Station in Fargo.

By 1915, he had begun to apply his knowledge, coupled with plant breeding, to develop disease resistant strains of tomatoes. It was in this year, that he began carrying on the selection work of John B. S. Norton. Norton, of the Maryland station, passed along several strains of wilt-resistant varieties that he had been working on.

The first variety that Dr. Pritchard released was selected by Norton out of a badly infected field of 'Stone'. Pritchard continued the selection work and in 1917, released the tomato with the name 'Norton' to honor the man who had begun the work.

Two other strains given to Pritchard by Norton were selected from a badly infected field of 'Greater Baltimore' tomatoes.  After further selection work, Pritchard released 'Columbia' and 'Arlington' in 1918.  These three varieties were widely distributed and were the leading disease resistant varieties for many years.

Dr. Pritchard passed away in January of 1931.

Some of his other releases were:

Brief Timeline of Career Achievements:


  1. "Descriptions of Principle Types of American Varieties of Tomatoes", USDA, October, 1933 attributes varietal histories to his work.

  2. "Yearbook of Agriculture", USDA, 1937, lists some biographical information as well as an overview of his work with tomatoes up until his death.

  3. "The Pritchard Tomato - Circular 243," William Solomon Porte, USDA, 1932

  4. "Circular of Information No. 91 - The Pritchard Tomato," A. G. B. Bouquet, 1933

  5. "The Glovel Tomato - Circular 388," William Solomon Porte, USDA, 1936

  6. "The Break o' Day Tomato - Circular 218," Frederick John Pritchard & William Solomon Porte, USDA, 1936

  7. "Development of Wilt-Resistant Tomatoes," by Fred J. Pritchard, USDA, Bulletin No. 1015, March 28, 1922.

A list of citations of some of the work he published:

  • Henry L. Bolley and F. J. Pritchard, "INTERNAL INFECTION OF THE WHEAT GRAIN BY RUST—A NEW OBSERVATION," Science magazine, 15 September 1905: 343-344.

  • F. J. Pritchard and L. E. Longley, "Experiments in Transplanting Sugar Beets,"     Agronomy magazine, J. 1916 8: 106-109.

  • Frederick J. Pritchard, "The Use of Checks and Repeated Plantings in Varietal Tests," Agronomy magazine. J. 1916 8: 65-81.

  • F. J. Pritchard and W. S. Porte, "Collar-Rot of Tomato," Journal of Agricultural Research, May 2, 1921


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