University of Delaware Library
Special Collections Department

Horticulture


John Worlidge. Vinetum britannicum or, A Treatise of Cider and other Wines and Drinks extracted from Fruits Growing in the kingdom; 3d impression, much enlarged.  To which is added: A Discourse teaching the best way of Improving Bees.  London: Thomas Dring, 1691.

John Worlidge was one of the first British agriculturalists to discuss the importance of farming as an industry.  In Vinetum britannicum, Worlidge advocated the production of cider over that of wine in Britain because it was better suited to the climate and resources.  His descriptions of the cider-making process are detailed and systematic, relying on his knowledge of the science and literature of his day. 

Gift of the University of Delaware Library Associates


Fruit & Flower Nurseryman's Color Plate Book. Rochester, NY: ca. 1900.

Nursery sample books were traveling salesmen's books made to show farmers and gardeners what a particular nursery had for sale that season. They were published during the second half of the nineteenth century primarily in Rochester, New York.

This set of plates contains 112 color images in various media, including several types of chromolithography, theorem or stencil process, color halftones and hand-colored original photographs.

The University of Delaware Library has an extensive collection of nurseryman's sample books in its Unidel History of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Collection. Their scholarly value lies both in their horticultural history and as artifacts of nineteenth century printing techniques.

Melva B. Guthrie Fund


Thomas Moore. The Octavo Nature-printed British Ferns; nature-printed by Henry Bradbury. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1859-1860.

Nature printing is an attempt to capture the exact details of a plant or insect by printing directly from the natural object. Although artists had tried to do this for years, the first successful process was developed in 1853 by Alois Auer of Vienna, and brought to England by Henry Bradbury. The process involved rolling the object to be reproduced between a steel plate and a lead plate. The high pressure imbeds the object--for example a leaf--into the lead plate. When colored ink is applied to this stamped lead plate, a copy can be produced. Several colors could be applied individually, by hand, to appropriate areas of the plate and all colors printed together from one pull of the press. Since the process is only successful with flat foliage and is very labor-intensive, it was not widely used.

Gift of the University of Delaware Library Associates


Patent assignment for "Pixie" miniature rose, John de Vink of Boskoop, Holland, for the Conard-Pyle Company, West Grove, Pennsylvania. Document signed, U.S. Patent Office, 1940, and color brochure.

The Conard-Pyle Company. Star Roses. West Grove, Penn.: The Conard-Pyle Co., 1930. "71,735 copies" of this catalog were distributed by Conard-Pyle, the "Star Rose Growers."

Nearly 140 linear feet in extent, and dating from 1890-2000, the Conard-Pyle Company Archives is a strong supplement to the rich horticultural collections and seed catalogs in Special Collections. Robert Pyle purchased control of the West Grove mail-order nursery and seed business soon after the death of founder Alfred Conard in 1907. The company's Star Rose Growers trademark was one of the first horticultural trademarks in 1908, and the company established an international reputation for its roses. The company introduced the Peace Rose, patented in 1943 from the work of French hybridizer Francis Meilland, as well as landscape shrub roses, miniature roses such as the Pixie, and other specialized plants. Robert Pyle became an internationally known nurseryman and authority on roses, serving in leadership positions on the American Rose Society, the National Association of Plant Patent Owners, the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboretums, the American Horticultural Society, and other organizations.

The Conard-Pyle Archives includes nursery catalogs and brochures, publications about roses, horticultural journals, inventories, sales records and financial statements, advertising, memoranda, photographs, and memorabilia. In addition to documenting the product and business of Conard-Pyle, the collection provides information about the history of the rose, international horticultural research, professional organizations, flower shows, and all aspects of the nursery trade.

from the Conard-Pyle Company Archives
Gift of Richard Hutton


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Last Modified March 19, 2009