Luther Burbank, US horticulturalist

Luther Burbank, US horticulturalist

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Luther Burbank (1849-1926), US botanist, examining flowers in a garden. Burbank bred over 800 new strains of fruit and flowers. He had read the work of Darwin and began selectively breeding his plants for desirable qualities. He sold the rights to his Burbank potato for $150 so that he could afford a ticket to the more favourable climate of California. Setting up a nursery garden and greenhouse, he continued to breed plants. Burbank had an unscientific approach and was sensitive to criticism. The city of Burbank, California, was named after him. This photograph is from the Bain News Service, one of the USA's earliest news picture libraries. The photographs date from the 1890s to the 1930s.

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