Luther Burbank


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Burbank, Luther

 

Born July 3, 1849, in Lancaster, Massachusetts; died Nov. 4, 1926, in Santa Rosa, California. American selectionist and Darwinist; self-taught scientist who developed many new varieties of fruit, vegetable, field, and ornamental crops.

Burbank was born into the family of a farmer. He established a fruit and ornamental nursery in Santa Rosa in 1875 and later, in nearby Sebastopol. He worked there until his death. From seeds obtained from free pollination and intervarietal, interspecific, and intergeneric hybridization, Burbank developed a stoneless plum, a plumcot (a cross between the plum and the apricot), a thornless cactus that provides delicious fruits and valuable cattle fodder, an edible dwarf chestnut that bears fruit in its second year, a walnut with a paper-thin shell, a quince with a pineapple odor, a white blackberry, a thornless blackberry, a sweet onion with bulbs weighing more than 1 kg, a fragrant dahlia, a blue poppy, and a species of Amaryllis with flowers as large as 30 cm in diameter. Burbank achieved his greatest successes in work with plums, developing 113 varieties of this crop. The best of these are the Santa Rosa, Wickson, Burbank, America, Beauty, Black Sugar, Climax, Duarte, and Shiro plums. Many of these plums are cultivated in Argentina, North Africa, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as in the USA.

Leading scientists recognized Burbank as a talented representative of creative Darwinism. K. A. Timeriazev called him a “miracle worker” and ranked him among the top scientists and selectionists. I. V. Michurin regarded his California colleague highly and described him as “not a copier nor an epigone, but one who worked according to his own original methods of improvement.. .. His single profound study of the laws of plant life enabled him to improve and increase the varieties of fruit plants” (Soch., vol. 4, 1948, p. 422).

Since he received no support from the government, Burbank was in constant need of funds and was unable to apply his talents fully. His work was not adequately pursued in America. Many varieties developed by Burbank have been lost or forgotten.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
Izbr. soch. Moscow, 1955.

REFERENCES

Timiriazev, K. A. “Dva dara nauki.” Soch., vol. 9. Moscow, 1939.
Garvud, A. Obnovlennaia zemlia, ν sokrashch. Izlozhenii K. A. Timiriazeva. Moscow, 1919.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
John was the driving force responsible for these accomplishments and has been instrumental in shaping Luther Burbank Corporation into what it is today.
When the project was first proposed by the students to the administrators at Luther Burbank High, it immediately caught the eye of teacher Aaron McClatchy.
But that's precisely the story of Luther Burbank (1849-1926), "the Wizard of Santa Rosa," as he was styled in countless magazine articles.
Comacateco's class at Luther Burbank Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois, thought of a couple of books about brothers and sisters.
Two Famous Men: Gregor Johann Mendel and Luther Burbank
Luther Burbank Home & Gardens 25th Annual Holiday Open House.
When the principal at Luther Burbank High School demanded that students remove the pro-gay stickers Andrea Adame had passed out to support the National Day of Silence, "kids just came back to me for more stickers," Adame says.
He is a trustee of the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and University of California Foundation, a Chairman Emeritus of the California State Park Foundation and co-founder of the Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center in Santa Rosa.
In All Over Creation, we discover that Luther Burbank stumbled upon a rare potato seed ball in his garden.
Appendixes include story impressions and content preview for the text passage "Luther Burbank." (Contains 47 references and 4 tables.) (Author/RS)
Jack London, a socialist dockworker from Oakland who reigned as one of the early 20th century's most popular authors, was such a fan of Luther Burbank that he often collaborated with him on various plant-breeding projects, creating, for instance, a spineless cactus used for feeding cattle during droughts.
Messages from Luther Burbank and other nationally known figures will be incorporated into the work of the 'school.' Many interesting romances of the fruit world will be discussed."