Out of the Blue

Scientific Watercolours of Fruit From the Turn of The Century

By FDL on

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Scientific Watercolours of Fruit From the Turn of The Century

Ever wondered how fruit looked 100 years ago?

Now's your chance with free access to the online catalogue of the U.S Department of Agriculture listing over 7,500 images watercolours of fruit from the turn of the century, entitled the 'Pomological Watercolor Collection' .

The huge free database logs scientific images that can be searched for under either their scientific or common name according to geographical origin, from nearly 30 countries and over 50 U.S states.

In the days before photography was readily available the USDA commissioned artists to record new fruit varieties and species with a paintbrush rather than through a lens. Around 21 artists are expected to have been commissioned with this collection, although not all of the paintings are signed.

Dating back to 1886 the collection includes different varieties of fruit and trees from avocados to peaches, grapes and more. Below are some examples, but if you'd like to check out the huge archive go to the site where you can also download the images in high definition.

Citrus Fruits 1911

Strawberries 1894

Watermelons 1916

Pears 1923

Grapes 1910

Grapes (White Corinthe) 1911

Avocado 1916


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