A Fruitful Heritage: Images of the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station


This article focuses on the images of the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station. The Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station was established by the Missouri legislature in 1899 to serve the fruit producing and processing industries of Missouri. In the course of their advisement and research, the Station directors and staff documented their work on glass photographic plates. The ensuing glass plate collection displays the unique heritage of Ozark pomology or fruit culture and consists of a wide range of subjects and practices from the first half of the twentieth century. Most images date between 1897 and 1957, although many of the images are not dated. The images span five states from Arkansas to California. Many were taken at private orchards and vineyards, but most were taken in the Station's own orchards, vineyards and laboratories. They capture a wide range of subjects, from orchard workers picking fruit and loading it onto mule-drawn wagons to fruit varieties and disease characteristics. In 1974, the Station became a part of Southwest Missouri State University (SMSU), thus establishing the SMSU-Mountain Grove Campus. Station personnel had already placed the glass plates into acid-free protective slips, assigned them numbers and a description, typed card catalog cards with this information, and organized the cards by subject.


MSU Libraries

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Missouri, fruit research, fruit processing plants, photographic plates, food industryf Farms

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Journal Title

Journal of Agricultural & Food Information