Garden History: The Philadelphia Seed Company

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Once located at 103-105 Arch Street in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Seed Company was led by President and Director Clarence Neal during the 1920’s and 30’s. Who is Clarence Neal? He just happens to be the great-grandfather of terrain’s Junior Web Designer, Kelly N! Kelly shared the above mementos from Philadelphia’s horticultural past, which have been passed down in her family for generations. Read on to learn more about these historic treasures and find out how Kelly, a Baltimore native, ended up in the same city where her great-grandfather once made garden history.

Reference Book: “The Philadelphia Seed Company reference book was given to me by my grandmother. It's a three-ring binder containing information on all the seeds the company supplied each year – some of the pages date as far back as 1935! As a graphic designer, I find the typography fascinating. I often flip through it for inspiration for designs. I think it's so serendipitous that I ended up in Philadelphia working for terrain, given that my great-grandfather's roots are so strongly connected to what we do here.”

Seed Bag & Sign: “The original Quaker Field Seed bag and amazing Philadelphia Seed Co. metal sign live in Pennsylvania, just outside the city at my uncle’s home in West Chester. Even though I'm a fairly new resident to Philly, it's nice to know that I have such strong family ties to this area. I'm also completely obsessed with the design of the old seed bag!”

1920's Mailer: “My mom keeps this mailer from October 29, 1923 framed in our home in Maryland. My great-grandfather's name is listed at the top, and I love the typography. It's so interesting to see all the prices of the seeds and how many varieties they offered, from grasses and clover to potatoes and birdseed. It's also amazing to think that farmers used to mail in their orders to the Seed Company – with everything being so fast paced these days, it's nice to think back to a time when stamps were 1 cent and people corresponded for seeds via "snail mail."

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  • AandJ said...

    Would you happen to know where I could find a copy of this beautiful book...? Did a quick search online but no luck. Thanks...!

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