Cataloging Nature: Standardizing Fruit Varieties in the United States, 1800–1860
Business History Review
The forests and fields of the early American republic teemed with individually varying seedling fruit trees. American nurserymen stabilized both this chaotic landscape and their trade by promoting named fruit “varieties” gleaned from domestic orchards and from a global network of botanical gardens. Developing strategies to regulate the production of names and descriptions, they altered both texts and organisms, replacing a profusion of “wild” trees with a negotiated list of “named varieties.” Examining this process reveals intersections between commercial and scientific credibility and illuminates the alternative business forms built around living goods.
Pawley, Emily. "Cataloging Nature: Standardizing Fruit Varieties in the United States, 1800–1860." Business History Review 90, no. 3 (2016): 405-429.