Something fun, 1900 rose introduction

roseseekNovember 30, 2012

This is a scan of a photocopy of the 1900 Dingee & Conard catalog, introducing their new "most perfect rose ever introduced in America", Helen Gould. The full text of the introduction is retyped below. Interesting how advertising has changed in over a century. Dingee & Conard became Conard-Pyle, now Star Meilland.


Helen Gould (formerly No. 1900)

See color-plate illustration front cover.


Introduced now for the first time, and for sale only by the Dingee & Conard Co.

It is with a feeling of pardonable pride that we now introduce for the first time this sweet young debutante. Perhaps it is but natural that we should feel that she is the fairest of that bright galaxy of now famous Roses which have won us unstinted praise among Rose lovers the world over. We refer to Golden Gate, Princess Bonnie, Marion Dingee, The Queen, Virginia R. Coxe, Mrs. Robert Peary, Pink Soupert, White Bougere and other famous varieties introduced by us.
We have never yet found it expedient to over-praise our own introductions. All that we have ever claimed for our Roses has been borne out by thorough trial. They increase in popularity each successive year. Therefore our statement in conjunction with this glorious new variety may be relied upon as being absolutely correct. in ever particular. We feel safe in saying that in this New Rose we have the most beautiful and satisfactory Rose for general planting ever introduced in America.

Among thousands of seedlings this variety was the favored one, and during the many years that have elapsed since the tiny plant was lifted from the seed pans it has been watched with jealous care and attention. When it was big enough to bloom we saw it. We wanted it so much that we paid seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750) for it.
Then commenced the real work of getting it ready for introduction. As we became better acquainted with it our enthusiasm increased. We judged it correctly. We had in this variety the strongest growing, largest flowering, freest blooming and hardiest Hybrid Tea Rose in existence! We had never seen such superb flowers, not only in size but in form and color. We found we had a better rose for general planting than American Beauty, the dream and hope of every Rose grower.

That Rose lovers might know this superb variety, and to show our unbounded faith in its merits, we sent out this year upwards of fifty thousand plant as a special premium with our magazine, Success With Flowers. Up until September 1, 1900, it has been known as No. 1900.
In addition to this we offered on hundred dollars ($100) in cash for the best and most appropriate name for it. We told our friends that it was the grandest Rose ever introduced in America. We were not afraid to submit it to them for trial. The verdict has been unanimous. From all parts of the country come enthusiastic letters of praise. Not a single complaint has been heard. Within a short space of a few months it has secured thousands of admirers and has become the most popular Rose of recent introduction.

A.J. Hilton, Amsterdam, N.Y., says: "The No. 1900 Rose has bloomed. It is a beauty!"
John Robertson, New Orleans, La., writes: "the New Rose No. 1900 bloomed two days ago. I consider it the finest Rose I have ever seen - full to the centre, with the petals perfectly arranged."
Mrs. H.C. Deane, Ogdensburg, N.Y., says: "No. 1900 Rose has bloomed. I am delighted with its beauty. it is the most rapid grower I have ever seen."
George Wilkinson, Federal Point, Fla., writes: "No. 1900 Rose has bloomed. It is very fine, indeed. If I could not replace it I would not take a ten-dollar ($10) bill for it."
These complimentary letters were taken at random from thousands of similar character. We cannot help feeling proud of the success it has attained.

The Committee having in charge the selection of the most appropriate name and the awarding of the cash prize of one hundred dollars ($100) decided upon Helen Gould.
This name was suggested by more than a thousand persons, and in obedience to the popular demand was chosen. We think it a particularly happy selection. As was the case in naming the new Roses Mrs. Robert Peary and Virginia R. Coxe, we have sought to pay tribute to American women and perpetuate through the Queen of Flowers the names of these noble women whose lives have been unselfishly devoted to suffering humanity and the nation. They are the Molly Starks of modern times.

Helen Gould is a thoroughbred Rose - a blue-blooded pedigreed variety. It is the result of a cross between Kaiserin Augusta Victoria and Mad. Caroline Testout, a parentage that insures hardiness, vigorous growth, freedom of bloom and glorious flowers. Without exception it is the freest blooming and strongest growing Rose we have ever seen. In our list of over a thousand different varieties there is not the kind that will compare with it. It has marvelous root-action, growing to perfection in almost any soil and situation quickly, throwing out numerous strong shoots upon which superb flowers are borne in profusion.
That it "grows like a weed" is literally true.
It is a dwarf, compact grower, particularly adapted to pot culture; is free from disease of all kind; blooms profusely.
The flowers are as large as American Beauty, which grand variety it somewhat resembles in fragrance and color. In health and vigorous growth it surpasses this queen among Roses.
The flowers are full and perfectly double; the buds beautifully made - long and pointed. The color is a warm rosy crimson.

As a Rose for Winter-blooming indoors, in pots or boxes it is far and away the superior of any variety now known. It will grow to perfection in the ordinary living-room and will produce its lovely plants continuously throughout the entire Fall and Winter.
There has been a constant demand for a satisfactory Winter-blooming Rose - one that combines health and growth with beauty of flower and continuous bloom. If you want such a Rose - one that will produce flowers which cannot be surpassed by even American Beauty - we guarantee this variety will please you. Do not fail to include Helen Gould in your order. It will please you from the day you receive it.

We offer strong plants from 3 1/2 - inch pots, for immediate bloom, 50 cts. each; 3 for $1.25; 5 for $2.00; postpaid by Mail.

The Dingee & Conard Company

The Leading Rose Growers of America...

West Grove, Penna.

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This is incredibly "cool"! Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:10PM
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You're welcome! There is at least one more to come. This takes time! Kim

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:23PM
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Very nice. I love reading old rose literature. I appreciate you upping this.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:24PM
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I could believe everything except the picture and the claim that it will grow indoors with no problems over the winter. The ads for hair tonics, etc. are just as entertaining. I find it interesting that recently there started to be restrictions on ads for beauty creams and cosmetics (mascara) where photoshop and things like false eyelashes were used and no disclaimers were made. Shipping must have been risky then and I wonder how many plants arrived in good condition. Thanks for sharing this. I love turn of the century advertising.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:41PM
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That is so cool, Kim. Thanks for sharing.

"It will grow to perfection in the ordinary living-room"
Well, maybe, in the old pre-central air days with a big window. Did folks grow indoor roses for winter bloom back then?

So, is Helen Gould a treasured heirloom HT now? It's interesting that it was retailed in 3.5" pots. Were they just rooted cuttings like our bands now? That's a really little pot unless they were in deep pots like bands.

What a neat blast from the past.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:45PM
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I have read that florists raised forced, potted roses for the holidays. Often, they were ramblers which had been pruned heavily to make topiaries covered in flowers. Of course, it was much later than this (mid to late fifties), but when I was a small child, my great grandmother grew huge Boston Ferns and a number of potted palms in her living and dining rooms in Birmingham, Alabama. Winter months, there were forced potted azaleas in the huge stone planters in those rooms. Spring and summer, the ferns went out in the huge stone planters on her porches. Kim

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 3:30AM
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When I read thru the info you posted it stated:

....Helen Gould is a thoroughbred Rose - a blue-blooded pedigreed variety. It is the result of a cross between Kaiserin Augusta Victoria and Mad. Caroline Testout...

But when I went to to find current info on Helen Gould, HMF gave the following parentage:

...Charles Darwin (Hybrid Perpetual, Laxton, 1869) x Marie van Houtte...

I wonder which is correct?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Who knows? "Rose literature" is chock full of such things. For some, that's the fun of the search. Notice the one photograph. The bloom indicated as this rose certainly doesn't appear to resemble the catalog description. Kim

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 12:59PM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

This is so interesting. Of course I went immediately to HMF to look it up. I'm always fascinated with roses that have dissappeared.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:35AM
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I'm glad you enjoyed it, Pamela. I'm particularly intrigued by Yellow Soupert. I wonder what it might have been? Kim

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:41AM
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"Ask and you shall receive..." After posting the above, I Googled "Yellow Soupert" and found Success With Flowers, A Floral Magazine" by Dingee and Conard, 1898 at Google Books with several references to Yellow Soupert being Mosella, a Peter Lambert poly! I've added the information to HMF and the link to the Google Book (free!) is below. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Success With Flowers

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:55AM
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