Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Collecting Antique Seed Packets


I've always been a collector from Christmas ornaments to watering cans. Now that I'm in an apartment I've been looking for an inexpensive catergory that didn't need a lot of storage. I just happened to see a blurb on collecting seed packets. And where else do you start but ebay?
My first packets just arrived. I got a dozen for $15.00 which looks lilke a steal since individual packets range from $3.00 to $18.00.

My first packets are from the Tillinghast Seed Company in La Connor, WA. They were the first seed company in the Pacific Northwest. They started selling cabbage seed and went national with a full range of seeds in the 1920's. My packets could be printed any time between the 30s through the 50s.
Several of the varieties are still on the market including 'Orange Gleam' nasturtium and 'Fire Chief'' petunia. Chief was a Gold Medal All America Selection in 1950 and the first true red petunia. I found a newspaprer clipping from the St. Petersburg Times hailing the new winner. 'Fire Chief' had been the only other gold medal variety since the 'Scarlett Ohara' in 1938 which is also still on the market today.

'Cream Star' was the AAS winner in 1940. I've grown Tithonia 'Torch', the orange mexican sunflower that was the AAS winner in 1951. 'Torch' is widely available in seed packets.

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