Luther Burbank Facts

Luther Burbank Facts
Luther Burbank (March 7, 1849 to April 11, 1926) was an American botanist, horticulturist and agricultural science pioneer. He developed more than 800 strains and varieties of plants including fruits, flowers, grains, grasses, and vegetables. He developed a spineless cactus for cattle-feed) and the plumcot.
Interesting Luther Burbank Facts:
Luther Burbank was the thirteenth of eighteen children and was born on a farm in Lancaster, Massachusetts.
His father died in 1870 and Burbank used his inheritance to buy a 17 acre farm where he developed the Burbank potato.
Although he sold the rights to the potato in 1875, today the Russet Burbank potato is the most widely cultivated potato in the United States.
He used the proceeds from the sale of his potato to travel to Santa Rosa, California and buy a 4 acre plot.
Despite the lack of a formal education he was familiar with Charles Darwin's The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication and the experiments of Gregor Mendel.
He established a nursery, greenhouse and open plots where he conducted experiments in cross-breeding of plants.
From 1904 to 1909 he received several grants from Andrew Carnegie to continue his work on hybridization.
He published plant catalogs and his 1893 "New Creation in Fruits and Flowers" made him famous.
Among his creations are 113 varieties of plums, 16 varieties of blackberries, 10 varieties of strawberries, 8 varieties of peaches and many more.
One of his most famous creation is the Shasta Daisy.
Burbank was criticized by the scientific community for his lack of the careful record keeping so important to scientific study.
His innovations were revolutionary and his plants, books and essays transformed farming in America.
In 1907 he wrote The Training of the Human Plant in which he advocated improved treatment of children.
In 1921 he published his 8 volume work, How Plants Are Trained to Work for Man.
He was known as a kind, generous man who lived a simple life and whose greatest passion was a better life for his fellow man.
In 1930 the U.S. Congress was inspired by his work to pass the Plant Patent Act and Burbank was awarded 16 plant patents posthumously.
His farm is now a national historic landmark and in 1986 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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