THE BROMELIAD SOCIETY BULLETINM. B. Foster, Editor, 718 Magnolia Ave., Orlando, Florida.
Annual Dues: $3.50 a year (foreign $4.00) which includes subscription to the Bulletin.
Write for details to Miss Victoria Padilla, Secretary, 647 Saltair Ave., Los Angeles 49, California.
A bromeliad, we were pleased to see, has made the philatelic world! Progressive Costa Rica has the credit for a most decorative stamp in grey, blue and white. It helped celebrate their great 1950 National Agriculture, Live Stock and Industrial Fair. It is an airmail stamp in the value of 65 centimos. We thank Director C. H. Lankester of Cartago for sending this to us.
The BROMELIACEAE by Carl Mez is No. 100 in this series and will be priced at $34.98. It was published in 1934-35; it has 667 pp. with 116 figures. To be sure of a copy, write and send check in advance to:
31 East 10th St.
New York 3, N. Y.
"In Naples, I had a nice visit with Bromeliad Society member Dr. Califano, a very distinguished and very amiable person. He took me on a sight seeing tour of his city. He says he has the largest collection of Tillandsias in Europe, over 120 different kinds."
There were no newspapers, no press services, no radio or cable to send home to Spain the marvels of the newly discovered Western World in the time of Columbus and his immediate successors. The news was told by means of letters and dispatches, most of the dispatches being merely long letters or narrative accounts of what the conquistadors did and found, relating the facts after the voyages of discovery.
At first, the immediate matters of life and death in the New World were more important. There was little in the way of natural history or material about plants and animals in America. In fact, the Spanish rulers were reluctant to have any extensive data at all published about the New World for fear of inviting rivalry and competition from other European monarchs.
One of the notable new fruits which the Spanish met early in the West Indies, at least on the second voyage of Columbus, in 1493, was the pineapple. There are four major sources of information about the pineapple in America of the Discovery Period, as follows:
Peter Martyr's Decades of the New World (Alcala de Henares, 1516) which is believed to contain the first account of the pineapple in print.
Antonio Pigafetta wrote about the pineapple as encountered on Magellan's voyage around the world in his chronicle of that voyage, Le Voyage et Navigacion . . . . published at Paris in 1526. Pigafetta was the young Knight of Rhodes who accompanied Magellan's voyage around the world and wrote the main, first hand account of the trip. His story tells of the expedition first finding the pineapple as a fruit among the natives of northwest Brazil in 1519. This is probably the second chronological mention of the pineapple in print.
The third most important account of the pineapple, and the first known illustration in a printed book, appeared in Gonzalez Fernandez de Oviedo's Historia General de Las Indias, Seville, 1535. The illustration accompanying this article is from a copy of the 1535 edition of this work, kindly provided by the John Carter Brown Library at Providence, R. I. Incidentally, according to Dr. J. L. Collins, who has done extended research in the field, the original manuscript drawing of this woodcut survives and may be found on a page of the manuscript in the Huntington Library at San Marino, California. * (1)
Fourth, comes what may well be the most significant record of the pineapple as found in the early West Indies, although the account is not among the earliest printed sources chronologically. It is in Fernando Columbus' Historie del S.D. Fernando Colombo, Venice, 1571. This is an Italian translation by Alfonso Ulloa of Fernando's original Spanish text which remains to this day one of the most interesting and fascinating accounts of his father's life and the Discovery Period. * (2) The original Spanish text is lost.
In this rare volume Fernando Columbus reports that his father, Christopher Columbus, first saw pineapples on the then cannibal island of Guadaloupe in 1493 on his second voyage to the New World, and at Veragua (on the Central American mainland, now Panama,) on a subsequent voyage. * (3)
Photo by courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library|
from the original edition of 1535.
|This highly artistic, slightly impressionistic and, at the same time, considering the circumstances, notably realistic, illustration of a pineapple is said to be the first pictorial representation of that fruit known in European literature after the Discovery of America in 1492. It appears with other woodcuts in the famous Historia General de las Indias of 1535, published in Seville, and authored by the celebrated historian, Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo. Oviedo is considered, by Samuel Eliot Morrison, as one of the four main contemporary authorities for the Discovery Period, the others being Peter Martyr, Fernando Columbus and Las Casas.|
Oviedo's description and picture of the pineapple appeared in print thirty-five years earlier, but he makes no mention of pineapples on Guadaloupe. Oviedo was more of a naturalist and, therefore, more interested in the plants and animals of the New World than most of the Spanish 15th century authors. The writer regards Oviedo's illustration as a remarkable example of primitive, albeit impressionistic art, and realistic enough, as well, to leave no doubt as to what plant and fruit the artist was presenting.
This fruit, the pineapple of today, is one of the most popular and important economic fruits of the world, and presumably, was unknown in the old world before the time of Columbus.* (4) The botanical name is Ananas cosmosus (Linn. Merrill), and while certain other species of Ananas, Bromelia and a few related genera of the Bromeliaceae bear edible fruits, there is no doubt from Oviedo's illustration that he was writing about our Ananas comosus.
Other novelties of the plant world which the Spaniards met in the West Indies, certainly on the island of Hispaniola, where the first settlements were made, such as the sweet potato, the cassava and maize, were announced to the world by Peter Martyr prior to that of the pineapple in the Italian condensation of Martyr's First Decade. This appeared as the famous Libretto di tutta la Navigatione de Re de Spagne, Venice, 1504, and as the first appearance of Martyr's First Decade, Seville, 1511.
However, it seems that the world of horticulture and natural history had to wait until Martyr's De Orbe Novo Decades at Alcala, 1516, for the first printed mention of this choice fruit. The original work, (1516) is a folio of 64 printed pages in roman letters, a very rare volume, which may be found described fully under No. 88 of Henry Harrisse's great Biblioteca Americana Vetustissima, New York, 1866 which remains today the standard bibliography of published works of the Discovery Period relating to America, (1492-1550). Harrisse's account is on pages 151-53.
As the editio princeps of the pineapple in print, Martyr's reference in this 1516 volume is worthy of more extended study. So far as is known, neither the Latin text nor a competent recent translation has been published in America previously. The only English translation in America was published by F. A. MacNutt, New York, 1912, two volumes. Richard Eden made his well known translation of Martyr's first four Decades into his tough Tudor English in 1555 including the pineapple reference.* (5) This text was reprinted by Edward Arber in England in 1885.
Peter Martyr, or Pietro Martire d'Angleria (his Italian name) as he is sometime known, is regarded as the first historian of America. He was a remarkable figure of his time being an historian, educator, poet, cleric, soldier, and many other things. Because of the narrow field of early American history in which he mainly distinguished himself, he is little known today outside of the small circle of Discovery Period students and researchers. You will not find him in the Encyclopedia Britannica, and few studies have been devoted to him. His volume of intensely interesting Latin letters, 800 of them, lies still mainly untranslated after 426 years. There exists a copy in the John Carter Brown Library.
Such historians as Samuel Eliot Morrison rate him among the four most dependable sources for the early history of the Columbus Period, and certainly not least among these. (Martyr, Oviedo, Las Casas and Fernando Columbus.) His mention of the pineapple comes in Book IX, Decade II, of his De Orbe Novo, (1516). This edition contains the first three Decades. The 1511 edition contains only the first Decade.
Book IX is entitled Crediti Continentis and discusses various natural history features of the newly discovered West Indies, among them various fruits and vegetables; from the John Carter Brown Library's 1516 edition we are pleased to reproduce the text of the pineapple item in Latin as follows: (6)
"Alium fructum se invictissimus Rex Ferdinand comedisse fatetur ab iisdem
to terris aduectu: squamosum: pinus nucamentum aspectu: forma calore aemulatur: sed mollicie par melope poni: sapore omnen superat mortensem fructum non enim arbor est sed herba carduo et similis aut acantho. Huic et Rex ipse palmam tribuit. Ex its ego pomis minime comedi quia unum tantum e paucis allatis reperere incorruptum; exteris ex longa navigatione putrefactis. Qui in nativo solo recentia ederunt illorum cum admiratione suauitatem extollunt . . ."
Dr. Harold Hume, of Gainesville, Florida's dean of horticulturists and garden writers, and authority on citrus, camellias, azaleas and hollies, has translated this paragraph for the writer, as follows:
"Another fruit the most invincible King Ferdinand acknowledges that he has eaten when brought from these same lands: scaly: a pine cone in appearance: In form: in warmth it surpasses it: but in softness like a cucumber-melon: in
flavor it surpasses every garden fruit for it is not a tree but an herb and like a thistle or Acanthus (or artichoke). To it also the King himself assigns the palm. Of these fruits I ate none at all: because only one of the few that were imported could be found that was not rotten (?): the rest (others) decayed by reason of the long voyage. Those who ate them fresh on their native soil extol their sweetness with wonder."
There is a touch of human interest here in the text where Martyr seems to report with some regret the fact that he had never tasted the new fruit, as King Ferdinand (the Ferdinand of "Ferdinand and Isabella," of course) ate the only one that survived the long sea voyage from the West Indies in good condition. It is interesting to note that the fabulous Ferdinand died in that same year of the publication of Martyr's Decades, 1516. The date of the shipment of pineapples is not given but might be any time prior, probably before 1500, it would seem.
Martyr's second Decade is dedicated to Pope Leo X. His history or Decades was written in the form of news letters to various notables of the time and published years afterward. Martyr's dates are usually given as 1457-1526. He was born in Anghiera, near Milan; he went to Rome where he completed his education; he journeyed to Spain, as did a number of brilliant young scholars of the time, on the invitation of the Count of Tendilla, one of Spain's great grandees. His rise to fame was rapid, and he became tutor to the Royal Princes, chaplain to Queen Isabella, envoy to Egypt, member of the Council of the Indies and dean of the Cathedral of Grenada.
Martyr was personally acquainted with the major figures of the Discovery Period and gathered his facts by letter and first hand interviews. He maintained a constant correspondence with the explorers and the learned men of Europe of his day.
|Photos Courtesy Felisberto C. Camargo of Brazil|
|Originally in Andre Thevet's (1575) Cosmographie Universell, 2nd Vo. Livre XXII, p. 936, but copied by Oviedo who called it Yayama; it is one of the three varieties described by him in his history of the Indies. (From Bauhin, J. Historiae Plantarum Universalis, 1651.)|
|Reproduction of the drawing of what was called Anassa silvestris in the great work "Herbarium Amboinense" by Rumphius. (Part 5, book VIII, Cap. XV, p.231.)||Georgius Everhardus Rumphius surrounded by Effigies, the original title of this engraving; today we would call them natural history specimens. Note pineapple on table at left which means pineapples were familiar fare in the Amboina Island, of the Netherland Indies, in the year 1741.|
COLLINS, J. L. "Antiquity of the Pineapple in America."
From the Southwestern Journal of Anthropology. 7:2. 1951
The pineapple, Ananas comosus (L) Merr., was cultivated by the American Indians of tropical America long before Columbus made his first voyage to the West Indies. The Indians had distributed several edible varieties widely throughout the regions where they could be grown.
The pineapple family is indigenous to America and was not known to the rest of the world, except a single species, Pitcairnia feliciana (Aug. Chev.) Harms & Mildbr., which is native to the west coast of Africa.
The pineapple probably originated in South America in the region where several wild species are still to be found, as well as numerous varieties of A. comosus. The fruits of some of these other species were used to some extent as food by the Indians, but they are much inferior to the fruits of A. comosus.
The Indians had used this fruit for a very long time because they had time to develop a knowledge of some of its special characteristics and this knowledge was widespread throughout the regions where it was grown. They used the fruit to make wine, as a remedy for gastric disorders, and claimed that it stimulated the appetite for other food. In addition to this evidence for the antiquity of the pineapple in America is the evidence derived from the presence of a large number of varieties which were in the possession of the Indians. Considerable time was required to develop and distribute these under the primitive conditions existing at that time.
Although we consider that pineapples were not known in the old world before the time of Columbus, some historians have suggested that the fruit may have been known in ancient Egypt and Assyria. This belief, however, is based on very doubtful evidence and, unless further and better records are discovered, we cannot believe it was ever known in the old world before 1492.
*Fernando Columbus' account of his father's encounter with the pineapple at Guadaloupe in 1493, when the Admiral touched at the then Cannibal island on the way to Espanola, follows, in translation from the Spanish edition of 1932. (Madrid, Coleccion de Libros Raros o Curiosos que Tratan de America. Vol. 1, Page 325): "They saw also squashes, and a certain fruit which resembled green pine cones (Pinus Pinea) like ours, although much larger, full of succulent pulp, like a melon, in odor and savor, but much smoother, which are home on plants like lilies or aloes, and grow in the fields, although these are better which are cultivated, as is well known."
|Pineapple fields are terraced and contour-planted to combat soil erosion. This program is the largest soil conservation project ever undertaken by private enterprise.|
from the DPID Economic Series
March 4, 1952
W. S. Stewart
The pineapple isn't so much a canning business as it is an agricultural business–as it is plain dirt farming. From the time we put the pineapple plant in the ground, for more than twenty months we have our worries, including weather, the same as most farmers around the world. And even before the plant is set out in the ground, we begin our fight with insects and disease by fumigating the soil. Then during the year, we spray the plant periodically to control mealybugs–and every two weeks with iron sulfate. Weeds, insects, and disease. We've fought them all. And at times, we've watched the weather as seriously as any farmer on the Mainland–for in spite of all our scientific methods, weather is still the most important single reason for a big crop or a small one. And so, from the economic point of view it seems to me it is wise to remember that a pineapple community is tied to farming, and that includes Honolulu, too. You will find that this farming nature of the business affects–or is reflected in–all the other steps that follow. The success of the entire pineapple business begins with what comes out of the ground. It depends on farming.
On the Mainland, the risks of farming are usually carried on by many independent farmers who take their chances upon the weather, insects, disease and the market. Then the canner comes along and buys from the grower.
Here in Hawaii, pineapple farming is done principally on five islands–Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Lanai–with a new commercial planting at Kohala on the Big Island. On these five islands, fourteen pineapple plantations cover about 70,000 acres. Incidentally, this pineapple land is only about one fourth the cultivated land in the Territory.
Most of this pineapple land is farmed directly by the various companies. Some of it, however, is farmed by individual, small growers. But for all practical purposes, pineapple farming in Hawaii is a large scale, plantation operation in which science and machinery are combined to promote efficient production.
From the beginning, the emphasis has been on research and scientific farming. Today, through the Pineapple Research Institute, the companies cooperatively spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to find new ways to protect crops and improve production. This agricultural research is done without any government money. In addition to this cooperative research, the individual companies carry on their own competitive developments in both methods and machinery. Out of all this experimental work have come many new methods and machines that have had their effects upon the economy of pineapple–and the economy of Hawaii.
For example, today control of mealybugs through spraying is a necessary but routine practice. But twenty years ago mealybugs almost literally drove pineapple out of Hawaii. Research saved an industry that now brings about $100,000,000 a year into the islands. Today, many of our fields would not be in production if scientists had not developed soil fumigation to kill insects and bacteria that have built up as a result of years of single cropping with pineapples. Without soil fumigation, land, production and employment would all three probably be much lower today.
Some other developments have been a bit more complicated in their effect on the economy. Take chemical weeding, for instance. It was developed to meet the war-time shortage of men–and was important in keeping up production. But it also affected jobs in other ways. It took the place of many of the hand-weeding men–or "hoe hana" as we call them–who weren't available during the war. But chemical weeding also brought some new jobs–more skilled jobs–such as tractor operators, boom spray operators and mechanics for upkeep and repair. Incidentlly, I doubt that it would be economically possible to operate under today's conditions without mechanized chemical weeding. If we had to depend on hand weeding, at today's basic wage of $1.16 an hour for this type of work, I'm sure this one cost item alone would make it impossible, for us at our place anyway, to stay in business.
Another important machine development is the mechanical harvester–actually, it's a mechanical conveyor to take the fruit out of the field. Men are still required to select and pick, but the mechanical harvester has increased the efficiency of operation and made harvesting both easier and faster.
As a result of these and other developments, the tendency or direction of employment on plantations has been toward a more uniform or stable, year-round labor force. Few, if any large scale agricultural operation on the Mainland offer such stable, year-round employment–that is, few of them, if any, have such little variation in employment between off season and peak season. In addition, through increased efficiency of production, mechanization has made it possible to keep up with a rising wage scale that has brought a rising standard of living for a more stabilized year-round work force. And equally important for all Hawaii, these developments have made it possible for us to keep costs at a level that enables us to still grow pineapples here in competition with both Mainland fruits and expanding pineapple production in other parts of the world.
As a result of all this, we now produce between 300 million and 400 million pineapples each year.
Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, California
|Strips of mulch paper thirty inches wide are laid on plowed earth by three-row machines. Similar to the tar roofing paper, mulch paper discourages weed growth, holds moisture and heat within the soil. Two discs cover both edges of the paper with soil to hold it down, and the paper is marked to show the spots through which the slips are to he planted.|
|Each planter carries a narrow steel trowel which he uses to make a hole in the mulch paper for each pineapple slip he plants. About 17,500 slips are planted to the acre.||A beautiful Hawaiian girl in a field of red pineapples; note the pineapple pocket and the cap the girl is wearing.|
|Walking along the rows, harvesters select the fully ripe fruit, pick it, remove the crown, and place the pineapple on a conveyor belt which extends before them from the mechanical harvester. The belt carries the fruit to the harvester, and an elevator conveyor lifts it into the bin. When the bin is full, the harvester is raised sufficiently to permit the loaded truck to drive out, and a new one with an empty bin to take its place.|
THE WORLD'S LARGEST PRODUCER OF PINEAPPLES
In its Hawaii and California divisions Dole employs more than 10,000 persons, of whom about 4100 are full-time employees and 6100 are seasonal workers.
Most Wahiawa employees live in the model city of Whitmore, population 2500. Of its 300 family homes originally built by the company, more than three-fourths have been purchased by employees at unusually reasonable terms. Unmarried plantation employees live in comfortable dormitories.
Dole owns the entire "Pineapple Island" of Lanai, 60 miles from Oahu. Purchased in 1922 for $1,100,000, the once-arid 90,000-acre island has been developed into a vast plantation with 15,500 acres of pineapple under cultivation. Most of Lanai's 2500 persons live in Lanai City, a modern plantation community. Civic affairs are largely managed by the residents through active citizens' organizations.
Pineapples are transported from Lanai to Dole's Honolulu cannery by barges towed by powerful ocean-going tugs owned by the company's Isleways Division.
Operations on both plantations are highly mechanized. Soil preparation, fertilizing, weeding, spraying, irrigating, and harvesting are carried on by unique farm machines designed by Dole's engineering staff . Many of the machines are built in the company's large shops.
An elaborate system of terracing and contour planting represents the largest soil conservation program ever carried out by private enterprise.
Pineapples are planted from slips, suckers or crowns, not from seed. Fruit matures in 18 to 22 months, each full-grown pineapple weighing three to five pounds. Pineapple plants produce two and sometimes three crops. The complete cycle, from planting to planting, takes four to five years.
The record cannery pack is 5600 tons of fruit per day, converting 2,691,335 pineapples into 215,427 cases containing 4,757,100 cans of fruit and juice.
The peak packing season is from mid-June through September, when 65 per cent or more of the year's production is packed, though the cannery operates on a year-round basis.
Fruit is trucked from plantation to cannery in seven-ton bins, and unloaded into a conveyor system for washing and grading before it passes into the ingenious Ginaca machine, invented in 1913 by Henry Ginaca, Dole engineer.
These machines, 37 of which are used by Dole, automatically peel and core 95 to 105 pineapples per minute, feeding the cylinders of golden fruit to long, immaculate packing tables where they are deftly trimmed, sliced, inspected, and packed by skilled women workers.
The cannery's complex can conveyor system, designed and built by Dole engineers in 1953, mechanizes the handling of tin cans.
Cans of pineapple are syruped, pre-vacuumized, sealed and cooked at the rate of 4000 per minute. Each of the plant's eleven labeling machines handles up to 1400 cans per minute–more than 23 cans per second.
A single pineapple passes through the entire processing system in about 15 minutes.
The factory produces canned pineapple in seven forms–slices, chunks, tidbits, juice, spears, crushed and pie filling.
"Mill juice" pressed from the same material is processed to recover 600,000 pounds annually of citric acid, used in the manufacture of drugs, soft drinks and foods.
Recaptured mill juice is also processed by the complicated ion exchange system, and converted into 4000 tons per year of pure simple sugar used in making syrup for canning.
Limited commercial production has been started on bromelain, a proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzyme recovered from the fibrous stump of the pineapple plant, the richest natural source of the enzyme. Proteolytic enzymes have a number of industrial uses, such as in brewing and manufacture of meat tenderizers. They also have medical uses.
In their well-equipped Honolulu laboratories, Dole scientists are constantly working to develop new products and by-products from pineapple.
|Photo Lad Cutak|
|Edward Owen Orpet|
So far as bromeliads go, he has two firsts to his credit. For many years he exchanged seeds with Theodore Mead of Florida, and he introduced into California Billbergia × Meadii, which is one of the favorite Billbergias of western growers. Also to his credit is the introduction of Puya alpestris, the seeds of which he obtained from a nursery in Chile in 1925. The plants flowered seven years later.
But Mr. Orpet's interest in bromeliads goes back to the time of his boyhood when he was an apprentice on one of the large estates in England. Here he learned to raise everything from orchids to onions, including pineapples. His description of their growing is interesting:
"Now in those days pineapples and hot-house grapes were rented out as centerpieces for formal dinners until the time came when they had to be consumed, so they were not inconsiderable sources of revenue. The pineapples were grown in pots sunk in pits which were heated top and bottom with fresh manure and leaves. When the bottom support began to sag, everything had to be taken out and manure removed; each pineapple was removed separately and as each showed fruit it was put into a greenhouse. Naturally, this job was one dreaded by the boys, because there was no way to avoid deep scratches, so they saw to it, as a preliminary, that sufficient beer was brought from the pub three-quarters of a mile away to insure sufficient tipsiness to get them through that scratchy heavy job as painlessly as possible."
Mr. Orpet has passed his 93rd
birthday and still maintains his keen interest and daily activity in his
nursery. This means sixty-nine years of unremitting work in many branches of
his chosen field.