Monday, March 16, 2009

Shamrocks and Roses

The lovely shamrock image at right is another "one that got away", but as I'm working on a label for myself, I'm drawing some inspiration from it. Image is from an 1894 advertising cover.

J. Horace McFarland (1859-1948) was born on September 29th in McAlisterville, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Union Civil War colonel George F. McFarland. In 1865 his father, a returning Civil War hero, moved the family to Harrisburg and started a printing company and a nursery.

At the age of twelve and with only four years of formal education, McFarland went to work in his father's printing shop. In 1878, at age nineteen, McFarland opened his own printing business Mount Pleasant Press and began to publish gardening and seed catalogs. The press was devoted primarily to horticultural printing. Realizing that woodcuts did not adequately represent the plants, he started to explore the use of photography. By 1894, he was experimenting with color photography and his company had become America's premier publisher of gardening catalogs, with what may have been the first color photographs produced in the US. The success of his publishing business provided McFarland with wealth and security, and freed him to engage extensively in the philanthropy and civic activism he loved.

McFarland helped organize the defense of Niagara Falls from development efforts by power companies, worked with the famous environmental preservationist John Muir to protect Yosemite National Park. He wrote more than a dozen books on roses and made the American Rose Society a world-renowned institution. As president, he established a method of rose identification and registration that is still in use today. He was also a founder and president of the American Rose Society.

Thanks, Wikipedia and Pugsley Award

1 comment:

Alan said...

Shamrock, or lucky four-leafed clover?