Monday, June 27, 2011


I’m sure you gardeners and salad lovers are relieved to receive this news as you water and weed your tender young plants to encourage a robust crop of these downright voluptuous fruits.

Yes, they are fruits, botanically speaking, because they are the ripened, seed-bearing ovaries of the plant.  In 1893, the Supreme Court ruled, however, that they are vegetables, because they are consumed like vegetables as part of a main meal, as opposed to a fruit’s use as a dessert staple.

We all have heard about the mixed reactions to the tomato that Europeans and North American colonists had for centuries.  Some folks ate them and enjoyed them thoroughly, and some folks believed them poisonous and refused to let them anywhere near the table.  Others believed that they had medicinal value but only if ingested in tiny, highly controlled amounts, and then only after cooking for several hours.  It’s not uncommon for people to discern that some things, although poisonous in larger quantities, are beneficial in small doses. 

That many people believed tomatoes to be poisonous was not stupid.  Tomatoes are in the plant family Solanaceae, home to the deadly nightshade and many other poisonous plant genera.  Besides that, the foliage of the tomato plant, containing sulfur, smells bad, reminiscent of poison.  But many members of the nightshade family are cultivated for many uses, edible and otherwise, including potatoes, tomatillos, bell (sweet) and chili peppers, eggplants, paprika, tobacco and petunias.

Machu Pichu - Inca city - Peru
Like the potato and others of this family, the tomato’s Western discovery was made by Spanish explorers like Cortez and Pizarro, who found nightshade plants of many species cultivated in the native gardens of the peoples of South America and Central America, tomatoes specifically by the Incas of Peru.  The Inca word for what we call the tomato was “tomatl.”  At that time, the tomato was a small, cherry-sized fruit of a golden yellow color.  The Spaniards brought the seeds back with them to Spain, and they spread throughout Europe from there.

French botanist Joseph Pitton Tournefort (1656-1708) gave the tomato its Latin botanical name - Lycopersicon esculentum. "Lycopersicon" translates to "wolf peach" - "peach" because it was round and luscious and "wolf" because it was erroneously considered poisonous, harking back to a fruit referred to in the 3rd Century which was purportedly used to poison wolves.

The Italians took most heartily to the new fruit, calling it “pomi d’oro” - golden apple, and incorporated it into their cuisine more inseparably than any other European culture.  It may be that the French should take credit for promoting its reputed aphrodisiacal properties believed by some, thus naming it “pomme d’amour” - love apple.  The English adopted the plant and fruit as an ornamental, and it was probably in this capacity that it was re-introduced into the Americas, with the English colonists, in a decorative capacity, not for culinary purposes. Thomas Jefferson had none of the English culinary qualms. He delighted in cooking and bringing new things to the dining table. He grew tomatoes both at Monticello, his home in Virginia, and at the White House during his presidency.

(The word “apple” is something of a generic term for fruit in many early languages - “pomme de terre” in French translates directly as “apple of the earth,” and the apple in the Garden of Eden was most likely a pomegranate - “apple punic.”  Indeed, the Oxford English Dictionary devotes a whole page - 3 columns - to its definitions, one of which is that the apple is an object of great value, another of which indicates a more generic application of the word to all fruit.  The apple figures largely in many mythologies, too.)

A brief internet search did not reveal to me when the red fruit was cultivated - the Italians’ passion for it may have spurred this variation; by the same token, because the English valued it as an ornamental, they may be responsible for the cultivation of its color variation to red. 

Some sources indicate that the Puritans despised it because it was red and because of its shape suggestive of - I dare not say! It was obviously a product of Satan.  And it was succulent besides - !  What sin! 

Anyway, back to our story and why June 28, 1820, is so important in tomato history: actually it isn’t. A lot of “this day in history” sites list today as the day that the tomato was proved to be non-poisonous, but the story is mostly a fable.

According to the stories, a man named Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson from Salem County, NJ, consumed a quantity of ripe tomatoes on this date before an audience, in an effort to prove to his neighbors that tomatoes were not only edible but also delicious, and worthy of commercial cultivation.  Johnson was a real person (1771-1850), and was a notable figure in the region, but according to Andrew F. Smith, researching and writing for the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2000, no written records exist for such a demonstration. If such a shocking and heavily attended event was publicized and took place, certainly there would have been reports of it at the time.  The story did not appear, however, until 86 years after the supposed event.

Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson
As speculated by Smith, the story had appeal and took on a life of its own.  An internet search brings up many versions of it, with some fantastic embellishments:

Johnson ate two pounds of tomatoes; Johnson ate a basket of tomatoes; Johnson ate a bushel of tomatoes. (If Johnson ate a bushel of tomatoes at one sitting, he would have got sick, but it wouldn’t be the fault of the tomatoes.)

Johnson ate the tomatoes in the public square; Johnson ate them in front of the courthouse; Johnson advertised in the papers that he was going to eat the tomatoes at the top of the steps of the county courthouse.

Johnson ate the tomatoes in Salem County, New Jersey, where he lived.  Johnson lived in Salem, Massachusetts, and ate them on the county courthouse steps there.

fire department band
Twenty doubting Salem County residents gathered to watch this suicide attempt. No, actually 2,000 gathered for this horrific display.  To be more accurate, 20,000 people witnessed the blood-curdling drama. A woman in the crowd fainted at the ghastly sight of tomatoes slipping so easily, so evilly, down Johnson’s throat, and the local fire department band played a dirge.

Johnson ate the tomatoes on June 28, 1820.  He ate them on June 28, 1830.  He ate them on September 28, 1820.  He ate them on September 28, 1846. (It seems likely that if Johnson ate any tomatoes, he ate them in September.  In New Jersey or Massachusetts, tomato plants are still in the blossom stage in June, and the fruit isn’t ripe enough to eat until August and September.)

This fable reminds me of the gossip game “Telephone.”  Who knows why this story took off and suffered story bloat the way it has? It’s a grand illustration about why we need to look to original sources for the facts of any story. The little statement about the proof and its date caught my interest. It turns out that there’s no meat to the story; the truth here is no more substantial than the air in a balloon.

But I did have a fun little run with it, didn’t I? May the summer sun and rains yield you bushels of fat, juicy, voluptuous tomatoes.

Food History News/The De-Bunk House .
“The Invention of Culinary Fakelore and Food Fallacies” by Andrew F. Smith, Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2000.
“Thomas Jefferson’s Favorite Vegetables” by Peter J. Hatch, Thomas Jefferson Society.
Oxford English Dictionary.
"The Health Benefits of Tomatoes"

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Busy Week in the Patent Office

This week in 19th Century American history was active in the U. S. Patent Office.  I’ve thrown a couple of other inventions and “firsts” into the mix.

Morse - self-portrait
June 20, 1840
Samuel Morse (1791-1872) patented the telegraph. Morse was born in Charlestown, MA, attended school at Philips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH, and graduated from Yale in 1810.  Although he is best known for his scientific work, his lifelong passion was for painting, and as a young man, he studied with several notable artists of his day. A skilled and prolific artist, his work includes the painting of the House of Representatives in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. In befriending a colleague lecturing at New York Athenaeum, Morse interests broadened to include electricity and its properties. He went on to study electromagnetism, which led to his development of the telegraph and the dot-dash system that became the Morse Code. After several private demonstrations of his telegraph beginning in 1837, he acquired U. S. Patent #1,647 in 1840. Four years later, in 1844, he sent his famous message “What hath God wrought?” from the Supreme Court chamber in Washington, DC, to the B&O Railroad depot in Baltimore, MD, a distance of about 45 miles. The “Victorian internet” was launched.

June 21, 1834
Cyrus Hall McCormick
On this day, Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809-1884) of Virginia received a patent for his mechanical reaper, a device which reduced the back-breaking labor of farm hands and allowed farmers to double their crop size, and launched a national invention frenzy of labor-saving implements.  McCormick was born in Rockbridge County in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and had little or no formal education. He grew up working the plantation fields alongside slaves, education enough to understand the value of labor-saving devices. Despite the lack of schooling, his inventive nature sprang forth early in life, when he began inventing and improving tools and machines in his father’s plantation workshop. His father patented a few inventions, and struggled for 28 years on a functional design for the reaping machine which McCormick the younger ultimately developed and patented. Cyrus was only 25 years old upon receipt of his patent. The new reaper, using horses, replaced the use of hand-held scythes and cradles.

June 21, 1853
Dr. Russell L. Hawes (1823-1867), a physician from Worcester, MA, received a patent for an envelope-folding machine on this day. Jaded by the humdrum routine of his medical practice, he began to delve into the fascinating world of invention and mechanical devices. He applied his knowledge of human anatomy into his designs, developing a machine that fit the movements of the workers attending it. His envelope-folding machine could produce 2,500 envelopes in an hour. Prior to this invention, envelopes as a separate piece of stationery were not commonly used. The correspondent folded the letter into an envelope, keeping the blank side of one of the sheets of the letter on the outside for addressing. Upon Hawes’ invention, newer machines introduced the gummed edge and other improvements. Hawes continued both his medical and invention practices throughout his life.

June 21, 1859
Andrew Lanergan of Boston, MA, received Patent #24,468 for an improvement to the exhibition or military rocket ("bombs bursting in air"), in which the fuse was packed inside a recess in the bottom of the rocket to be drawn out when needed, thus reducing the danger of premature lighting by falling cinders or sparks.

June 22, 1832
Another physician turned inventor, Dr. John I. Howe (1793-1876) patented a machine which made wire-head pins, after having observed people making them laboriously by hand. In 1835, he founded the Howe Manufacturing Company in New York for solid-head pin production, later known as the Howe Pin Company and relocated in 1838 in Birmingham, CT, which incorporated more of Howe’s inventions and improvements. His factories spread, ultimately consolidating in Waterbury, CT, where prolific pin production continues today.

June 22, 1847
Although its origins are still disputed, the doughnut (“dough knot” - sweet dough twisted into a knot and fried in oil) is undeniably now an all-American icon. Early American references identify the doughnut by name (period cookbooks dating to 1803, a short story in a Boston newspaper in 1808, and Washington Irving in “History of New York” in 1809) , but it didn’t yet have the hole in the middle.  An American by the name of Hansen Gregory claimed the invention of the O-shaped pastry in 1847, when he was only 16 years old, working on a lime-trading ship. According to one version of the story, Gregory was unhappy with the centers of doughnuts never cooking through, so he punched a hole in the middle of the lump of dough and fried it that way. Twenty-five years later, in 1872, John Blondell received a patent for the first doughnut cutter.

June 22, 1870
The boardwalk in America was invented in 1870 when luxury hotel owners in the resort town of Atlantic City, NJ, constructed the elevated walkway along the beaches to keep guests from tracking beach sand into their lobbies.  Before the hurricane of 1944 destroyed much of the boardwalk, it extended over seven miles from Atlantic City to Longport, through Ventnor and MargateAtlantic City was the inspiration for the board game “Monopoly.”

Christopher Latham Sholes
June 23, 1868
Christopher Latham Sholes (1819-1890) , a Pennsylvania native living in Wisconsin, patented the “type-writer.” Sholes’ version was cumbersome, about the size of a desk, but it was functional. Sholes also developed the “QWERTY” keyboard pattern still in use today. The better-known Remington improved on the idea with the practical typewriter most of us are familiar with today. Sholes was a newspaper publisher by trade, and also worked extensively in the political arena. His older brother Charles was also a newspaper publisher and politician. Typewriters had been invented as early as 1714 and over the years had taken various forms; Sholes’ model was the first to be commercially successful. His initial inspiration came when his employees, the compositors at his printing press, went on strike, and he thought that a machine to typeset in their place was in order.

June 24, 1844
Charles Goodyear (1800-1860) , a native of New Haven, CT, received Patent #3,633 for vulcanized rubber on this date. In 1839, he discovered the process of stabilizing rubber latex so that the resulting products would be dry, be flexible at all temperatures, and would not melt or be sticky to the touch. An inventor at heart, his financial life ran a roller-coaster gamut - rags to riches and back to rags, partly because of his passion for invention and experimentation, partly because his health broke down before he was thirty years of age, partly because of a failure of the national economy in the panic of 1837. Through it all, he worked on his rubber experiments, finally meeting with success in 1839, when he accidentally spilled some of his liquid rubber onto a hot stove, ultimately leading to the successful development of the rubber vulcanization process we use today.

Twain's scrap book
June 24, 1873
Mark Twain patented a scrap book on this date.  What made it different from the common scrap book of the day was that it was self-pasting. He had been collecting materials into scrap books for many years, obsessed with reviews of his performances and publications. Curiously, as of June 1885, this blank book of Mark Twain’s, with no words, sold far better than any single volume of his written work: he made $50,000 from sales of the scrap book, compared with only $200,000 from the sales of all of his other books combined at that time.

June 25, 1867
Lucien B. Smith of Kent, Ohio patented the first barbed wire, a simple concept designed to restrain cattle at minimal expense. The pain inflicted by the bristling points of the barbs discouraged ornery livestock from breaching the fences and getting into grain crops or onto railroad tracks. Especially on the plains, the shortage of wood for fencing made wire fencing quickly popular, since it made the enclosure of much larger areas feasible and affordable. Barbed wire was soon modified and adapted into so many different styles and types that there is a barbed wire museum today (Devil's Rope Museum in McLean, TX) to exhibit all the different kinds that Smith’s invention spawned.

Twain scrap book image Courtesy Kevin Mac Donnell

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Bennington Flag
Two hundred thirty-four years ago today, two years into the American War for Independence, the Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution, which in its entirety states “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Two years earlier, General George Washington, appointed by Congress shortly after the Lexington and Concord engagements on April 19 and the rebellion’s first official battle at Bunker Hill on June 17, took command of the American forces in Cambridge, Mass., on July 2, 1775. On the following New Year’s Day, he raised an improvised Continental Colors on a liberty pole outside of Boston. This flag, designed to be distinctive at a distance, had the 13 stripes in red and white so familiar to us, but the canton, where our star-spangled field of blue is located today, was a British Union Jack. This flag went by many names, and was the first of its kind to come into general use throughout the colonies.

General George Washington
No recorded history is specific, but speculation has it that over time, the presence of the British Union Jack in the canton became offensive to many Americans, including George Washington. When the design was first flown, the Union Jack represented the colonies’ interest in maintaining allegiance to the British crown, but after the Declaration of Independence was issued, such a symbol no longer held validity. Congress may have been petitioned for an improved design; a year later, the Flag Resolution satisfied this sentiment.

The minimal records of the time indicate that such a flag was probably not originally intended as a national unifying symbol. How could Congress envision the representative weight this flag would eventually carry as an American icon? They were in the middle of a war, for which the chances of a favorable result - national sovereignty - were practically nil.

Even after specifics were established for our National Colors, details about their significance still lacked. There has never been any official Congressional decree describing the symbolism of the pattern and the colors. But unofficial documents record the colors to mean: red for hardiness and valor; white for purity and innocence; blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. The colors obviously originate from our British heritage, the Union Jack. The stripes signify the separation of the colonies from Mother England, and with the only telling detail provided in the original Resolution, the white stars on the blue canton represent a new constellation.

Disputes over the veracity of the story of Betsy Ross stitching the first of the Stars and Stripes for General Washington continue today, since no first-hand documents exist to back up the Ross family statements of personal testimony and “tradition.” Many 19th Century historians succumbed to embellishment of true stories in order to engender patriotism, and many of our most popular patriotic legends are not based in the least on fact. (Remember George Washington’s cherry tree?) But again, because no tangible evidence exists to prove or disprove Betsy Ross’s creation of the first Stars and Stripes, both sides of the argument have their proponents.

Because pride as a unified nation had not yet developed, a national flag based on the Flag Resolution of 1777 was never officially supplied to Washington and his armies.  As a result,  few renditions of the Stars and Stripes flew over any of the land battles of the war. Most artistic renditions of major engagements of the war, painted decades afterwards (like Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851), inaccurately depict the presence of the Stars and Stripes, favoring artistic license and national pride over historical accuracy.

John Paul Jones
Most of our flag’s war-time appearances happened while afloat, courtesy of John Paul Jones, a bold young Scots  immigrant in our budding navy. On February 14, 1778, in command of the Ranger, Jones exchanged salutes with French Admiral of the Fleet La Motte Piquet in France’s Quiberon Bay. This French salute to our colors constituted an official recognition by the French of the new American nation.

Jones also carried the Continental Colors into battle on the high seas. On  April 24, 1778, off the Irish coast, he captured the British sloop Drake, and on September 23, 1779, he forced the British Serapis to surrender even as his own ship, Bonhomme Richard, sank under him. American colors soon flew atop the captured British vessel.

Congress’ resolution provided no details specifying standards for the flag’s dimensions or proportions, the size of the canton vs. the size of the field, or for the shape or pattern of the stars. In addition, the Congress’ Board of War argued with Washington through the remainder of the war over an established standard, so nothing official standard appeared until after the war was over. As a result, considerable freedom in the interpretation of the Stars and Stripes was expressed throughout the United States until the Taft Administration in the early 20th Century.

Francis Scott Key sees our flag
The growth of our flag as a national icon really took hold during the War of 1812, when Francis Scott Key penned his poem, having waited anxiously all night to see the results of the British bombardment on Fort McHenry on September 13-14, 1814. In less than a week, “The Star-Spangled Banner” saw print, and performances of the song began within a month. It gained national popularity as an unofficial national anthem at the outbreak of the Civil War, and was officially made the national anthem in 1931.

Proportion, dimension, and star-pattern standards for the flag did not become official until January 24, 1912, when President William Howard Taft signed an executive order, decreeing the 13 stripes of red and white and the phalanx pattern (staggered parallel rows) for the stars. In 1934, an official Flag Code was adopted, which describes proper flag etiquette for display, handling, and disposal.

Despite her variations and interpretations (or perhaps because of them), the Stars and Stripes has retained remarkable freshness and beauty over the past 200+ years. Long may she wave.

1.  “Flag: An American Biography” by Marc Leepson (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2005).

2.  “The Stars and The Stripes: The American Flag as Art and as History from the Birth of the Republic to the Present” by Boleslaw and Marie-Louise D’Otrange Mastai (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1973). (If you find our Star-Spangled Banner as beautiful a work of art as I do, you should look for this book, an exquisite album of our American flag's history in art - flags, quilts, paintings, accessories.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

John Quincy Adams’ Garden Notes - Early June 1827

John Quincy Adams
The White House grounds which John Quincy Adams inherited upon his inauguration on March 4, 1825, were stark and chaotic. A budding botanist, John Q. determined to rectify the mess.

Eleven years earlier, President James Madison was driven out of the White House during the War of 1812 when British troops invaded the city and set fire to several federal buildings, including the President’s House. The damage to the structure was severe enough to prevent its occupancy for the rest of Madison’s presidency, which ended in 1817.

The White House's next occupant, President James Monroe, put little work into the White House grounds. Aside from the insufficient funding, his own horticultural interests did not appear to extend beyond the requisite kitchen gardens. The financial Panic of 1819, two years into Monroe’s first term, eliminated any further funding for landscaping. Only necessary monies were dedicated to the residence itself.

Between 1814 and 1827, these underfunded efforts at landscaping and grounds-keeping in the Madison and Monroe administrations were insufficient to grace the building, even though both presidents were skilled in agriculture and horticulture. In addition, incomplete grading and drainage work which had dragged for years blemished the grounds when Adams moved in.

John Quincy Adams, on the other hand, who knew little about gardening when he entered the White House, made far more significant contributions to the White House grounds and to the national advancement of agriculture and horticulture than either of his two predecessors who were experienced in the world of flora.

John and Abigail Adams had quite deliberately raised young John Q. to be a statesman, and over his career, John Q. held nearly every political and diplomatic post in the United States, becoming well versed in history, literature, languages, and philosophy, with artistic forays into painting, sculpture, and music. In his earlier years, his public career was foremost, but in his later years, he broadened his horizons and interests into the sciences, especially botany. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution, and promoted the silviculture of utilitarian as well as ornamental trees.

John Quincy Adams discovered a delight in digging his hands into the earth. President or not, he thought nothing of ranging the woods still then in and around Washington City to collect acorns from the five species of oaks there, which he planted on the White House grounds. In hands-on botanical practice, John Q. found a renewal of the spirit which he no longer found in his public office, in his books, or in his marriage.

Adams looked to Thomas Jefferson’s original landscaping plans for inspiration, and in 1827, began to put Jefferson’s vision into effect. He hired John Ousley as White House gardener to put his ideas into effect; Ousley filled the bill more than adequately for Adams and several of the following presidents.

Besides his work with the White House grounds, Adams endeavored to launch the silk-worm industry, and to restore the Eastern forests, nearly gone by this time, which had supplied live-oak and white oak timber for ship-building since the settlement of the continent. He believed that these two industries could go far in furthering American industrial and commercial independence.

Being a relative neophyte to botanical interests, Adams befriended specialists and collected books and treatises from Great Britain and Europe about plants, gardening, botany, forestry, agriculture, and so forth. He studied these works constantly. The more he learned, the more questions he had. This he found frustrating, but fascinated with these subjects, he persevered, applying what he read to his own experiments and observations.

White House south face & gardens - 1831
After much study, Adams began to put his ideas into practice. In April 1827, he and his steward Antoine planted two varieties of walnuts, hazelnuts, three varieties of chestnuts, and apple seeds on the White House grounds.

A few weeks later, he expanded upon his idea of an American museum of trees to include foreign trees, fruits, and herbaceous plants which would benefit and bring profit to American commerce and culture. He had the Secretary of the Treasury send to every U.S. consul around the world a circular announcing the president's project to collect “forest trees useful as timber; grain of any description; fruit trees; vegetables for the table; esculent roots; and, in short, plants of whatever nature whether useful as food for man or the domestic animals, or for purposes connected with manufacturers or any of the useful arts … “ (1) This mirrored Jefferson’s earlier tactics to import plants and seeds valuable to the new American nation.

Within three months, American ship captains began to deliver seeds and saplings from all over the world. Soon, Adams had tiny forests growing in both Washington and at his house in Quincy, Mass.: Spanish chestnuts, cork oak, English oaks, buttonwoods, elms, tamarinds, pears, shag-bark walnuts, horse chestnuts, hickories, persimmons, tulip poplars, limes. By 1828, his White House efforts boasted over 700 saplings of 20 varieties.

In early June 1827, Adams wrote in his diary about his plantings at the White House, in the ground and in pots:

“In this small garden, of less than two acres, there are forest- and fruit-trees, shrubs, hedges, esculent vegetables, kitchen and medicinal herbs, hot-house plants, flowers, and weeds, to the amount, I conjecture, of at least one thousand. One-half of them perhaps are common weeds, most of which have none but the botanical name. I ask the name of every plant I see. Ousley, the gardener, knows almost all of them by their botanical names, but the numbers to be discriminated and recognized are baffling to the memory and confounding to the judgement. From the small patch where the medicinal herbs stand together I plucked this morning leaves of balm and hyssop, marjoram, mint, rue, sage, tansy, tarragon, and wormwood, one-half of which were known to me only by name - the tarragon not even by that.” (2)

Sadly, much of his horticultural work went for naught when Adams left office. Andrew Jackson entered the White House with a raucous and rowdy inaugural party which left not only the White House in a shambles but much of Adams’ work trampled. The damage extended well after the party was over. Adams, whose relationship to Jackson was unpleasant, to say the least, suspected that the destruction of his plantings may have been deliberate, a political message from Jackson supporters to eradicate Adams’ political legacy.

JQA Elm Tree in 1965
Nevertheless, some of Adams’ horticultural legacy endured, including an elm which he planted as a seedling, which witnessed many administrations on the White House grounds until 1991, when it was taken down because of structural concerns. First Lady Barbara Bush planted a root cutting from this tree to replace it. (3)

Think what Adams might have accomplished in this field had he had the opportunity to cultivate his interests as a young man.

White House Landscapes: Horticultural Achievements of American Presidents by Barbara McEwan (New York: Walker and Company, 1992).

1. “Seeds of the Presidency” by Jack Shepherd, Horticulture, January 1983, p. 42.

2. Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, ed. by Charles Francis Adams, (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1875), 7:291.

3. Tree Speak: “Notable American Elms,” January 20, 2011 (also photo credit)