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Click here for Heirloom Tomato Seeds and Information.

The Complete List of
A. W. Livingston

Tomato Introductions
(Sorted Chronologically by the Year of Introduction)

[ Bio ] [ Business History ] [ Livingston Tomato Seed Collection ]

The list below represents the lifetime work of seedsman, and father of the modern tomato, Alexander W. Livingston.  It also represents more than a decade of preservation work by Mike Dunton and the Victory Seed CompanyClick Here to read the rest of the story below.

[ Note: Varieties in BOLD-type have been located and are available by clicking the link.  The varieties in ITALIC font are presumed to be extinct.  Notes about this are in RED.]


  1. Paragon - Introduced in 1870.

  2. Acme - Introduced in 1875.  VSC Note: Although there are people offering a tomato that they are calling 'Livingston Acme', it is not true to the historical record.  We are still searching for a sample that meets the original descriptions.

  3. Perfection - Introduced in 1880.

  4. Golden Queen - Introduced in 1882.

  5. Favorite - Introduced in 1883.

  6. Beauty - Introduced in 1886.

  7. Potato Leaf - Introduced in 1887.

  8. Stone - Introduced in 1889.

  9. Royal Red - Introduced in 1892.  Popular from 1893 to 1907.  VSC Note: Seems to be extinct.

  10. Gold Ball - Introduced in 1892.

  11. Buckeye State - Introduced in 1893.

  12. Aristocrat - Introduced in 1893. VSC Note: It is presumed extinct.

  13. Large Rose Peach - Introduced in 1893. VSC Note: It is presumed extinct.

  14. Honor Bright (Lutescent) - Introduced in 1897.

  15. Dwarf Yellow Prince - Introduced in 1898.  VSC Note:  Although it appears that there is a discrepancy in the catalog descriptions, the tomato size did not change, just the standard of measure.  It is likely that this was done to more accurately reflect size in relationship to the size of contemporarily available varieties.  This variety is presumed to be extinct.

  16. Magnus - Introduced in 1900.

  17. Aristobright - Introduced in 1901. VSC Note: These 1901 introductions were mistakes. It turns out that they were all obtained from a noted professor and the company released them as new varieties. Unfortunately, they were only F2 crosses and not stabilized. They were quickly dropped from future catalogs.

  18. Royal Colors - Introduced in 1901. VSC Note: See note under Aristobright.

  19. Dandy Dwarf - Introduced in 1901. VSC Note: See note under Aristobright.

  20. Multicolor - Introduced in 1901. VSC Note: See note under Aristobright.

  21. Princess - Introduced in 1901.  VSC Note: See note under Aristobright.

  22. Grandus - Introduced in 1901. VSC Note: See note under Aristobright.

  23. Dwarf Stone - Introduced in 1902.

  24. Dwarf Purple  - Introduced in 1903. VSC Note: It is presumed extinct.

  25. Globe - Introduced in 1905.

  26. Hummer - Introduced in 1907. VSC Note: It is presumed extinct.

  27. Coreless - Introduced in 1908. VSC Note: It is presumed extinct.

  28. Manyfold - Introduced in 1917. VSC Note: It is presumed extinct.

  29. Rosy Morn - Introduced in 1923.

  30. Giant Oxheart - Introduced in 1926.

  31. Hansing's Improved Wilt-Resistant Marvel - Introduced in 1927.

  32. Yellow Oxheart - Introduced in 1929.

  33. Ohio Red - Introduced in 1929.  VSC Note: We did obtain a seed sample with this name but it was old and we did not get seeds to germinate for the 2002 growing season.  We tried procedures to improve germination and was able to get one plant to germinate in 2003, grew it out in 2004, and kept selecting.

    Picking up where the Livingston's left off, we have been growing and selecting for the traits described in the historical record.  But taking our queue from Livingston's, we are re-releasing it 'Ohio Red' in 2012 with the disclaimer that its fruits do have variability in shape.  As Livingston's put it, "It is not entirely fixed in type as yet, but we are making some of the finest selections for our yearly plantings, and it will be interesting to note the improvement as the years go by.

  34. Ideal - Introduced in 1930.

  35. Main Crop Pink - Introduced in 1941.

Several of the releases above were made by the Livingston Seed Company after the passing of their founder.  In time, the status and stature of company declined and all but a few of their varieties were dropped by the seed industry and lost to the home gardening public.


How did all of this get started?

In the late 1990s, after reading A. W. Livingston's semi-biographical book entitled, "Livingston and the Tomato," Mike Dunton was shocked at how this important seedsman had all but vanished into obscurity.  It became a personal mission to not only raise awareness of Mr. Livingston's contributions to horticulture, but to re-release as many of his seed varieties as possible.

Thus began the process of accumulating documentation and seeking out seed samples.

Since one did not exist, the first step in this process was to actually create a list of the tomato varieties that Livingston released.  A partial list of early releases was made by the man's own hand in his book.  The rest of the list was a bit more difficult to assemble and it actually evolved over a period of a couple of years.

Old company seed catalogs were an important part of this research phase.  Catalogs were purchased when possible (and make up an important part of the Victory Horticultural Library's Collection).  Through the years, friendships were made with catalog collectors and scans of pages were contributed to this effort.

As the list of introductions was being compiled, we requested and received samples of every Livingston variety that the USDA's seed bank held. Seed from commercial sources was also purchased on the open market and trialed (and generally failed to match Livingston's descriptions).  Some seed samples were provided by seed savers.

All of the samples were then grown out and compared to the historical records.  We only release the varieties that have a lineage to the original releases and that match the original description, artwork and photographs where possible.

After more than a decade of expending time and money to research and grow these tomatoes, the Victory Seed Company is proud to offer the most complete, as well as, the most accurate collection of A. W. Livingston tomato varieties available in perhaps over seventy years.

A word of caution regarding opportunistic folks . . . Just as they did in the time of A. W. Livingston, other seed sellers have purchased seed from us, grown out on their own stock and are offering some of these varieties that we have worked to re-release.

Note that the seed that they offer has not been grown by us.  If you would like to grow out seed that is as close to what you could have purchased from old A. W., please consider ordering from us.  Your purchases directly support this type of seed variety preservation work.  Without it, varieties like these would remain in obscurity or worse, lost forever.

[Note: The Seedsman Hall of Fame, the Victory Horticultural Library, and the Livingston Tomato Collection are all a result of reading "Livingston and the Tomato" and funded through the seed sales from our gardening supporters.  Thank you for your active participation in this mission.]


 

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