1914 Burpee Seed Catalog Advertisement

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, March 2, 1914:  Same as ever.

Source: Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine (March 15, 1914)

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (March 15, 1914)

The Name Burpee is known the world over as synonymous with the Best Seed that Grow! Are You willing to pay a fair price for selected seeds of the choicest vegetables and most beautiful flowers? If so, it may prove of mutual interest if you write today (a postal card will do) for The New Burpee Annual. This is a bright book of 182 pages that is intensely interesting for every one who gardens either for pleasure or profit. Shall we mail you a copy? If so what is your address? Our address is W. Altee Burpee & CO., Philadelphia

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

It’s the same as ever here, too. . .

March came in like a lion yesterday, and there’s still snow on the ground. Browsing through my Burpee Seed catalog gives me hope that spring will come someday.

Maybe Grandma browsed through the 182-page 1914 Burpee catalog a hundred years ago today, and also dreamed of spring.

(It’s amazing that you could just write W. Altee Burpee and the word Philadelphia on a card, and that it would somehow find it’s way to the company. . . Somehow I think that in today’s more computerized world that a much more detailed address would be required.)

23 Responses

  1. priceless. i still buy their seeds~

  2. That is amazing how simple mail was back then. Today with so much being done online, the mail is mostly junk. Of course today, you can still get the Burpee catalog but there is also the online catalog that saves on the paper http://www.burpee.com/

  3. You have me looking at their on-line catalog :-)

    • I can spend way too much time browsing through online vegetable seed catalogs. . . . and in the end I’ll probably buy my vegetable seeds at the supermarket. :)

  4. Maybe under that snow spring is stirring but it’s hard to believe! A seed catalogue might be just what is needed to restore my faith.

  5. I’ve seen many of those.

  6. I love how things were simpler back then. When I live in BC I got the Stokes catelogue every year to order seeds. I remember specifically getting Sunny V corn seeds developed for the arctic. Our summer season is shorter in western Canada but I would get 2 crops of corn with these seeds and the corn tasted so good I could eat it right off the plant!

  7. March came in like a lamb for us….uh-oh, that could mean trouble in a few weeks!

    • It came in like a lion here, so I’m hopeful for better weather soon. . . though I hope that the saying doesn’t always hold true and that March both comes in like a lamb and leaves like a lamb where you live.

  8. Sooooo interesting…

  9. I guess it never occurred to me that Burpee was such an old company, although it makes sense. Seed and plant catalogs are keeping me going at this point!

  10. I love the art work on the old seed packets. Jane

  11. I love it when my Burpee seed catalog arrives. Enjoy yours. Blessings, Natalie :)

  12. A seed catalogue is not something I have experienced but it’s fascinating that Burpee’s catalog has survived for so long. I buy my seeds at the supermarket or a garden centre. One day, the address on our letters may return to being very simple; a one liner that can be scanned somehow by a machine. It could happen!

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